My sweet boyfriend Patrick and I have been together for four years this June. We’ve managed to tick off a lot of coupley-type things in that time; living together, a quick jaunt overseas, a joint savings account, buying our first home, adopting our two pups, pretty consistent banter about who’s turn it is to put the doona cover on or buy the food on takeaway night, etc.
The next steps seem pretty obvious- if we’re down for spending the next 70+ years together, and we decide that there’s no one we’d rather get jiggy with, wake up next to or split bills and wine between, we’ll probably get married, have some kids and keep on keepin’ on with the adult stuff.
That’s right- we know what the deal is.
So why are we constantly and unwaveringly asked when we’re going to get engaged?
I don’t bloody know! I feel like that’s kind of the point- the whole surprise thing is part of the fun.
Are you asking because you think we might not have considered it? It’s probably crossed out minds at least one of the other seventeen times it’s been asked at this family reunion.
Are you asking us so that you can suss out the strength of your own relationship? Rude.
Are you asking us so that you can suss out the strength of our relationship? Rude and strange- just bloody ask and we’ll tell you (honestly) that we’re golden.
Are you asking him because you reckon you might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, that all the peer pressure will make him rush out and drop a coupla K on a ring and book a hot air balloon ride stat? I don’t know about you, but the more I’m asked to do something that I’m planning on doing at some point anyway, the more it feels like a chore and I look forward to it less.
Are you asking me because you think I’m blissfully unaware of the pressure society (still) places on women to be ‘good enough’ to ‘wife’? Hint: I’m not. Every time someone asks when we’ll be getting hitched, or when I’m expecting to be expecting to be asked, and I throw back my head and I laugh like it’s an interesting and charming question, what I hear is:
‘why aren’t you engaged yet?’
‘do you even care about commitment?’
‘aren’t you wife material? are your shirts too low cut? don’t you do the dishes after you cook dinner? well, why the hell not, he’s been working hard all day and deserves to put his feet up and watch the television- that’d put me off, too!’
‘if he likes it, then he should put a ring on it. if not, then nah- you know it’s a silly thought, but it’s in your head now, right?’
‘you should think about this before you fall asleep, and start to wonder these things yourself. why aren’t you? not pretty enough? not domesticated? not worth the cash or the emotional investment? dig deep, girlfriend- think really, really hard.’
What I’d like to ask you, is if you’d ask us or any other couple the questions above. If your answer is ‘good heavens no!’, I’d a) like to tell you I love the way you speak all fancy-like and b) like to gently let you in on the fact that you almost are.
I promise not to ask you how many times you poop a week, if you ever pick your nose or how much cash is in your bank account and pretend like they’re just conversation points if you stop asking us the personal questions, too. Please, ask about how our dogs are going- we’ll chat about that all day.