Thursday, June 28, 2007

Wedding Fever

Image by Rebecca Portsmouth

Facebook. It has a lot to answer for. In amongst the usual catching up with friends past and present I have discovered that nine people I know are getting married this year (this does not include the three or so weddings which have already occurred this year). Apart from M’s brother’s wedding, and a family friend’s reception later in July, I am not required to attend any of them. This is a relief, not least because I can barely afford to pay my rent at the moment, let alone pay for flights, presents, dresses and the curiously named fascinators which seem ubiquitous at every wedding this year (or at least all of the other weddings whose pictures have appeared on facebook already). It is a relief because the words ‘wedding’ and ‘marriage’ had become dirty words in our household.

When a girl is faced with news that her oldest friend from gymnastics, one of her school friends, her boyfriend’s brother, her boyfriend’s brother’s ex-girlfriend, two good friends from university (to each other) a school friend of a friend, two of her boyfriend’s colleagues and one of her own colleagues are all getting married within the space of 6 months, it is inevitable that her own thoughts will lean towards marriage, or at the very least, weddings. These thoughts range from the insignificant “if it were me, I would do this” to the rather depressing “why are my friends so sorted when I am not”. And, of course, being a girl who talks so much that her father imposes a word free room when she is at home and speaks roughly what she thinks the vast majority of the time, I talked. About weddings. A lot. From the excitement of being a bridesmaid, to the disbelief that yet another friend had been proposed to, to the skill of a photographer I had booked for a ball who also specialised in weddings, to dresses to present lists. I talked and talked. And the boyfriend grew quieter and quieter each time I mentioned the word ‘wedding’.

I say had become dirty words because last night things came to a head. The boyfriend asked if I could stop pressurising him into marriage – that he wasn’t ready for marriage; we weren’t grown up enough, we had no money. He thought that every time I mentioned anything to do with a wedding I was pressurising him to propose. It was such a horrid conversation and I felt so helpless. Torn between feeling like a child and also like an adult, I don’t think I am alone in wondering about the future of a relationship that is 5 years old. School age. Not future as in shall we break sort of future, just wondering at what point one suddenly decides that one is old enough, mature enough, financially sorted enough to get married. Why getting married is such a step, when we live together already. And why if we are happy together than marriage means anything to me at all anyway, why I am I desperate to achieve something which I essentially already know. Pressurising him was never my intention; and I certainly never wanted to reach the point when I could not talk about anything to do with weddings for fear of making him feel cornered.

And so we talked, long into the night and reassured each other of our worries. And we shall continue, in our committed relationship of non-committal and I shall try to only mention my friends’ weddings in the context of them not me. And one day, maybe, when I am least expecting it, the boyfriend will ask me. And until then I shall try and stop torturing myself. And try to stay away from facebook.

1 comment:

lain said...

I can totally relate to that. My M is also the same - he is really anti-marriage and cannot stand me talking about it, so I have to be really careful about how I talk about other people's weddings and make sure I don't make jokes because it gets his back up. I am sure that one day your M will decide he is ready - ultimately the way I look at it is that it's best to wait until you're financially sorted with a stable job before you make that kind of commitment. Or at least that's how I justify it to myself anyway :-)

Just out of interest, who are the school friends that are getting married, anyone I know?!!