My grandad brought my nanna her morning cuppa in bed every morning of their married life. It was a ritual that lasted from their honeymoon, right until the day she died.
My mother and father, as much as they yell and scream at each other, always go to bed and chat about their day. They discuss the weather, politics, and their children. I know because I would listen to them at night when I was a kid.
My friend, Kao, is planning her future in tandem with her boyfriend's, even though they've only been together seven months, and even though he's been on the other side of the world for the last five of those. She says she's sure because everything she wants, he is.
I've had love on my mind a bit lately. Between my aunt and uncle's rocky marrriage, friends saying 'I do' for all the wrong reasons, and a dodgy proposal by a friend desperate for an Australian Visa I guess I could be a bit cynical about the whole thing. But I'm not. I'm a romantic at heart, convinced that love - real love, not the stuff in movies - really does exist.
See, the thing is...well, I guess it's that if I don't believe, if I give in to the relentless notion that the heart-exploding, swept-off-my-feet, can't-breath-without-that-person love doesn't exist, then why play the game? And what about life without that comfortable, trackpants-and-no-make-up, cleaning-up-my-vomit, sharing-denture-cream, worn-in love. It's not worth the sacrifice, the energy, or the hurt. It's not worth saying no to a second helping of cake, watching movies I know I'll hate, waxing, shaving, bleaching, or tanning. It's not worth being polite to his obnoxious sister, dirty-minded father, or self-righteous mother. The whole relationship game becomes pointless. And so does everything that goes with it.
When my friend, let's call him Harry because it's suitably British, 'proposed' to me (whilst we were playing scrabble no less) I started thinking about what would make me enter into a fake marriage. How much cash would it take me to say yes? And the answer hit me immediately - none. I just wouldn't do it. It's not a matter of the illegality of the situation (although I'm sure that would have been the next issue), or the complete and utter rediculousness of the idea. It's simply about a promise.
Again, I'm a romatic. But I'm also a traditionalist, and firm believer in honouring your word. When you stand there and pledge forever, that's exactly what you're pledging - forever. Not 'until my visa comes through'. Not 'until I find a better offer'. Not 'until I get sick of you/you get fat'. Forever. For me marriage doesn't have an out, there's no escape clause. And I refuse to enter into it with anyone who believes there is. Because when (if) I do get married it will be forever, good or bad, for better or for worse. The poor sucker is stuck with me (and I with him) until death finally drags us apart.
I don't believe things can't be worked out. I don't believe there's a better option. If you once loved that person enough to promise them forever, then forever it is. And if you're not sure you can hang out til forever then for goodness sake don't get married. Don't do it to hide your sexual persuasion, or to please a pushy parent, or just because all your friends are doing it. And certainly don't do it just to get a visa. I mean, really? There's all sorts of problems with that.
I'm sure I probably sound like an uptight cow, preaching about the values of good old-fashioned Christian love. But I'm not. I'm just a girl who honestly believes that there's a guy out there just waiting to share forever with her. I guess you could say I believe in the Disney moment: