Marriage — The Final Frontier

If you were going to ask someone to marry you, how would you do it? If you already have, or someone has asked you, how did it happen? What are your thoughts on marriage in general?

My boyfriend asked me after we had been going out for about two weeks. We were in Melbourne on a holiday (yes, an international holiday after two weeks), walking around the city, thinking about moving here. We were having an amazing time & every night he would read to me from The Tao Of Pooh until I fell asleep. As we walked around, we found ourselves outside the registry office, & he asked me to marry him. At first I didn’t believe him. I was SO surprised, it blew my mind, but I was scared & I did the math (I was only 22, we have a big age gap & we’d only been going out for a couple of weeks), so I said no. He has since said that he’s asked once, he’s not going to ask again, so I guess it’s up to me if that’s a step I want to take!

I think marriage is kind of weird. That whole idea of binding yourself to somebody for life seems antiquated & impractical to me. I think I will probably be involved with various people throughout stages of my life. I feel like being married (as opposed to just living with someone or being together in general) adds this crazy layer of social conditioning to a relationship where it then becomes a big deal to break it off. You have to “get divorced”, which has a large amount of stigma for many people, especially if you’re young. The idea of being a 25-year-old divorcee is amusing for about three minutes. Then it’s something you have to live with. If you’re just living together, it’s easier — you just move out, there are no legalities or paperwork to get involved in (normally). I think that kind of thing is very limiting, it may prevent people from growing or changing because they can see where it might lead.

I do like the idea of stepping a relationship up a level though — so you’re not just someone’s girl- or boyfriend — but the idea of a “life partner” or a “civil union” leaves me cold. So I’m somewhere in the middle, muddling my way through, trying to decide what I think is right for me personally.

I remember when I was a kid I would go to my friend’s house & we would have “underwater tea-parties”. The idea was that you’d jump in the pool, sink to the bottom, cross your legs, pretend to drink tea from an invisible teacup & talk to one another. It came out mostly as “burble burble”, but I think asking someone underwater would be pretty awesome.

The idea of asking your lover something which is that important in a strange environment really appeals to me. On a hot air balloon ride, while playing midnight croquet or as you lie down together in a secret treehouse — I think that would be wonderful. I also love treasure hunts & adventures & secret hints & clues, so maybe making your own fortune cookie or writing it on the petals of a sunflower or something would be cool.

I love that scene in Sex & The City (sorry to people who don’t like it) when Aiden asked Carrie to marry him. She knew it was coming but he took her completely by surprise. He asked her to come out with him while he walked his dog, & in the middle of the street, he knelt down to do something to his dog’s collar & said, “Here, hold this” while she was looking away. She was expecting to be given the dog’s leash, but he placed the engagement ring box in her hand instead. It was so cute.

My parents’ story about getting married is really romantic. My mother saw a ring she liked. The end.