Gen is Engaged.

We knew it would happen, we just didn’t think it would be that quickly. It’s perfect, thought, absolutely perfect.

That makes me last. I am fairly comfortable with that. I’m a naturally late bloomer and I like it best when I see others go through things first. I watch and learn. The only thing I’ve ever been first at was my mom dying. Not a fun first.

I know I am bucking tradition by thinking of not getting married. It’s a socially ingrained thing, after all. You grow up, you get educated, or a job, or both. You get married. You’re married and then…wait for it…you have kids. It’s like you step on someone else’s treadmill of expectations, throw out the birth control, and >shazam!< your life is not your own anymore. In olden times, like, oh, say, fifty years ago, your life, as a female, belonged to your husband and your children. But first and foremost, your husband: I’m sorry, you huge roiling knot of potential, you have a vagina. Stop dreaming of winning a science prize and learn to cook a meatloaf.

That’s not the way it is today, but now if we get married, will it look like we’re doing it just because everyone else is? E pointed this out this morning. Also noted: He wants something low-key and quite private. Okay. But a lot of me still wonders: Why even bother?

It’s the ‘grown up’ thing to do. But it’s also a deeply entrenched personal minefield for me. There’s the whole ceremony thing and reception and whatever, and it would mean that my neo-conservative rellies from Washington State will meet the Broadway crew. Speaking of them, there are some of them I don’t really want to invite. How do you do that and not be rude? Also, every bride I speak to says it was a really rushed day (except for Hazel, who lives in Bristol, and was too hungover to worry much about events on the day itself) Plus, my father, whose secret X-Men power is being rabidly antisocial, will have to hang out with people. Plus, does he bring his girlfriend, whom I’ve met once, and is approximately five years older than E? Like I know. Plus, where to have it? The backyard of my parents’ house? Maybe not big enough. Renting a frigging venue? I know nothing about it. Again, more money. I don’t really need a meringue dress, and I’d be happy wearing one that is currently in my closet. It’s not from the House Gallery, as my 16-year-old dreams once dictated, but since these melons on my person grew to be D-cups, House Gallery makes me look like an Elizabethan tavern wench. Another dream crushed by my rampaging mammaries. But I digress.

Then there’s the issue of “The Big Day” itself. Sure, the wedding day is the day you’re legally creating a partner. (Because all those negotiations and discussions and buying the foods the other person likes even if you don’t and spending half the night up because the other person is ill and needs you doesn’t create a partnership?) If you’re religious, you’re cementing your union in the eyes of God or Allah or even just the congregation. But why would this day be ‘The Most Special Day of my Life”? Because I’ve finally snagged a man? I’m finally shrugging off the Scarlet Mantle of Whoredom and becoming ‘an honest woman’, just as he’s becoming ‘an honest man’? Give it a rest.

Rationally I know that I am as capable of doing anything as a married woman as I am as a ’ single’ one. One day, I am going to kick down a door while wearing shitkicker boots. Marital status doesn’t matter. I’ll probably save someone’s life again; Statistics suggest it. Ditto marital status. Get published? Ditto. Go back to Wales and fall in love? Not so much, but I can live with that. E would like Wales, if I could ever get him on a plane. The people are funny and kind, and only sometimes do they bomb deserted holday trailer parks. Plus, the whole country is bemusingly small. But, again with the digressions. Marriage? Too confusing for me right now.

In other news, I am going to Regina for Christmas. It’s so cold there that you can’t even make a snowman with the snow. What kind of crap is that? E’s mysterious brother might or might not be there. (Oh, his marriage failed sometime last year. E’s parents told us.)

But what the hell. We’re going. It’s time to stop trying to be my mother. Someone else can make the goddamned shortbread this year.

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