Six hours after arriving in my little holiday town this (last?) year, the two friends I had arrived with were beaming with pride, champagne, and a helluva lot of gleaming diamonds. Before I had even etched a bikini line into my holiday, my two travel partners were engaged.
We all (being the about ten families making up a raucous group of family friends who’ve always spent December together) were pretty certain that this was going to happen during the course of this particular holiday, but so fast….!
The one travel partner is an older-sister-type-material family friend I have spent my life growing up with. And her engagement signals the last of the female family friends of our generation to get hitched, all bar one. And that one being little old moi.
Considering my complete lack on interest in marriage at this moment in my life (Hell, as the fiancé pointed out, one needs to step into a relationship before one can start picking out (off-)white satin material and wedding venues) the joke of my female singledom was bandied about quite a bit. The boys were all happy to pass comments at any given opportunity without worrying that I would pummel them into oblivion through offence taken.
Queue windy day. “What’s that? The wind? Wow, listen to how hectically it is howling these days. Oh, must be the shelf getting draftier around you, Champs”.
They even developed a theme whistle.
What did worry me was when one quieter brother sat and pondered this idea for a good long time one drunken lunchtime, looked up and in a completely serious manner stated, “You know, it is actually time you got married”. I nearly choked on my gin. No no no. Don’t you start this either.
He then proceeded to interrogate the many people around the table about all the eligible bachelors they know. Age soon became lost as a criteria. I sat in shock, watching this spectacle play out as my “dear” brother attempted to marry me off.
Luckily, wealth still played a very important necessity; the brothers realised they don’t want to be supporting some good-for-nothing-bum-of-my-husband in later years.
No, don’t sigh, cause that sounds like the wind….and we all know how windy it already is up on that shelf at the geriatric age of 25!
Also on my side, saving me from being Mrs Champs by year’s end, my now-determined brother lives far far away, so I don’t see him proactively pursuing his new realisation. And if he does, I am in trouble, as he lives in a part of the world where monogamy hardly plays a part in a man’s wedding vows, but slavery forms a part of the woman’s.
What worries me is will he try to continue this “match making” from abroad and if so, who do I have to be keeping an eye on back in SA as his accomplices!
We also massively debated the issue of me keeping my surname one day (This is how far from marriage I still am. Sharing my identity just overwhelms me. I have spent twenty-five-plus years working damn hard to establish who I am. I don’t have the energy to do that all over again to another name!). The little brother is not keen for his “great” name to be linked to some other reprobate man’s children. sigh.
If ever you wanted a view into Victorian ideas & ways of living, forget the library or the History Channel, just come for lunch at my house!