Those of you who know me will probably know that as a child, teenager and for a good period of being an adult, I had little-to-no interest in getting married.
I didn’t so much have any problem with people choosing to marry, but more that I didn’t see why it would make a difference in a loving and mutual relationship. My own parents have never been married and are still happily together, so marriage was never a central part of their relationship. I grew up knowing very little about marriage, and I was happy that way. Actually, I still believe that being married neither solidifies or legitimises your relationship.
Some of you already know, but I got engaged a couple of weeks ago. Most interestingly, I actually wanted to propose a few months ago, but it meant significantly more to Andy to do the honours so I was happy to leave it up to him. After all, the proposal, engagement and even the wedding weren’t really high up my list of life priorities.
But somewhere along the line, being married to someone didn’t seem such a negative. In fact, I found myself moving from not giving any sort of a shit, to actually quite liking the idea of saying to someone that you love them enough to want to try spend your life with them. I’m a realist at heart, but I think trying to commit to someone is the key, even if we never know what life will bring!
This transition happened over the last year, and it’s very Andy-specific. It’s hard to express something like this without it sounding horrendously soppy, but it was him specifically I wanted to marry. I’ve got drunk and scared in previous relationships and thought maybe marriage is an solution people choose as a band aid, and it wasn’t until now that I began to see it’s just an expression of love. With maybe some tax benefits thrown in… and a discount on my car insurance. *wink*
So, I’m choosing to marry Andy because I love him. A logical decision for most of you I’m sure, but one that my strong anti-marriage stance required that I explain a little!
I also come at marriage from a very feminist point of view – I won’t become anyone’s property, nor will I change my identity just because I am married. I will switch from Miss, to Ms. I will keep my own name, and I don’t resent those who choose to change it (for instance, the name Lauren Bower would sound awesome so I could understand people choosing it!) – though I do resent any one who expects me to change it. My name, after all, is who I’ve been all my life (and is my mum’s surname, as it happens). I’d feel strange not being that person any more. Andy feels the same about his, so isn’t changing it to Cooke - it all seems fair enough to me! This all links in with the reason Andy was instructed NOT to ask my dad for my hand – I make all my own decisions!
So, there you go, Probably unnecessarily, but just a little explanation for anyone who was wondering about the about change. If you need any more reasons, here you go: CAKE!