The Holidays Make Me Want to Elope

28 Dec

 

Holiday vacation has convinced me of the need to elope.

I can’t tell you how many times in the past several days I have been asked the date, time, and specific logistics surrounding a marriage that has, in fact, not yet been discussed by Dave and I.  There were a slew of examples, but suffice it to say that the straw that broke the Jackie’s back was when my 12-year-old cousin was visiting us today and said “You’re the outsider.  Everyone is married and has a baby.  You aren’t even married yet.

Emphasis hers.

As you may imagine, this came as the caboose on a very long train of marriage questions I endured throughout the holiday vacation.  In a rather comedic turn of events, I realized for the first time this past weekend that Dave has a slew of grandmothers.  His family believes that you divorce a person, not a family, and thus has continued to welcome all once-members with open arms in a rather unique display of love.  As a result, he has no less than six grandmothers.  In fact, when I asked him to confirm my count, he replied, “yeah, that sounds about right”, indicating that perhaps he has even lost track.

And those are just his.

Think about that.  Really think about what it would be like to repeat the conversation you have with your grandmother each holiday several different times with several different grandmothers of varying moods, characters, and sizes.  How two people can be dating for four years and still not tied the knot eludes most anyone over the age of 60 and it’s bound to come up eventually.  At one point following a substantial intake of wine, I recall having my entire wedding planned before my very eyes.  Something like two locations, two states, and a neighbor’s backyard.  I also recall the words “pig roast”.

I don’t even have a ring on my finger.

Not that I mind that my hand is sans shiny bauble – I rather enjoy living like Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn.  Dave and I tend to think of it as if we have our entire lives to be married and our entire lives to have a kid, but only right now to be dating.  And we rather like it at the moment.  Anything further isn’t really anyone’s business in my opinion.  But nonetheless, opinions come in the form of pig roasts.

And so I’ve decided that when the time comes, David and I might be better off eloping.  Brides have a hard enough time settling in to their wants for the day without catering to others in medium-sized families.  Can you imagine the tug-of-war to be had with a family large enough to have an indefinite number of grandmothers roaming the earth?  Besides, I’d say the cost of even a modest wedding would easily hit a price point over that of say, a trip to Barcelona. We could hop a plane, do the deed, hang around for the honeymoon, and come back to whatever backyard barbecues anyone pleases, so long as they’re the ones handling the stress and cost.

I think it sounds like a solid plan.  Of course, now I’ve gone and planned everything out without the shiny bauble to provoke it. 

It appears the grandmothers have won after all. 

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14 Responses to “The Holidays Make Me Want to Elope”

  1. mistressofpoetry December 29, 2011 at 12:46 am #

    Dear Jackie,

    What the grandmothers fail to realize or accept, and what the plain truth of the matter is, is that times have changed. What was once the norm is no longer as much of a norm as it is a 50/50 chance. People are starting to make their own decisions, wait longer, or just skip the drama of a potential marriage/nasty divorce and just live their lives in perpetual dating/chosen singleness, and living happier without the self-imposed pressure that makes them feel obligated to tie the knot. After 2 failed marriages myself, I can honestly see why this is happening. Recent news articles I have come across state the same – that only about 50 percent of people in the U.S. are married (if I got my numbers right from memory). I for one plan on enjoying being single again, so that I can live my life on my own terms. Should a relationship, or heaven forbid, another marriage come along, it will probably be a while or at least of my own, eyes-wide-open recognizance, and even then it will be after a great deal of healing from the marriage I just left a few months back.

    So don’t let the grandmothers pressure you into doing something you’re just not ready to do, or steal the beauty of dating while you’re oh-so-enjoying it. Little girls are still trained to think they have to marry and have kids by those who haven’t seen the wisdom in waiting until ready. You seem to have a pretty good thing going and shouldn’t ruin it with pressure for either of you. It should be a mutual decision when the time comes, so just enjoy your wonderful relationship in the here and now. It seems that there are currently no regrets at any rate. I wish you all the happiness your current situation gives you, cause it seems you’ve got a really good guy. I only wish I could have had it as good as you do, but we’ll see what the future holds. For now, I’m just going to enjoy life and starting fresh, but I’ll keep my options open, too. 😉

    Like

    • Jer December 29, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

      The number of married couples between ages 30 and 84 averages to about 60%, actually.

      Like

      • Lori December 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

        Actually, the number of currently married PEOPLE between the ages of 30-84 is about 60%. But don’t forget that the number of currently divorced people ages 30-84 is about 14%, and some of those who are currently married are previously divorced.

        I think the 50% number comes from the fact that about 50% of marriages eventually end in divorce, thought I’d have to track down the citation on that.

        Like

      • mistressofpoetry December 29, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

        Hmm yeah I think you guys are probably right on that. Still, 60% married means that there are a lot of people who are NOT married, whether by choice or circumstance. And what with the high percentage of divorce, it’s no wonder a lot of people decide not to take that leap. It’s just darn expensive to get a divorce. I wonder what things will be like in say, another 30 years.

        Like

    • Lori December 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

      Well, it means that the remaining population between the ages of 30-84 (which is 26%) are never married, widowed, or married, spouse not present (which means separated).

      Like

    • Jackie December 31, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

      Thank you so much for the support and the discussion this spawned as well 🙂

      Like

  2. Ro December 29, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    I’m right there with you. Our friends and families have been fine, I guess ’cause they understand that we’re pretty much just chillin’ where we’re at (plus they know that he takes his good old time doing just about anything). Other people, though- Sheesh! I get harassed on a weekly basis. The janitor at the school I work with, the guy who comes by every few months to spray the office… Oh yes. And today I’m going to become an aunt because my kid sister is having a baby. My LITTLE sister, who I’m pretty sure was twelve last time I checked (she’s actually 23). Thankfully I have enough unmarried, childless peers to help me not feel like some kind of freak but being a twenty-something sure is a pain. There are just too many expectations, and it’s hard not to feel like you’re doing something wrong, especially when you’re an old maid by my family’s standards! Oh well, I have long since come to terms with my inevitable fate. I will either become the rat lady or take after my grandmother and her boyfriend- “happily unmarried for 26 years.”

    Like

    • Jackie December 31, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

      “There are just too many expectations, and it’s hard not to feel like you’re doing something wrong…”

      Yes. All around, yes. and LOL at “Rat Lady”

      Like

  3. pegoleg December 29, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    I think the Barcelona plan sounds fab, but of course that’s up to you!

    Like

    • Jackie December 31, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

      Doesn’t it? Marry, hang out. Easy. But there’s regret and guilt and the matter of finding a priest and a location in a foreign country 😉

      Like

  4. thesinglecell December 29, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    As someone who never brings a guy to any family function, I can still identify. Though I don’t get questions aloud, I know they wonder to themselves and each other. And I, too, have considered eloping, should I ever find The One. There are so many reasons to go that route. If the Six Fiery Grandmothers don’t guilt you from here to eternity for not including them in your special day. Good luck with New Year’s Eve!

    Like

    • Jackie December 31, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

      It makes so much more sense financially, too. I suppose the only thing that would hold me back is the fear that someday I would regret not doing the full thing. And guilt for not giving the experience to family I guess. Ugh.

      Like

  5. Amy Stutznegger December 29, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    This is when you start making up stories… if you spent a month in Spain studying the guitar, nobody cares that you aren’t married yet. Works like a charm 🙂

    Like

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