02 September, 2006

Aisle bet

Two people in my office at work have just got engaged, and have been subjecting all and sundry to their hopes and plans for their respective marriage ceremonies.

They're not engaged to each other, let me make that clear, but in a way that has made things even worse seeing as how the rest of us have to sit through twice as much nuptial nattering as would otherwise be the case.

It always depresses me when somebody I know, be it a friend or colleague, declares their forthcoming intention to head up the aisle. It's not that I'm depressed for them, far from it; rather I can't help but end up feeling sorry for myself as yet another person ostensibly of my "age" has got their life into enough of an order to want to "settle down" by way of committing themselves legally to spending the rest of days with somebody else. I can't help but compare their fortunes with my own - or rather, their confidence and security and self-assurance with my own.

I also have to confess to being somewhat surprised as to how fashionable and popular marriage appears to have become once again. I thought ours was the generation that wasn't going to have anything to do with that nonsense of till death us do part, let alone doing it so early on.

Perhaps that misconception is erroneous. Most, but not all, people I know over 30 (and granted that's not many) are either married or in intensely long-term relationships which might very well end up in knots being tied before too long. Equally most people I know under 30 (ditto) are similarly settled, albeit with not such grand designs for the future nor such a feeling of settlement about them.

One of the websites I write for has witnessed, amongst its staff, a wedding once a year for almost the past five years. What began way back as something being written and edited solely by a bunch of single (well, unmarried) blokes, for whom it was the principle thing in their lives, has changed utterly both in status and priority. I'm now in the minority by dint of being wholly unattached - and also by still, uncoincidentally, having just as much time to spend on the site as I've ever done.

Ah well. I guess it's like any kind of gang anywhere in the world: there comes a point when everybody grows up.


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