Ask me if I’d like to wear a beautiful white dress, throw a huge party and own a diamond ring, and I’d probably say yes to all three. Ask me if I’d like to be somebody’s wife and it’s an unequivocal no.
I am not interested in marriage, never have been. I have never dreamt of beautiful cream veils and three-tier cakes, I have never worn a ring on my left hand just to see what it looks like, or envisaged my perfect wedding dress. I’ve never skimmed through a bridal magazine or seen the green-eyed monster while watching others prepare the wedding of the century. In fact, I don’t even buy into the ‘best day of my life’ hype. If cakes, frocks and throwing flowers sums up to be the best day of my life, then I obviously haven’t lived enough.
I have nothing against weddings, or marriage for that matter, but I do feel that sometimes brides-to-be put more emphasis on their wedding day than their impending marriage. We can be a materialistic bunch us women and now and again when I listen to the pre-planning of an imminent wedding, the only words I actually hear (on a constant loop) are dresses, colour themes and honeymoons to far eastern resorts. I can’t even remember the last time I heard a bride-to-be even feign excitement about becoming a wife, settling down and popping out a few sprogs. The husband-to-be is referred to as nothing more than another wedding-day accessory. Most brides want a dress, a diamond and a party, but I do wonder if they ever think beyond any of that. The trouble with me is that I do the exact opposite to most women – I think of all the nitty gritty elements of marriage and it throws me into an absolute panic.
Part of my anxiety towards marriage relates to a distinct fear of losing my independence. I’ve only just started living with my boyfriend (of three years) and already I’m fed up with the daily grind – fortnightly food shops, making dinner and washing up. It all seemed a helluva lot more exciting when I was doing all these things for myself. Now I’m on the slippery slope to becoming a nag (with most of my sentences starting with, ‘can you just do this, do that, move these, pick them up, stop doing this, start doing that’) and he’s not even a lazy boyfriend, I just prefer to do things for myself, without having to think of anyone else. At this rate, I’m just one scary bend of the knee from proposal, and then the dreaded marriage. If I say yes am I really saying ‘no’ to independence, ‘no’ to doing what I want, ‘no’ to being selfish and ‘no’ to all those things I haven’t yet accomplished? Can I really disappear for three months and climb the Inca trail to Machu Picchu when I have a husband and all the responsibilities that come with that to think about?
It’s terribly immature, I know. In a few years time I’ll probably grow up and want nothing more than the security of marriage and long-term commitment, but right now I still feel far too young and selfish to even consider it. I like the appeal of being someone’s ‘girlfriend’; it sounds attractive and carefree, whereas ‘The Wife’ only summons negative connotations of being a head-pecker and a terrible bore. Obviously I know this is far from the truth – there are many beautiful and sexy wives out there, Beyonce’s a wife and she’s smoking hot. However, I can’t shake off the feeling that if the boy got down on one knee anytime soon, even if it was the most romantic setting imaginable, the shrill of ‘wife wife wife’ would still have me running for the hills.
I’m attending two weddings next year and I really can’t wait. I love getting dressed up and attending a swanky do. I like cake and posh food and a good old knees up where everyone gets drunk and sentimental. I like all these things a lot, so when the time’s right, I’ll organise a big party and declare my love for one man in front of numerous friends and family. I might even save up for an exotic holiday in the Maldives, but as far as marriage and the word ‘wife’ is concerned, you can bet your bottom dollar they won’t be on my list of invites.