Despite the fact that I’ve never had a relationship longer than nine months and that one was with a 15-year-old boy, I still believe in love. I believe in the love of friends and family and despite all evidence against, I believe that I will someday meet a man who will make my life even better. Even with this hope, when I imagine the future, it generally involves a goat farm and some really cute babies, but I’ve blurred out the vision of that burly be-flanneled man of my dreams. It seems that even though I will meet a guy and tell my friends, “I think I can be with this guy for more than a few months! Yay!” A week or a month later, I’m already washing my hands of another false start. It’s not like I can’t relate to or love men, but all my closest relationships are to ex-boyfriends. It’s for this reason that I’ve set up marriage promises. Lots of them.
Not only have I ensured that I’ve got a fall-back plan, but in the likely case that some of them get married before I do, I’ve got fall-backs for the fall-backs. I guess the romantic comedy thing to do is make one promise, but I’ve always been told not to put all my eggs in one basket and this seems like one of those situations where you really don’t want to get your eggs left behind. So I’ve got a bunch of baskets sitting all around the country, living their basket-y lives until the fateful day when our promises go into effect and these eggs get theirs.
The first promise goes into effect when one of the gents is 27 years old. The guy is a cousin to my second longest-running relationship. When I was 18 years old, he told me in a love letter that I was as cool as little Pete. We met on a double date to junior prom and silly danced all night, much to our respective dates’ dismay. He’s tall, dark, handsome and funny. He’s also super skinny, which will hopefully give my offspring better odds of not being busty plumpsters. One day in Rose Park in Santa Fe, we entwined pinkies and promised that if neither of us found “the one,” we would make it work. We’ve made out a few times and he sent me off to college with a care package full of children’s books and explicit pornography. He’s totally going to marry someone else.
My second promise was to the aforementioned 15-year-old boy, who is now a 24-year-old man, still four years younger than me, which was a huge scandal in high school. I was a cougar before I’d even graduated. This one has matured into a fantastic man and a great friend. He also has a super beautiful girlfriend and another seven years until he is contractually obligated to marry me. And by contractually obligated, I mean we shook hands on it. I feel like we could made a good go of it, but he’s gonna get snapped up.
I didn’t make a formal promise with my male best friend Alex, but we’ve joked about joining in a “love-less marriage” sometime after I become a millionaire … which I think he’s under the impression will happen after my parents die. What he doesn’t know is that when I’m a millionairess, I can pay people to love me! But seriously, I’m really hoping one of the first two work out before I have to be “love-less” and marry anyone who doesn’t want me for the right reasons.
I made a fourth promise this Christmas holiday when my best friend Saskia told me that I should marry one of her brothers so that we may be “sisters forever!” I assured her that I didn’t need to be betrothed to her bros to hang out with her for life, but a few mugs of glögg later and I was making deals. In truth, I was angling for her younger brother until I found out that he was still a teenager so now I have to marry her older brother Rembrandt when I am 37 years old. This is a decade away. Somehow it is comforting to know that I won’t have to start over with a new family who won’t understand my quirks and at least on family vacations, I will have my best friend by my side!
For some reason, all the man-boys that I grew up with only become increasingly endearing. Maybe there is something to getting to know someone over the course of a lifetime and I have just been too quick to dismiss every flaw? Maybe all the men in my dating pool are doing the same thing I’m doing and while we’re dismissing people, those who gave each other a chance are falling deeper in love. Maybe making promises of marriage in the future is my own way of ensuring the continuation of my species. But if my species is made up of un-dateable jerks, maybe there shouldn’t be more of me? Just kidding. Sort of.
Do you have any fall-back marriage promises in your future? Are you secretly hoping they work out?