I’ve always been very vulnerable to the power of suggestion, so I should have guessed that the fact that people are always asking me if I’m married would eventually get to me. But somehow, it never really struck me until last week, when yet another person saw that my class ring, which has grown too big on my hand, had slipped around to look like a wedding ring. Suddenly, for the first time I thought: Gosh Darnit. Why aren’t I married?
The idea was marinating in my brain when I starting doing some math the next day. I realized, in looking back upon the years and adding them up, I’d never gotten over a significant other in less than two years. Maybe I read too much Tenneyson in high school, maybe I’m really stubborn. Either way, I’m on a path of slow recovery. (For instance, I don’t wake up hungover–I start getting hungover at 4pm.)
By my calculations, I won’t be ready to move on until my 28th birthday, in March, 2011. In the meantime, I live in SmugMaritalBlissVille (aka Park Slope) and I don’t really want to talk to anyone anyway. Why waste time courting if I know Old Love has got a hard-core half-life? Why not just be married?
I get that this idea is totally ridiculous, but that the fact that everyone I know or meet also thinks it’s horrific has only egged me on to pursue it. I knew that I had to go through with it when I arrived at my friend’s goodbye party at Hare Field Road in Williamsburg and announced my decision.
One of my more rational, sensitive friends furrowed her eyebrows. “Two years? Are you sure? On Sex and The City, don’t they say that the amount of time needed to recover from a break-up is half the time of the actual relationship?”
“Are you kidding me?!” I yelped. “If I was going to be taking advice from Sex and The City, I’d think I looked hot prancing around New York with 6 inches of dark roots. But we all know that’s not true.”
“Touche,” smiled my other friend. “But, you’re still going to meet men, just not nice men. [see Nerve’s piece on the dating service for married women.]”
“Whatever,” I scoffed. “I don’t date nice men.”
“Yes you do! Who was that guy who sat on my couch with you that time and hung out with us? He was really nice.'”
“Ex-Sig-Oth?” I sputtered. Groans went round the table. “He’s the one we’re trying to get over! He’s the reason I have to be married in the first place.” After that chat, I decided it was a good idea to go home, search the jewelry box of junk I’d had since childhood, and find an engagement ring, too.
Responses thereafter have been similarly incredulous/alarmed. Typical responses from male friends tend to be a disgusted, uncomfortable, “Just get over him already!” One person mocked slapped me in the face. My best friend from Israel, who I saw last night, didn’t really know what to say. “Wait…you’re actually going to pretend to be married…and…you’re going to advertise on it your blog that you’re married? That’s hilarious!”
“Yup,” I was feeling good. “And then in two years I can be done.”
A cloud came over his face. “RB, if you are still wearing that fake wedding ring in a month, I am going to be seriously worried about you, ok? You’re going to be in cat lady territory.”
“Fine. I could be a cat lady.”
“Do you even like cats?”
“Um…not that much.”
“I rest my case.”
One person did tell me she thought it was funny, and since I think she is really funny, I decided hers was the only approval I needed. So I’m going to with it. I figure that, according to my nature, I will be able to keep this up until people stop telling me I’m completely insane for doing so. Or until my 28th birthday, whatever comes first.