'You'd better enjoy wearing that hat today," I sternly told my mother at my only brother's wedding recently. "Because you won't be getting any wear out of it on my account. No, siree. This is your one and only shot. Soak it all up."
"Oho, I'm just waiting until that law is passed," she replied, gleefully winking at my boyfriend. "And the polls could not be that wrong. Any day now, love. I think City Hall would be perfect for yours. Canapes, dancing, music. I can picture it all now. Such fun."
It was almost enough to make me long for the "awkwardness" of a coming-out conversation. At least, during those, I got to feel right-on, versus my mother's fuddy-duddiness. Now, suddenly, I'm in the horrible position of feeling like the right-on-ness has gone quite far enough and someone should call a halt to it all before someone else - me - gets hurt.
If this referendum gets passed, I won't be able to blame a conservative, backward society for my inability to settle down. It will all be my own fault. Canapes? Dancing? Is this what those Stonewall drag queens had their weaves snatched from their curiously bald heads for? There has to be another way. I know we're all supposed to be flag-waving freedom fighters right now, but to, quote Dean Martin, I'm just not the marrying kind.
To be honest, I'm not even able for cohabitation. To me, nothing sucks the romance out of a relationship like knowing you can see the person any time you walk into the next room. I want to put a nice shirt on and sit in a nice restaurant. I want sexual tension and witty banter and wondering what he's doing now. Not joint accounts and shared dishwasher-emptying duties.
I once told my boyfriend: "Woody Allen and Mia Farrow - they never married, but had apartments on opposite sides of Central Park - that would be ideal; the comfort of closeness and the relief of distance." "Wait, Woody Allen is your template for relationship normality?" he shrewdly replied. I saw his point, but, to be fair, anyone who describes masturbation as "sex with someone I love" obviously has some relationship insights that shouldn't be overlooked.
A recent study in America found that most straight men "associate marriage with loss of autonomy and loss of financial independence". But who wants freedom and money, right guys? They're probably really over-rated. Much better to spend half a year's wages on a big party just because society finally decided you're good enough to do so. Thanks, Leinster House legislators, but I'm pretty sure that biologically, I am going through a second adolescence, and I feel like it should be allowed to play out without speeches and vows.
Marriage is horribly ageing. Not to brag, but when I meet people my age, I generally feel I look a bit younger than them. I'm convinced this isn't from clean living or plastic surgery (yet). It's from not being married or having a proper job. It's a delicate equilibrium, though. I'm essentially two signatures away from early onset middle-age at all times. Don't do this to me.
Just to be clear, none of this is to say there are not marriage-ready, broody gays, and that their broodiness must be respected. It's just that I am not broody. It's just that, the only children I'm interested in are the ones that come out spouting wry quips, like the baby in Family Guy.
Maybe I'll flee to some Middle East backwater. "Oh no, I'd love to get hitched, believe me, I would, but the Ayatollah won't hear of it," I'll tell people. "True, the Ayatollah already has a hat, but in other ways he's emotionally unprepared to catch the bouquet at a gay wedding."
My inability to become another building block of society can, once again, be someone else's fault, not mine. I can be a martyr again. But before all that, my mother won't be consigning her hat to the back of the wardrobe just yet, and I'll be voting yes.
Like a bloody turkey voting for Christmas.