Thursday, January 04, 2007

Theme of the past holiday – THE Shelf

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!


Anonymous said...

As one of your dear friends said

I hate thinking that I am a statistic, but I am. Married and divorced in 1 year (although we did live together for 7 years before that). The baby thing really was the last straw for him. I think marriage actually might have been too.

Today, I am simply 1 in a million.

Champagne Heathen said...

Linkerish Guinnie - are you trying to say I am just 1 in a million of girls having their brothers trying to marry them off?? Well, outside of Asia at least.

I know. It is why I am hesitant about marriage.

I see you are spreading your links across the blogosphere!

Anonymous said...

It's overrated. Never ever get married because you're concerned that you may just be left on the shelf. Don't ever bow down to social pressure on this one either 'cause when it goes wrong, it's really ugly.
And anyway, you're hardly the kind of person that will.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comment Guiness Pig.

Anonymous said...

Champers, I hear you loud and clear. I have been relegated to Bridget Jones status in my household. Luckily for me, I have two younger sisters to wed off first, so it takes a little strain off me.

Here's to a long happy shelf life!

Anonymous said...

Champs, you are one in a million regardless of what asian country you might be married off to.

A little off topic, but then I am spreading links across the blogoshpere.

Anonymous said...

Jam fully agree with you. Besides, what is the rush to get married? Is is because all the (unhappy) married people want to "share the joy".

Besides people tend to get married later these days
The US:

That all said, when you meet the right person.....having feard marriage most of my life. Then again maybe it was not the right person. Two to tango and all that.

Champagne Heathen said...

Jam - Exactly. I don't think I am a person who will ever be too phased. I haven't set out a life plot specifically so I do not follow goals that actually do not suit me.

Plus as long as you good friends stick around I should be just fine!

Insanes - ha ha, but NOooooo. Sorry for you! Being the 1st girl, you have to be wed off before the youngers ones. According to Bible and Victorian lore! But yes, cheers to good company on The Shelf!

Guinnie - Aaaah, thanks! I'm taking that as 1 in a million in a good way!

Brilliant link that. Fascinating topic. Might have to do a SA version soon.

As for the rush; I think what my 1 bro was realising was women might have a tick in their wombs. He started talking about me being able to be a mom & all one day. He had the right intentions, in a weird twisted way.

You have to meet someone where you want to spend your lives together, till a bluddy long time. And even when you do, it doesn't mean you have to get hitched to prove this.

# 302 said...

"Marriage is when we admit that our parents were right...marriage is when we admit that our parents maybe right."

I guess striving for a 'marriage of minds' should suffice, you can always leap into it next year.

Anonymous said...

Champs, one in a million ment most certainly in a good way.

As for the ticking clock, at a 1/4 century you still have plenty of time. As for the argument of being old parents, I think that the kids age you. How many single 30+ year olds do you know that still act like kids ;-)

Marriage also does not really have to last for ever. Nothing ever does, so why put all the pressure on? Its the journey really, as long as everyone is having fun, and the hurt is kept the the neccessary (hurt is part of life) and not malicious.

Champagne Heathen said...

Numero - next year!! That is only 12 months away! Thanks but no thanks. Let's just not put time and me and LONG-term commitment anywhere near each other, and then I can sit back and relax with a smile!

Guinnie - now to just make myself a great one in a few Billion (how many people live in this world anyway?) and I'll be close to success!

You're preaching to the choir about kids/age/life being a journey etc. But next time the one bro is in town you & him can sit and debate this!

I don't know too many 30+ acting as kids, but I do know quite a few who try to believe they still are (and so can still handle it like )experimenting hooligan 19 year olds! Speaking of's your liver today?

Anonymous said...

Ok, lets say you one in six billion.

As for the world population:
or my fave as always :-)

Which one of my livers are you asking about? Four are great, the other two need a bit of TLC. Now where is that Guinness?

Champagne Heathen said...

So I'm just like the other .5 billion people around then??

That population clock is freaking me out. Aaaah. Just stop ticking, Pop Clock!!! Surely it should be going down every once in awhile. People die too.

6 livers now? You been busy drugging, icing people in a bath, and posting their kidneys & eyes off to the Muti Market then??

Anonymous said...

Can't seem to win with you. You are special damn it!, does not matter how many in many :-)

Agreed, the clock is freaky. It is only a prediction though, but think of how many people die vs. get born. i.e. How many people do you know that die and then howmany do you know with kids (usually more than one).
Barr the odd tsunami etc. it is probably quite accurate.

The muti market is quite bullish at the moment. Need the money, don't I owe you a drink still?

Champagne Heathen said...

Guinnie - aaaah, thanks! Very sweet of you to many times!

How did this convo move from me being married off to population explosions? How many kids are you thinking I am going to be popping out when I finally get hitched!?!?

Yes, when this country has finally detoxed, you owe me a drink. So start saving! said...

Mexico. Here I come.

Champagne Heathen said...

Rob - Mexico?? Why?

Because it is a country where they marry the girls off to non-monogamous men?

Or cause you are scared that I actually am terrified of being left on the shelf & so now am seeing all men as potential hubbies, and you figure Mexico is the best place to hide till I get over the Shelf-Issue???

But, either way, have a tequila with some worm for me!

Anonymous said...

Well there clearly must be a link between marriage, population explosion and being drugged in a bath of ice water.

"How many kids are you thinking I am going to be popping out" combine this with resolution #2, and things can get really interesting.

“One of the most poisonous chemicals that many people will encounter this time of year is alcohol. However, even if you drink an almost lethal dose of alcohol (which I don’t recommend) your liver will clear it in 36 hours without any assistance from detox tablets."

Champagne Heathen said...

There definitely is a link between marriage, pregnancy, and Champers druggeing herself into a bath of water!

Hey! The HIV Peer Counsellor in this room would like to point out that I know my contraception! There will be NO children as a result of Resolution #2!

Guinnie - I am sure they are talking about a healthy liver being able to clean it out that fast. Plus, look, its a UK site. They are in complete denial there about how much the average person can and does really drink!

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ about the UK not knowing what drinking is
See the section on United Kingdom :-)

Contraception. Yip IMHO it is much better to practice making kids than actually having them. I even heard that it is much better if there is another person involved. Must try that some time. said...

" figure Mexico is the best place to hide till I get over the Shelf-Issue???..."

Yeah well no but yeah I said no but yeah well OK if that's what it is but I never said that right but yeah no................

Yes. Runaway, runaway - a woman is on the prowl.....!

# 302 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
# 302 said...

# 302 said...
you've 'leaped' to the wrong conclusion. next year you get to make the offers.

still it's hardly something to worry about is it? even though other people appear to be doing a tad of it on your behalf.

anyway as g. dariaux points out: me - this particular word should be forgotten on the steps of the church in which you have just been married.

hurrah for remembering me.

john dodds said...

Another lunch invitation? My subterfuge is working in spades don't you think?

Champagne Heathen said...

Guinnie - no, they know how to drink, but I reckon their authorities are still in denial about this!

Yes, I have heard rumours that group practice, even if just in a pair, hightens the experience. But it just sounds far too kinky for me!

Rob - *smack* Next thing you'll also be whistling that dumb "tune" the guys this holiday developed.

Numero - OH! Is next year a Leap Year? Excellent to know that I have the control then!

You're going to Paris!!! Man, oh man. I am jealous!

John - ha ha! Typical marketer to read everything said by the consumer victim as directed & copywritable by them! Yes, you can have lunch with my family, as long as you don't help them whistle that dumb "Shelf" tune!

john dodds said...

worse than that _ i've also met the girl with a one track mind in person! I am nothing if not thorough.

# 302 said...

sorry, been having problems with the hardware (the laptop - da'cord).

yes, paris in printemps, should be good. almost got there last year but they moved the team meeting to edinburgh because it clashed with Fashion Week - mmhm - that's bid bad oil and gas for you.

anyway still need to get it approved internally which i hope will happen and then i need to practice those french verbs again.

and what's all of this victorian prudence about? is it so terrible you're being a 'modern' in thought and deed.

didn't think so, perhaps tis time to make peace with it and to swiftly move along to the next tanqueray and soda.

Champagne Heathen said...

John - you were thorough with GWAOTM?!?! Now that is impressive!

Numero - the victorian prudence...just my big brothers trying to do what they think is best for their little sis!

Good luck with getting to dear old Paris, and be sure to give it bisous from me!