Then comes marriage…

I am beginning to wonder how my friends became so cliched.

It certainly couldn’t be by simple virtue of the diamond rings displayed on their ring fingers. It is not as though they are the first of my friends to get married, many of whom who have managed the transition from girlfriend to wife with relative ease.

This week, six of us sat at my kitchen table, empty plates before us from our weekly meet-up. As I began collecting the plates, the regular dose of matrimonial talk began. You see, three of the six are getting married, one this spring, one this summer, one next summer. While I don’t mind talk of the larger themes, such as bachelorette plans, dresses, caterers, or of their general excitement about an admittedly huge day in their lives, lately it has progressed to the downright banal. This time, they began chattering about their three’s trip to the mall to pick out wedding bands, which began with an anecdote of how the jewelry store worker made a joking remark about the big rings on each of their fingers, and ended with a detailed dissection of which shape of wedding band best complemented their fingers.

I counted floorboards.

I also wondered when they had all gotten so oblivious. Not just oblivious to the fact that I was counting floorboards, but also to the fact that J is single and not necessarily thrilled about it, or that M has been with her boyfriend for longer than some of them have been with their fiances, and is still barely able to get him to utter the word “commitment”. Oblivious to the fact that their constant talk might not just bore some people, but may actually be a tinge hurtful.

While they may be unaware of how their words may sting, they also are also painfully incognizant of the fact that not everyone is necessarily wanting their lives right now. As it has now become obvious that M and her boyfriend are not getting engaged anytime soon, attention has turned to me as the next on the list. My non-committal or general responses to “do you think he’s going to propose soon?” or “do you know what kind of ring you want?” fall over deaf ears. It seems that “I’m sure it will happen, but not anytime soon” is not satisfying enough, so they keep on pressing.

That same night, as I excitedly tell them that the Duke and I are finally booking our sunshine holiday, S coos “Oh, I bet he has something in store for you there”, and winks condescendingly. And even though I know it is only because she wants for me what she thinks I want for myself, I can’t help but get annoyed. Why isn’t it good enough that we are having our first big holiday together? Why does it need to be that I am providing him with a cliched scenario to ask for my hand in marriage? Why does everyone act like I am just suppressing my frantic need for a wedding, rather than accepting that him and I are just happy in the moments we’re in now?

I guess it is just starting to depress me that these women I know are genuinely ambitious, driven, feisty, independent present themselves like something out of a bad sitcom, when all we talk about are calories and relationships. As I walked home today, I realized that I knew reams more about their theme colours, the necklines of their bridesmaid’s dresses and their fiances’ idiosyncracies than they did about my dissertation or my job. And it made me feel a little lonely.

Reposted from about a week ago at my place, over here.

13 Responses to “Then comes marriage…”

  1. jen says:

    Don’t feel lonely!!! You aren’t alone.

    Ugh, weddings get on my nerves a bit (or people going on about them does anyway) and I hate it when people say “when are you going to get married”, “isn’t it about time (wink wink nudge nudge)”. It makes me want to do it even less!!! Not everyone has to get married, maybe I just don’t fancy it. xx

  2. L.C.T. says:

    Oh I can totalllllly understand that. Utterly. I am very happy as I am right now and I’m glad some people around me see that but not everybody around me does.

    Tell us about your dissertation and job. Don’t feel lonely!

  3. Elle says:

    Trust me…I am SO in the same boat. And I’m ready to jump. It is annoying that when ppl are happy in relationships, sometimes that’s all they say. But it’s fine being single, so long as you’re happy with your place in life. Just brush it off. Half of the time, married ppl aren’t thrilled about being married either.

  4. Matt says:

    Another reason why I’m glad I’m a guy.

    We just talk about sports.

  5. clairemontgomerymd says:

    very well stated! now is the time you will decide who stays and who goes in your circle of friends.

    and i’d love to know about your dissertation!

  6. Lindsay says:

    I know what you mean. I’ve sat through at least two conversations about veil lengths in the past six months and it bores me to tears. Maybe things will be different when I’m engaged, but for now I’d rather talk about anything else.

  7. Ambles says:

    I hate it when it feels like you don’t have anything in common with your friends anymore! It’s like you’re not even friends with your friends.

  8. Courtlynn says:

    I’m in the same boat! What’s wrong with being ok with being single or not married right now? Sometimes I wonder if when the thought does creep in if it is only because they make me feel so far behind them when in actuality, I’m just trying to enjoy my life.

  9. Sara says:

    As an engaged person, I’m apologizing here and now to my friends. Not for talking about my upcoming wedding, but for asking that question. I asked it looooong before I was engaged, but it always brings me back to reality. Most of my friends ask me about the wedding because I’m not necessarily in overshare mode and they want to know, so I feel safe knowing I’m not incessantly talking about the Big Day.

    Thank you!

  10. Reagan says:

    LOVED this post…you captured this age and friends’ weddings, etc. so well!

  11. maris says:

    I think marriage wouldn’t BE such a big deal if people didn’t make it one. Being 25, I’m really in no rush to get married but I feel like because I don’t have a boyfriend I constantly have to be on the defense. Silly, but there is definitely an overwhelming sentiment of getting married being the ‘be all and end all’ in life and it really isn’t. What matters is that you’re happy.

  12. Fabulously Broke says:

    Tell them to shut up and eat a cupcake.

    Or tell them they’re being insensitive, because they are :(

    Or get together and talk about weddings on their own damn time. How irritating.

  13. Imerika says:

    I can see your point, but why are these people being considered “insensitive”? They are just sharing their happy moments with their friends. which is what you are supposed to do with friends. And if they nudge you about your own relationship, it’s because they want you to be as happy as them.
    If you ARE happy, then just tell them that “I’m happy with where we are and don’t see or want marriage in the near future.” And leave it at that…if they keep asking, just let it roll off your back. It can only bother you if you let it bother you, it all depends on which way you decide to look at it. (and for the record, I am single and one of my good friends is engaged)

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