All the political talk about same-sex marriage has got you thinking about it, hasn’t it? Marriage is in the air this summer, tempting us with its lure of the forbidden and historical social approval all tied into one confusing package.
Few people will tell you the reasons to avoid marriage. Your parents are no help and the wedding industry will embrace your money with open arms. Even politicians who try to deny us marriage just make it sound more enticing. But legally welding your life with another person’s is a bit like pushing pennies into an electrical outlet. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. If you do, watch out for the sparks.
1. Marriage is just one extra step on the road to the end.
Traditionally lesbians on the verge of a breakup used to buy a house and go into therapy together. Now you’re going to have to get married, buy a house and then go into therapy before ditching each other.
You: [Having breakfast in bed] We haven’t had sex in a while. Maybe we should get married.
Girlfriend: Shouldn’t we go into therapy or something?
You: No. Therapy is what lesbians do just before they break up. I don’t think marriage has such a bad track record.
You: Hey, why don’t we buy a house together, too?
Girlfriend: Isn’t it hard to divide a house when you break up?
You: That’s going to take two or three years at least. There’s still plenty of time to pay down the mortgage.
2. Marriage isn’t the only way to get legal recognition and tax benefits.
After years of being told not to flaunt our lifestyle, we’re now in a position to get money just for having queer sex. When does that ever happen outside of making a porn video? Except with marriage, you tell the photographer where to stand, as opposed to the other way around.
Government: Are you having sex with anyone in an ongoing kind of way?
You: I lick this woman like a lollipop and then we… hey, is that too much information?
Government: Not at all. You now qualify for a massive tax refund.
You: Do I have to have the big ceremony to get this, or can I just sign myself up as a common-law spouse?
Government: Most people have a choice, but you have to get married.
You: Why me?
Government: Because your mother keeps calling and calling. I try to tell her that common-law status is just as good, but she keeps calling it “living in sin.” She also claims that by forcing a poor, old woman to lie sleepless at night worrying about her daughter, her arthritis is acting up terribly and it’s our fault for gallywagging around on the marriage bill. Now everyone in Parliament is afraid to answer the phone.
You: I know the feeling. But, have we agreed that having regular sex with another girl qualifies me for a variety of tax advantages?
Government: That’s right.
You: Okay, I also made out with this other girl at a party last year. It was kind of a mercy kissing because she was depressed and I was wondering what kind of charitable receipt I might get.
Government: Don’t push your luck.
3. Marriage is all about social approval, which is an impressive freight train to watch from a distance, but not so fun when it starts heading in your direction.
Mom: Do I hear wedding bells?
You: Mom! Whoa! How did you get in the house?
Mom: The son of a friend of mine works for the moving company and he let me in. I was so excited to hear that you two girls are moving in together. Please tell me that girlfriend of yours is going to make an honest woman out of you. I had a little chat with my MP, whose mother is in my knitting circle, and I think I’ve sorted things out on the legal end. Actually, I’ve already started sewing the bridesmaids’ dresses; but it’s going to take a bit longer with my arthritis. But don’t worry about me. All I ask in return is grandchildren by this time next year.
You: Grandchildren? But my partner is another woman.
Mom: Well… two women. I guess it’ll be like planning for twins!
You: We don’t really have any male friends who….
Mom: No dirty talk now, dear. I don’t need to know the details. My goodness, twins! I’d better start knitting the baby booties right away, because of my arthritis. But don’t worry about me.
4. Butch lesbians are just going to screw up the whole proposal thing. Besides, women are too practical to appreciate romance.
You: [Walking on the beach one morning] Are you happy with our relationship?
Future Wife: Sure.
You: I mean, really happy?
FW: [Suspiciously] Did you blow our budget on computer gadgets again?
You: Well, yes. But this isn’t about that. I just wanted to have a romantic moment here.
FW: But it’s raining and I’m getting soaked. It’s not very romantic.
You: Yes, it is.
FW: No, it’s not.
You: Well, I think it’s goddamn romantic.
FW: Did you get enough to eat at breakfast? You’re acting really weird.
You: I was hoping you’d be used to that by now. Let me cut to the chase. [Getting down on one knee] Sweetheart….
FW: Are you okay? Did you trip?
You: No, I’m kneeling.
FW: But you’re in a puddle and your pants are filthy.
You: I’m fine, really.
FW: I just did the laundry. It’s your turn this week.
You: I don’t care about the laundry. I’m trying to say something here.
FW: But it took me all day because the laundromat was so busy.
You: Just shut up and marry me.
You: I didn’t mean to blurt it out quite like that.
You: Let me try that again, okay?
FW: [More silence]
You: I love you. You love me. Let’s get married.
FW: [More silence]
You: You do love me, right?
FW: Well, at least you didn’t ask me to marry you because of the tax benefits.
You: Tax benefits? Really? I had no idea.
5. If you really wanted to grow old with someone, you could always skip a few decades of waiting and start dating her mother right now.
FW: That was the sweetest marriage proposal ever. Hang on. I have to call my mother. I need to talk to her about organizing the wedding.
You: Your mother? A wedding?
FW: Well, duh. Weddings don’t just plan themselves.
You: Oh, crap. I hate those stupid parties.
FW: Did you think this through? Even a little bit?
You: I got you a pretty ring.
FW: Oh my God, I’ve got a lot of work to do. And can you please not cringe like that? It’s not very attractive.
You: Sorry. I don’t mean to cringe. I’m excited about all this. Really I am.
FW: Are you sure? You look a little pained.
You: I think I threw my back out kneeling in a puddle like that. But don’t worry about me.