Not Always Married

| Romantic | May 28, 2013

(Conversation in one of my English classes turns to relationships. Some of my classmates are younger than me, being right out of high school. Others are older than me.)

Girl #1: “I always hear you talking about your boyfriend. How long have you been together?”

Me: “Oh, about three years.”

Girl #1: “Has he asked you to marry him?”

Me: “Well, no. If he does I’m going to suspect pod people. He’s not big on the whole concept of marriage. That works, because I’m not super into it, either.”

(Both girls look horrified.)

Girl #2: “You don’t want to marry him?”

Me: “It’s not that so much. I just don’t care much about formalities. I think they’re silly, although there might come a time when it’s necessary.”

Girl #1: “But… he doesn’t want to marry you? That doesn’t bother you?”

Me: “Marriage has never been one of his goals. I think he has some baggage around it, and it’s caused some problems in his previous relationships. One of the things that make us a good match is that I don’t care.”

Girl #2: “But what’s the point of being together if you aren’t going to get MARRIED?”

(The girl is now shrieking. I am a little shocked and embarrassed, because several people are looking our way now.)

Me: “Um… Well, I love him. No paper trail is going to make that more true. Do you think people who don’t care about marriage shouldn’t have any love or companionship in their lives?”

Girl #2: “Well, no! I didn’t say that!”

Me: “…kinda did.”

(An older woman who recently celebrated her 15th wedding anniversary comes up, and puts an arm around me, patting my shoulder comfortingly.)

Married Woman: “You know something? You’re doing it right, honey. Don’t ever get married!”

(She looks around and smiles at everyone, especially the two younger women, who are slack-jawed. I start to chuckle.)

Married Woman: “NEVER!”

(The topic never came up in that class again. Incidentally, I’m still with the same man, and we’re still not married. Sometimes I think of that married woman, and smile.)

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