I have had one of the strangest conversations of my life today. And that is the reason for this hopelessly sentimental post. (What the hell- like you were missing my sarcasm!)
Two friends of mine (both girls- obviously) today had a long discussion with me about the need and the rationale of marriage. Perhaps I need to be more specific. Both their parents had approached the topic with them, and both of them are trying everyday to desperately avoid it. They see no reason for the urgency. They are both unanimous in their verdict- marriage, all things considered, should only happen once one is mentally ready. And, of course, the usage of that phrase every time in history has implicitly assumed that one is not.
I suppose then, in hindsight, that it was perhaps not the ideal moment to inform them that I had been proposing marriage to my girlfriend on a daily basis for the past five years.
Their verdict was once again unanimous- I am mentally unstable. (I can see you nodding your head in agreement. Stop it.)
After listing the numerous obstacles one would face after marriage- financial issues, responsibilities, compatibility, adjustments, compromises, and even horrendously hungry babies- they turned the spotlight on me and asked a stupefying question: Why was I so eager to get married?
Now, while that question itself is perfectly harmless, and a logical derivation of the above discussion, it had me dumb-founded. You see, I have spent all my energy and all my time so doggedly chasing the idea of marriage, revelling in my unshakable conviction of its merits, that I had, momentarily, forgotten my motive.
However, as I write this, wading in my reminiscence of today, the answer becomes startlingly clear; it is, after all, the simplest, and the most obvious thing I can think of.
Why was I so desperate to get married? Well, dear friends, why not?
Being mentally ready is like being in love- it is not a state you find yourself in, one fine day. It is also not a function of your age or financial stability (given, however, that maturity and a bank balance are always desirable). One doesn't simply stumble into it, strolling along the narrow, twisted pathways of life. You don't just wake up one day, saying, "Oh, I am now 28, and therefore mentally ready!"
It is a decision. One day, you look deep within yourself and decide that you are mentally prepared. Or that you are in love. And once you do that, the rest of your life simply falls in line. Mine did.
I understand all your arguments, friends, and I also admit that they are indeed valid.
I, however, know only one thing. Around five years ago, I discovered someone, and decided that that is the face I wanted to wake up to every morning of my life. I see no reason why I should wait. Or any way I possibly can.
"...when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
~Nora Ephron, "When Harry Met Sally"