My *** burns in the feminist hall of shame because I want to be called someone’s girl.

Vanessa Hidary, The Hebrew Mamita

On my Twitter timeline this morning, iCon asked a simple but profound question. I’m sure I took it completely out of context, since I’m known for overthinking things, and I can psychoanalyze a loaf of  bread. But it shook me badly, because my response was automatic.

If I knew I would not fail, and I was guaranteed that he would say yes, I would find the man of my dreams and ask him to marry me.

I realize that’s completely lame because I don’t really believe in God or marriage. I don’t know happy couples, and every time I say, ‘What about so-and-so?’ they go and change their relationship status.

I know a lot of functional marriages, where people make things work and thrive without divorce or murder. They respect each other, raise honest kids, survive the empty nest, and manage to be friends. Some even learn to love each other and to keep that love alive. They make a commitment to each other and let things slide to keep it.

But I don’t want a functional marriage. I don’t want the kind of unions that I heard about on Maina Kageni’s show on Monday. I want a happy marriage, one that makes me smile every morning when I wake up next to him, and one that makes me want to hug him even as I yell and cry about the ish he did. I want to be with a man that loves me and lets me love him back. Emphasis on let because I’m terribly clingy.

But then again, I also want a man who doesn’t like strippers, lap dances, blow jobs, porn, or king sized cakes. Also, he has to accept my daughter, not have any children of his own, and not want to have any children. With me. Or anyone else. I refuse to be the evil sexy stepmother. In exchange for mutual sterilization, he will receive delighted conjugation at least five times a day. Morning glory is a guaranteed added bonus if he gets me up early enough. He will accept, despite his consternation, that while I may be good in bed, I rarely clean … and hardly ever cook.

He will never lie or cheat. Never ever ever ever ever ever! Unless I ask him if I look fat. He has to be nice. And sensitive. And straight.  He will refrain from flirting or straddling women in public [and also in private], because I’m super possessive, passive aggressive, jealous … and I like to break things.

Yes, I’m taking lessons in art, sculpture, animation, and alchemy so I can build him out of straw.

Speaking of Maina Kageni’s show, I need an iPod or something. Listening to Maina’s callers in morning traffic is some form of Chinese torture. You know that episode of Sheep In The Big City where he’s chained to a collar? If he tries to escape, his ears are attacked with easy listening music. That’s like really annoying pipe music, the kind they play in lifts.

If you made me Sheep and put Classic Breakfast on my collar, I would stay in that collar even if we had tsunamis, volcanoes, and atomic bombs combined. I keep wanting to smash my head on the window, jump out, and just walk the rest of the way. But clearly, I am alone. Otherwise, his show wouldn’t air in every single PSV. The term Matatu FM was aptly coined.

Back to the point. I’ve decided I’m not built to be a girlfriend. My conclusion is a defense mechanism. After all, the man I want doesn’t exist, I don’t want to settle for anything less, and I don’t want to get hurt again. So I decided I would pose as a married lesbian and refuse to believe in relationships.

I’ve been talking to my married friends, smiling politely and saying that I’m happy for them – and I am – then listing all the reasons why it wouldn’t work for me. Yet even as I list them, I daydream about cuddling my dream love on a couch, having him rub my feet, hanging out at the beach, talking about everything and nothing, doing the dishes together, or simply playing Strip Scrabble.

I envy women who know exactly what they don’t want, because they have solid opinions that will not be swayed. There is such immense joy in being a true rebel … you know, as opposed to just sounding like one and having purple hair. Me, I’m just afraid I’d suck at marriage, so I’m happy not to try. Besides, I was married once … well … sort of. Common-law-come-we-stay-what-what. It didn’t end well.

I pretend to be a feminist – when it suits me. Mostly, it’s because people assume that I’m one and I don’t feel the need to argue. I’ve had guys tell me I’m an ummarriable, and one suggested that I need a wife, so to them, the shoe fits. Besides, how do I explain that while I pay my own bills and ask guys out when I want to, I would still like a man to take care of me? It’s not that he has to, or needs to, or even that I expect him to. It’s that I want him to want to. I want him to protect me and shield my heart, because that’s what a real man does. I want him to stand next to me as I live my dream, ask for my help when he needs it, and hold me to keep all the bad things out. And I want him to do that while accepting that I will never have his children.

See why it’s easier to just denounce marriage?

Sometimes I have myself convinced that I don’t want anybody. After all, I love my life, I have no pangs about Valentines Day, and I’ve become quite efficient in the art. Sometimes, I’m even more efficient without … um … phallic guidance. I like my space and freedom, I’m scared of in-laws, and I don’t want to be told how to spend ‘our money’. My baby’s almost ten, so I have no bio-clock issues, and the folks aren’t complaining, so it’s not like I’m missing anything. I’m not against marriage. It’s perfectly fine – for other people. I’m happy with my life, and with being single. Sure, I could use a lot more money, but I really wouldn’t mind being a hot old maid.

Yet when I’m asked about the one thing I would do if I was guaranteed I’d win, I think of being a bride and living happily ever after. I know there are fights and disagreements, and that sometimes people want to sleep on the couch or be somewhere else, but I just want to be the girl he’s mostly happy to come home to. I’m sure I’d make a lousy wife, but in my deepest parts, I still want to see him grinning at me as I walk down the aisle in my little red dress, bopping my head to Canon Rock. Since the thought came so automatically, it must be really important to me, and I think that’s really sad. I blame it entirely on Walt Disney.

166 thoughts on “To marry … ?

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