Let me start by saying I’m completely, madly, head-over-heels in love with my boyfriend. We’ve been together for almost seven years (come June), of which we’ve lived together for three, and last July we rescued a dog that, at least for the time being, completes our tiny family. We survived the tail end of high school together, the rough beginnings of college, family issues, one of us losing a job, and that perpetual fight over who gets to pick what we’re listening to in the car.
Through all of that, I still consider him my best friend. Nothing makes me smile bigger or feel happier than when I see him after a long day.
That said, I’ve lost count the number of times people have asked me when we’re going to “make it official,” especially after finding out how long we’ve been dating, as if our relationship doesn’t really “count” unless there’s a license to prove it. When’s the wedding? When are you getting married? When is Bill going to propose?
These questions just go on and on and on as if Bill and I are perpetually riding the wedding version of “It’s a Small World.”
They tease Bill to “put a ring on it” (Love you, Bey, but I didn’t think that catchy song would be used to torture my boyfriend on the regular), they ask if I’m secretly planning a wedding, they wonder if I’m hurt we haven’t tied the knot yet.
Bill gave me a promise ring when we first started dating and I’ve worn it on my ring finger since, which has made it so I’m constantly fielding “are you engaged?” questions. It’s especially bad when it comes from people I see regularly, and who I’ve told repeatedly that this ring was just a gift from Bill, still ask me if we’ve recently gotten engaged/married when they notice it for the millionth time, I’m ready to pull my hair out.
Even my Groupons are getting in on it (this was sent to me last night – click to enlarge):
I’m not saying I’m above getting married; that’s not the case at all. I’d be happy to be married already and to have skipped over all of that messy wedding stuff if for no other reason than to shut everyone up.
But I’m super-shy and sometimes self conscious and the idea of having a traditional wedding makes me cringe.
I’ve considered alternatives, like eloping (I can’t stomach the guilt I’d feel knowing friends and family members would be disappointed they weren’t part of “the big day”). I’ve thought of alternative weddings, too. But considering Bill and I have never been enthusiastic about parties, I can’t imagine it’d be much of a celebration when the guests of honor only half-heartedly attend and are the first to leave. (“Thanks for coming, guys – enjoy an extra piece of cake for us!”)
But all of that back-story is irrelevant, really, because here’s what it boils down to: I wish people would stop asking when I’m getting married, when I’m having kids, and when I’m buying a house. Maybe I’ll do those things, maybe I won’t. I don’t know. I don’t have to know. Even if I was 40, I still wouldn’t have to know and I would still be annoyed by the constant barrage of these questions. Why should I have to explain myself to someone else, family, friend, strangers, or otherwise?
My choices – and his choices and her choices and their choices and your choices – really aren’t anyone else’s business.
Let me say that again: it’s not your business whether someone is or is not married and why or why not.
It’s not mean. It’s not cold. It’s just true.
So when am I getting married? I don’t know. But I can tell you this much: whatever we do, it’ll be awesome, and it’ll probably involve pancakes.