Monday, January 30, 2006

Polygamous bisexual

I hate weddings. Especially family weddings. I either don't deign to grace them with my presence, or when I do, I show up looking like thunder.

As I take my seat, I brace myself for the inevitable fingernails on the blackboard. To whit, so, when are you thinking of getting married?

As if marriage is an inevitability, rather than a choice.

Sometimes I attempt to be polite: "I haven't met anyone I want to marry."

"We can introduce you, I know a nice boy..."

"No thanks, I don't believe in arranged marriages. In fact, I don't even attend them."

"That's what you say, all it takes is an introduction, the rest is up to you." (Actually that last line is from a Singaporean public service ad, encouraging it's stubbornly single citizens to take the plunge and have three kids, but I digress)

Sometimes (very often, actually, I lose my temper)

"How dare you ask me such a question! Frankly I don't hate any man enough to marry him."

Sometimes I smile lazily and go for the jugular:

"Why? I would only be divorced in a year. I don't believe in marriage but I do believe in divorce. You want an invite to my break-up party?"

Or,

"Oh uncle, didn't they tell you I was gay? I thought it was all over the family grapevine. Now if you want to find me a nice girl, this is what I am looking for..."

Not that it ever stopped them. There is a tenacity to these people that would confound mountain climbers. They take it for granted that I'm thorny and have to be handled with care, but they always find a way to keep coming back to it.

Then I actually got engaged. I remember the looks on their faces as they took a good long look at the seemingly mentally incapacitated, oh hell, retard, I brought home. There were shocked looks, feverish whispering and desperate phone calls to each other to discuss the situation.

My Aunt Liz (who, impervious to repeated snubs and downright rudeness) bugged me about getting married every single time she saw me, called her daughter in England to discuss the situation, whereupon she burst into stormy tears.

"I think there is something wrong with him. We must save Jenny, oh, oh, oh, what can we do???"

My cousin, being made of sterner stuff, told her mother to dry up. "If Jennifer likes this fler, there's nothing we can do but accept it. So don't interfere Mom, I'm warning you..."

When it filtered through the family grapevine that we had finally broken up, there was a collective sigh of relief. I think the family realised that they preferred to have me single. And cantankerous. And happy.

I've since added to my repertoire of answers to that question. I will tell them that I'm a polygamous bisexual. Marriage, as you know, being only for the monogamous monosexuals.

But I seem to have expended all that brilliance for nothing. The family has remained tactfully silent on the subject and it looks like this silence will be of some duration.

So, if for nothing else, thank you Ex. You managed in a few weeks to do what I couldn't in years.

9 comments:

lemontree said...

behind the humour i sense a loneliness. and maybe i am imagining it. maybe even projecting. but just wanted to check, jenn hope you are doing fine.

that girl in pink said...

your post just cemented my belief that all over the world, families are the same.
the obsession with marriage is hilarious, considering it'll make no difference whatsoever to the life of the obesessive aunt/neighbour/cousin. and once you do give in & tie the knot, they get on your case about having a baby!
good luck jenn! with the man finding, the family warding off and the crazy excuses you need to keep them away.

m said...

yeah, I get the "you need to get married and have babies before we DIE! Don't wait till we DIE!" statements *all* the time. gotta love that.

goldennib said...

I got married for the first time (and last) at the age of 38.

Once I began verbalizing what they were all thinking, "I can't find anyone that would put up with me for more than 10 minutes," they quit asking me when I was going to marry.

Jenn said...

lemontree: You know I would have agreed with you that there was loneliness before. But after the straitjacket of a relationship that I had, I now realise that I actually like being alone (most of the time). I am a loner by nature. I go off and do my own thing without bothering to check with anyone. That suits my family fine, having known me for all these years, they're used to me. Outsiders (read guys) have trouble respecting the fact that I'm a cantankerous loner. So for the moment...think I'll concentrate on the real stuff...studying some more, buying a house, getting a dog.

that girl in pink: Hi. Welcome to my blog. My immediate family are very good about this stuff. Somehow I don't think I will be given a chance to use my polygamous bisexual excuse. And I went to so much trouble thinking it up :)

m: My Mom and Dad are pretty good about it. They simply see to it I am well fed (rather too well fed) and don't bother me about grandchildren. That is the way to keep peace in the family.

goldennib: You seem like a really lovely person. I think you're a leetle hard on yourself, wouldn't you say? Plenty of people would "put up" with you for way more than 10 minutes. You probably don't suffer fools gladly is all.

Andy said...

It's just One of Those Things. When you're not in a relationship, you wish you were; when you are, you sometimes wish you weren't.

Jenn said...

Yeah, grass is always greener, I want what I don't have...

But honestly, all you need is a truly nasty relationship to stop the yearning for one. Temporarily, that is.

Still, I'll enjoy the respite.

goldennib said...

I keep looking at "Polygamous bisexual." I want to tell someone I'm a Polygamous bisexual just to see them go, "Huh?"

Jenn said...

Haha, you and me both. I went through all the trouble to think it up and now nobody asks me when I'm getting married.

It's one of those sad facts of life. The moment you want someone to do something (they have annoyed you with, like forever) they desist.

Btw, if you ever get to tell someone you're polygamous bisexual, remember to look suitably scornful as you refer to them as a monogamous monosexual...(like, so boring, what)