Altar-ing Expectations

At times like these, I feel like I have no choice but to send a public service announcement to everybody who knows me, and even to those who don’t.  It’s going to be blunt, even a little harsh, but I think it’s better to get it out this way so that we’re under no illusions going forward:

I’m getting married when I’m good and f**king ready.

See, my friends and family – either because of my previous romantic disasters or some well-meaning (if misguided) intent to see me happy – have this tendency lately to drop subtle (and not-so-subtle) hints that I should be getting married.  It’s a strange thing, reader; people think that women are the only ones subject to pressure to jump the broom, but that’s not always the case.  I can’t seem to get away from it – if it’s not my mother, it’s my father, or my older brother, or my crew, or Facebook friends, or co-workers. It got even worse when my lady and I went down to Barbados last week for Valentine’s Day.  Like we were gonna come back engaged or something.  How cliché do people think I am?  It’s a bit annoying.  Scratch that; it’s a lot annoying.

“C’mon, let’s get married already. It’ll be fun!”

I’m not averse to marriage, reader.  My parents believe in it even more than I do, if their combined six times down the aisle is any indication.  It’s not that I’m unsure about Amps, either.  We have much in common, get along very well, and are dedicated to each other’s happiness. The simple fact is when you get down to it, it’s a matter of timing.

Amps and I started dating at a time in our lives when we were just starting out.  Even though we were in our late twenties at the time, we were still not fully independent, though we were working towards it.  I think she has more progress to make in her goals than I do, and it would be best for her to put off matrimony until then.  For my own part, after twenty-eight years of living under my mother’s roof, it feels too liberating being on my own to just give it up and cohabit with a wife and children just yet.  But this is all too much to explain to people, so when I’m asked when I’m going to make an honest woman out of my girlfriend, I simply say, “In a few years.”

“B**ch, when I feel like it!”

Don’t get me wrong, reader.  I understand people’s anxiety and impatience to hear wedding bells.  When a couple seems to be going really well, marriage just seems to be the next logical step.  But that’s a big logical step, and not one that should be taken lightly.  Believe me, I know.  I’m a child of divorce, and I want to avoid that kind of pain at all costs; besides, it’s cheaper to keep her.

So consider this an open letter to friends, family, and complete strangers: I’m in no rush to get to the altar, so stop trying to drag me there.  It’ll happen when it happens.  I get it; Amps and I make a cute couple.  We get it all the time.  One day I will put a ring on it, but on my own time, not anyone else’s.  In fact, I’m making it a rule right now: anyone who asks me when I’m getting married has to buy a gift from the registry.