"We took the long and steady road." - Mayer Hawthorne, A Strange Arrangement
It comes in those in-between times. In the elevator or walking to a meeting. Crossing paths on the way to the bathroom or at lunch. From the women, it's this bright smile and hearty congratulations. From the men, it's a firm handshake and a clasp on the shoulder. In both their eyes, there's this acknowledgment. They are about to bring me in to the fold. It's as if I've spoken the secret code word and it is now time to learn the secret handshake and the peculiar rules of our organization.
As they begin giving me advice about getting married—whether it be about the wedding itself or general life advice about relationships and couple-dom—I, without fail, get this vision in my head of myself going through clandestine rites of passage as I join this cult: the cult of the marrieds. And while I appreciate all the advice and such, I can't help but smirk at it all.
You'll forgive me, Marrieds, if I don't immediately jump at the chance to follow in your footsteps and do what you've done. I realize that marriage and partnering is a common occurrence but, please, I'd like to think of us as different and unique for awhile.
I'm not ready to join the cult.
Oh, I'm ready to be married. I'm just not ready to be lumped in with the lot of you.
I have a confession to make: Hey, you Marrieds? Most of you, I've been judging you from my high horse of singledom. I laugh at your compromises and mini-vans and in-law stories and whatever. I know there are great joys that come with these other things but over here? We drink champagne when we thirstay.
So, you know, don't feel bad if I cut short your litany of things to think about or your queries about who is going to move and if we'll have kids and what the ceremony is going to be like or blah-blah-blah marriage-cakes.
Oh, and also, to my single friends, please don't presume I'm a Married yet. I haven't quite connected to the hive mind. Neither my politics nor my view of the world has changed much by my intentions to wed.
I'm still quietly mocking the cult even as I slowly begin to accept that I will become a member.
This is how Scientology gets you, too, isn't it?
Update: Tiffany's take.