Nothing like a wedding to bring out the matrimony questions.
While attending my cousin's nuptial weekend extravaganza in Philadelphia recently, I lost count of how many times Joe and I were asked some version of "so when are you two getting married?"
Once one wedding is in the bag, the relatives are eager to move on to the next one.
This might have something to do with the fact that we tend to see one another only when people get married or, you know, die; and since the second option isn't as much fun, my beloved received more than a couple of nudges about when he plans to put a ring on it, so to speak.
It's easy to anticipate these questions, so I was armed with a smile, a shrug and a few breezy remarks like "one wedding at time" or "we'll see ..."
But I'll tell you something: For every breezy moment, there is a distinctively non-breezy one as well.
"I'm going to be moody, and be a pain, and harass you," I warned Joe in advance, "because it's a wedding and that's what girls do to their boyfriends at weddings."
It's true, and anyone who says otherwise is a liar. Like many women, I have the sort of multiple personality thirtysomething disorder that allows me to be utterly laissez-faire one day and turns me into a raving lunatic the next.
Oh, and I'm one of the fairly low-maintenance ones. Seriously. I congratulate you gentlemen on putting up with us ladies. I couldn't do it. Any shot I would ever have at a Sapphic future is doomed. I'm all the estrogen I can handle.
For the record, we'll get married ... whenever we do. It's one of those between-two-people decisions. We talk.
Also for the record, yes, I realize the irony of a woman who signed on to write a column about her love life getting all high and mighty about people needing to mind their business.
My friends and relatives might read this and think I was hurt by the ribbing which, hand to God, I wasn't. I actually appreciate the encouragement. It's the people who get negative and critical, or who say things like "fish or cut bait" who get under my skin.
I admit I'm sometimes tempted to pull out that old Brangelina line about not getting married until everyone can marry the person of his or her choosing. Sometimes I want to say that I just think monogamy is unnatural or that marriage is nothing but a social convention and that commitment is an action, not a vow.
There's a sliver of truth in all of that, but really it would just be something to say to stir the pot, mostly for my own amusement. You see, in my head, I'm a pot stirrer.
In my head, I'm also funny. And brash. But in a ladylike, respectable way. Self-delusion, party of one?
Party of two, actually. Because in Joe's head, I'm also a funny, brash, respectable lady. Plus more. Much more.
And that's worth its weight in diamonds.