I do!

Last night, I had a dream that I married Danish director Lars Von Trier. It was the Von Trier from a certain film of his wherein he was wearing a tuxedo and sitting at a desk. I wonder what this means, particularly since the dream came in the wake of a conversation that occurred between myself and The Beard. I was feeling rather glum, thinking about how everyone I know is announcing engagements and wedding dates and *gasp* pregnancies, when he happened to inquire as to why I was feeling glum. Finally, unable to worm my way out of answering, I said, "I am jealous of all the girls getting married."


On track, according to medieval times

From Medieval Children, by Nicholas Orme:

"By 1600...it appears that the mean age for men to marry was 28 and for women, 26."


Weddings Never teh Bride can get behind

Who wouldn't enjoy a wedding in three acts? I think it would be great if the three acts were a nibbling and drinking session, the ceremony, and the reception. Love the marquee. Also, though there is no picture shown, love the popcorn stands that were set up and popping away before the show. It's cute and, furthermore, it's way more original than stupid ceramic bird table favors or biker outfits for the bride and groom at the reception. Seriously, I've seen that. I went to the wedding of a boyfriend's step-uncle in high school. During the reception, which I seem to remember was held in a dingy and rather frightening Elks Lodge, the newlywed couple changed out of their ceremonial duds. He wore jeans and a leather vest with no shirt. She wore a white spandex number that left little to the imagination. Both were sporting a plethora of tattoos. I still don't know what to think about it. Tastfully done biker wedding? Sure. Creepy backroom bar biker wedding with bulgy spandex? Puleeze.

Then there are those weddings that are held in the traditional church setting but feature an interesting venue for the reception. Case in point: Two longstanding friends of mine will be tying the knot in 2006 and may be holding their reception at the world's best diner. Yes, DINER. I said freakin' diner. Would I normally think that was cool? No. But you have to taste this place's food. There will almost, I think, be something retrocool about the whole thing since the diner in question has the most uniquely bizarre ambiance I've ever basked in while eating giant fried oysters.

Of course, the classic wedding will never go out of style, which makes me happy. The only thing I would like to change is the tradition of crappy catered food and shoddy cake.

And, in case you are interested in marrying a shoe, here is the proper proposal etiquette, courtesy of Saucony:


The Beard gets old!

Another year closer to an unmarried death or another year of wisdom gained? You be the judge. If you happen upon The Beard on this, the anniversary of the day he was jettisoned from his mother's loins, wish him well and then, in your best Jewish grandmother voice, ask him when he's going to finally marry that nice girl of his.

I love you The Beard!


Let them eat cake!

Oh, man, cake. My other nemesis. Sorry, The Beard, but Never teh Bride had a first love and that love was wholly dedicated to sweet, soft, ooey-gooey cakey goodness. Which, of course, was why Never teh Bride was a pudgy, globular little pre-teen. My relationship with sweets has been a rocky one, which is why I try to distract myself with exercise whenever I sense The Beard thinking about what to eat after the huge bowl of pasta we just shared. Ladies, if you don't already know, there is nothing more fattening than living with your man.

Anyway, cake. One of the best and worst elements of any wedding is the cake. On one hand, they are beautiful to look at, like this simple yet artfully decorated number to the right. A fruit cake, not a fruity cake. I'm guessing the "fruit" is made of sweet, sweet icing.

The problem with most wedding cakes, however, has little to do with the outside, icky as it often is. Yes, wedding cakes look great, but they often taste awful. Sure, a cake is a cake to some people, but I am not some people. I mainly detest bakery cakes. The sponge inside is usually dry like Wonderbread or flavorless or crumbly. And half chocolate, half vanilla colored, with neither tasting like either? Who thought up that travesty? I've always supposed that it has something to do with bland palattes. Since the nuptual couple wants to satisfy everyone, they simply can't have a unique cake. Humph. I must disagree. People are there to celebrate the couple and to drink the free booze...not to stuff themselves silly.

I love this cake. I'm usually not a big fan of the sea or nautical themes, but this is just so clever and visually appealing (yes, it came from a beach wedding) that I can't resist. Why ought it not have something tasty in the middle? Like a real fruit compote with a little bit of rum, or a nutmeat puree with a thin chocolate cream instead of that vile chocolate pudding one often finds. Of course, it's not quite chocolate. More like...sweet brown goo.


No, no. Never teh Bride's fantasy cake is made out of light and fluffy white cake drizzled with some sort of classy dessert booze, no doubt amaretto, and chocolate ganache. And yes, there will be chopped nuts, possibly almonds, somewhere in there as well. And marzipan on the outside, molded to the shape of the cake. It will be hellsa almondy and tender and wonderful and if Uncle Earnest just can't stomach almonds he can sit quietly and get drunk and eat banana pudding or some other thing from the children's dessert buffet. And he can freaking like it.


Never teh Bride's Dress Critique: A clean sweep

Here she is! The blushing bride! Standing among the relics of her grandparents' forgotten lives! Seriously, what's up with the butterflies?

You know what trains like this remind me of? It's a toss up. I think of the guys with the sticks on ropes that smooth out the baseball field around the seventh inning. I also think of the large sweepers they use in outlet complex parking lots to pick up the day's debris. That grey carpet is now 20% cleaner because she's been pacing the room.

I know they have a bunch of neat little tricks to hoist up the back end of these sorts of dresses, but what happens in a crisis situation? What if revolutionaries crash the wedding? What if a sexy, sexy ex-lover wants to steal you away just before the ceremony? Or what if the stupid, freaking pinning on the train breaks?

What do you do, soldier? What do you do?! How do you sit down at the banquet table for the toasts? How do you dance? How do you go to the bathroom?

And anyway, how do you keep your clumsy dad from stepping on the damn thing when you're walking down the aisle, which is the only time (except for photography sessions) that you're not going to have the dang thing pinned up to your bottom? This dress, in my opinion, is a dashed-dreams wedding waiting to happen.

Let's keep it simple.


A waistline your friends will envy

Sometimes I ask myself why people persist in stuffing themselves into unflattering wedding gowns. The only reason I can think of is that they just don't know. I'm no Angelina Jolie and I'm okay with that. My arms aren't as lithe and lovely as I know they could be, if I simply had enough willpower to hit the weights. I'm short and almost stumpy. Which is why, of course, I would not put myself into anything with thick straps that fell at my shoulders. Ladies, wide straps are going to make you look thick unless your weight falls somewhere between feather and envelope. Or you're 5'11".

And where is the waist on this dress? If one is not blessed with a waist, I believe one ought to create one via illusions, mirrors, and clever lighting. Whatever it takes. No, really, it's not that difficult. A nice princess sort of cut (can you tell I'm biased?) and voila! A waistline all your friends will envy!



It has happened again. Two people who are known to both The Beard and myself have announced their engagement and pending nuptuals. So, being vastly interested in the topic of matrimony, I, upon finding this out, yell into the other room where The Beard is playing video games, "The Moos are getting married!"

"Hey, that's great," he answers.

The Moos even drew a little comic of themselves watching a beautiful sunrise, a stick figure proposal, a ringed left hand, and the subsequent Castle Greyskull sandcastle. Grrr.

So, Beard, I'm thinking to myself, if it's that great, why haven't you asked me to be your lawfully wedded wife.

Doesn't "all your friends are doing it" mean anything anymore? Is peer pressure dead? I rue the day I decided that I would surround myself with progressive liberals who think marriage is just an extension of traditional gender roles that need to be done away with at all costs. Sure, I love a man who knows how to wash a dish, but aren't we taking things just a little too far? Isn't there a time when stepping it up a notch (BAM!) seems prudent?

Well, it seems some people think so...people all around me. Maybe it's just not The Beard's bag. I'd hate to have to leave him for that but eventually, I suppose sadly, it would come to that.

Rawr! It's Bridezilla!

What stands one hundred feet tall, has pointy flesh-ripping teeth, and wears a virginal lacy veil? Yes, that's right...it's Bridezilla. Never teh Bride hates this towering beast as she hates all people who cannot handle things not going their way. Yes, as far as I am concerned, flexibility must be maintained, even when it is "your day."

How can one tell is the blushing bride is on her way to becoming a rampaging reptile? Ask yourself:
-Is her list of instructions for the wedding party fourteen collated pages long, with color coding and tabs?
-Are all non-wedding related topics verboten?
-Did she buy extra dresses, in multiple styles, just in case?
-Is the future husband sporting a perma-dazed expression?
-Did she pick out her own engagement ring?
-Has her choice of bridal party members changed numerous times?

Please, for Never teh Bride, don't let this happen to you. Learn to spot the signs and to fight the feelings!


Never teh Bride's Dream Wedding

Perusing the online offerings of the Boston Globe this morning, I noticed that they were featuring photos of readers' weddings. Two out of the three weddings were simple ceremonies held on the beach while the other was an extravaganza that involved an asymetrical dress that looked more flamenco than bridal.

Now, like any dreamy-eyed girl, I like to think about the details of my own perfect wedding. Not that I hold any illusions of perfection in the reality of it. Seldom do weddings turn out just so, and teary, disheveled brides are the result.

Poor things. I think there might be less stress on future brides if the future husbands were to offer just a teensy bit of help. I know that The Finger Ribboner is handling all the details of her wedding to MDJ. But who knows...he may just be stepping back from the whole thing because he'd rather not interfere with her dream wedding. Or maybe he's a lazy git. Or maybe she's taken the reins and isn't willing to share responsibility. Really, I have no idea and it's none of my beeswax.

Anyhow, while looking at the photos of other people's weddings, I was struck by this idea shown in the photo above. Each folding white chair (which are a fixture in my dream wedding) has been decorated with a pretty gift bag (presumably in the wedding party's colors) filled with fun stuff that's also useful. That's right...none of these awful ceramic centerpieces. I once attended a bridal dinner wherein at each place setting sat a ceramic bag. Yes, a faux bag crafted out of off white ceramic festooned with fake-looking pink flowers that resembled piped icing. I thought to myself, when bringing the damn thing home for my ex roommate who loved to break pottery, who would spend valuable wedding money on such crap?

Useful doesn't mean jordan almonds or a commemorative matchbook. I want to married on the shores of the Banana River, out of doors, with plenty of white folding chairs and tulle ribbons and baby's breath (since it will hold up in the heat) and a portable dance floor and a cake that's homemade so it actually tastes good and not like the cruddy dry cakes I've been subjected to at other people's weddings. Do you hear that people? Whipped buttercream frosting is disgusting when it's topping a mass-produced sponge cake!


If you build it, The Beard might come!

If the inferior ring designs offered by some jewelers have gotten you down in the dumps, check out Blue Nile Diamonds, where the nearly-a-bride and the want-to-be bride and the non-bride alike can ice themselves out with high class bling.

Some people may be wondering where Never teh Bride and The Beard met. The short and easy answer is that we met at a party. The long and drawn out answer involves a lot of complecated settings, scenarios, and feelings, including rebound lovers, alternate Beards, and erzatz butt sex perpetrated by bisexuals and straights alike!

The important part is that we met more than three years ago. That's right...THREE. People hundreds of years ago used to get married in negative time. They were pre-married by parents or elders or the command of some spirit that could only be contacted via the psychodelic paste of a rare tropical tree.

Now people are so afraid of jumping on to the matrimonial train that they take years to even get engaged and then stay engaged for nearly a decade before setting a date. Or they become progressives and live yuppie-style with a grand spotless house and matching ten speeds. Or they take scads of lovers. Now I don't necessarily think those folks aren't on to something, but I definately know those lifestyles aren't for me. I want to get married, even if it means I have to work harder to lose weight because of knee-jerk reports of marital weight gain on msn.

The Beard is not ready. I think I am. In fact, I think he is. The weekend before last, we attended a social event in the home of some close friends. One of the two couples I mentioned in a previous post (they are getting married, blah blah blah) were also in attendance. She had a deep maroon ribbon tied around her finger and I jokingly asked if it was to help her remember that she is engaged. The man and future wife simply haven't gone ring shopping yet, if you hadn't already guessed. She had picked out two and then he was to choose between them.

How unromantic, I say. Sure, there is nothing wrong with dropping hints. I don't particularly need an engagement ring, but if The Beard were to be replaced by his goateed double from a parallel universe, the double would know what I wanted in terms of finger-wear: a single round diamond in a simple six-pronged white gold setting. Easy. Classy. And, furthermore, classic. A ring that will never go out of style.

Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I believe the man ought to choose the ring and that ring ought to be a surprise.


And then I get down on one knee...

...in my dreams, of course. For as far as we ladies have come with the women's movement and liberation and the fall of the patriarchy and all that jazz, we still wait around like lilting lilies waiting for the man to propose. Well, except for Pink, who I hear recently proposed to her racing star boyfriend via chalkboard. Good for her, I say.

I wonder why we still put up with it. My guess is that it has something to do with the bag of outmoded fairy tales we are still made to ingest as teeny tots. Prince Charming lifts us all onto his white horse(s) and carries us away to a gleaming multi-spired castle. We're woken with a kiss, to marry someone we've never even met, but hey, we'd hit it, I guess. We're rescued from the dragon, the trolls, the wicked witch, and our mean step-mommies. And so on and so forth.

Now, if we have truly left that mindset behind, which I simply cannot believe, why can't I propose to The Beard? If I did, I believe he would say no, or evade the proposal, or answer, "Someday." Now, that might have something to do with the whole thing. Maybe us ladies are ready for marriage long before the men we love (and love to hate, too, for being commitment phobic). Why can't anyone propose to anyone...consenting adults only, naturally.

But I guess I wouldn't propose, knowing The Beard would probably hem and haw until I finally sighed and rolled my eyes and let him go play video games.

And now for a quote, from an article in W Magazine:

The statistics on arranged marriage are surprising. In every country where it is still common practice, including Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Iran and, to a lesser extent, Japan, an arranged marriage has a higher success rate than a so-called "love marriage."
I've always been intrigued by the idea...


Oh, the places you'll go!

Some things you can just do when you are Angelina Jolie and, though I am not Angelina Jolie, I am not afraid to talk about those things. One of those things would be wearing this delightful halter dress to one's wedding without incurring the wrath of Never teh Bride. Damn, I'm a straight woman and I am practically attracted to this woman.

Boy howdy...is this little old dowdy girl jealous of this here man eating lioness. If she marries Pitt, I am going to swear off looking at her picture forever. She ought to stay single for life.

Much ado about under the shirt

Never teh Bride has got breasts. Okay, maybe they really are boobs. Breasts speak to me of this very creamy white perky sort of bump that happens to hang out in pairs under shirts. Before I talk about this little number (I'm talking about the dress, hello), let me point you to a Joan Rivers quote:

"Cleavage has nothing to do with fashion, because fashion is designed by men who are flat-chested. And every woman that looks good in fashion has as little breasts as possible."

Oh, Joan, how true. Let little miss hair-in-her-eye be our example. That is what I'd call a "fashionable dress." It could be on a runway somewhere, perhaps on a model sporting garish eyeshadow and a uniquely crimped hairdo. I don't like fashionable dresses at weddings, even though I LOVE them in every other situation.

A wedding dress ought to be classy and, furthermore, classical. An empire waistline for the waifs and something strapless and princessy for the rest of us...i.e. those with cleavage. People with BOOBS like mine simply cannot stuff themselves into something like the dress above without spilling out or looking like a four-breasted monstrosity. Oh, how I hate that. I detest seeing poor, innocent women walking around in too-tight tops with what appears to be four breasts. Honey, get a bra that fits.

But back to the dress. It looks, frankly, like a nighty. Like something meant to be underneath the real dress. Look at the determined expression on the model. She is clearly on her way to the room in which she will put on her real dress.


Profile: The Beard

Who is this elusive character known as The Beard? Oh, he is an enigma wrapped in a mystery with a large dollop of "wtf." One can never truly know The Beard. He has, as you might imagine, a beard (see illustration at right). And I guess he's kind of pointy and looks like he has Ken hair. Wait, that's not right. Let me start over.

The Beard is my arch-nemesis. Crafted in a secret lair somewhere deep beneath the Bermuda Triangle by Martian scientists whose goal is to lure women back to their planet using sexy biomechanoid men. The only way to fight these manly constructs is to join with them...in bed. It seems as good an explanation as any. Unfortunately, these handsome hunky golems are afraid of commitment. To defeat the diabolical martians, we must marry their secret weapons.

Sure, I don't have any evidence, but I'm still deep in study. Watching The Beard from right up near him. Sometimes from under him. Luckily, the martians designed their biomechanoids with great cooking skills, superior strength, and plutonium power cores for extra warmth on those cold winter nights.


Raw fish and a wish

So Never teh Bride and The Beard return from a three year anniversary sushi dinner...

Namely, the Sei Bar Love entree for two. The compendium of rolled fish products at right is only an approximation of the meal, which was much smaller. Please excuse any bad typing for I am suffering from the debilitating affects of a lovely Argentinian red wine.

No proposals were made during the dinner. Let me repeat...no proposals.

Never teh Bride's Dress Critique

This is good. Really good. I'm definately pro simple in this case and, though I normally hate your cream additions, I am not adverse to the off-color train. In fact, I think it's very classy. I would, however, take off the straps and, depending on the bodice design (I don't know what it is since I couldn't find a full frontal view), alter it to a straight across sort of thing. No, I don't know jack about fashion design. I'm talking about what I like in a dress. And since I have a bad habit of shirking work to look at used and reduced-price wedding dressed online, I am just loaded with pics of good ones, bad ones, utterly horrid ones...and sometimes the interesting looking folks who wore them. I like this model's slim, clean look, with a flowing up-do to boot. Magnifique.


The Beard offensive - The Shock

In any war, there exists the potential for strategy. In the battle of the sexes, where matrimony is involved, the strategy must be subtle and sneaky and as smooth as possible. Or so we, as ladies, have been told all our lives in sitcoms and old "being a girl" manuals from the 1950's. Don't pick up that phone, girls, until at least three days after your first date. And so on.

So, when I receive notice that yet another couple of my acquaintance has fallen in the battle, I naturally begin wondering why I have not yet been dragged off that cliff. The announcement came just a day before The Beard's and my three year anniversary, via cutesy dual livejournal posts where they parroted each other about becoming engaged and fall weddings and that sort of thing. Meanwhile, I'm sitting at work wondering, as usual, why not me? I mean, according to the hypothetical adult life I carefully crafted in my mind during my college years, I should already be married and toting one baby on my hip. What gives?

Anyway, when I noticed the announcement, I quickly shot off an e-mail to The Beard explaining my shock and awe and wonderment. No pressure, really, dear. But look what all the other cool kids are doing! Let's do it! Let's fall in love! But, of course, nothing. I'm not surprised. There has been oblique talk of marriage...always so roundabout and ethereal that it is easy to imagine us old and feeble and The Beard crouching down on one creaky knee, only to utter, "Never teh Bride, will you..." before kicking the bucket.


What to do, what to do? Other than keep at it, I mean. I'll never understand this modern distrust of marriage. So all our parents were divorced...sometimes multiple times. So infidelity has practically become the norm. So the divorce rates apparently keep rising and rising . What's that got to do with me? I thought all us young hipsters, in any generation, just plowed ahead, vowing to do better than our fantastically ignorant parents. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't, but doubt isn't supposed to hold us back. Maybe The Beard is just getting too old...too thoughtful. Perhaps taking the matrimonial plunge requires a certain sense of heady youth and optimism now lacking in the mid-twenties cynic. It would certainly explain a lot.


Wacky weddings!

These six brides saw their worst-case wedding scenarios come true but lived to tell their happily-ever-after tales.

The zaniest weddings you've ever seen/heard about.

In the weird and wonderful world of weddings there is always someone who has done it bigger, longer or more often.

Vegas is the capital of weird, wild and wacky weddings. Where else can you have Elvis escort you down the aisle, ride into the chapel on a Harley Davidson, get married beach-party style or have your wedding attendants dress like mobsters?

Down to the last detail...

I spend an inordinate amount of time looking at wedding dresses. I scour craigslist and EBAY almost daily. It's the problem with having a job that often leaves one waiting for the telephone to ring or an e-mail to arrive. I have recently begun looking at jewelry, as well. There is always the chance that The Beard's matrimonial delays are based on financial concerns. I once told him that I would be just dandy sporting nothing but a wedding band, by which I mean no engagement ring. But I would be just as happy with a pretty $50 aquamarine or sapphire ring. The dress is a more difficult element, but doable, in terms of money. Goodness knows that if I'm not paying hugely trumped up retail prices for my everyday clothing, there is no way I would pay that sort of bling for a wedding dress. The only problem will be that locating such a dress will take somewhat longer.

I also have the wheres and hows of my "someday wedding" all planned out. I know who I will try to con into being a sort of reception coordinator and the sort of chairs I want. I know where I want all the tulle ribbonry. And so on and so forth. I know it all, you see! But there is no ring on my finger, so it's all moot. Ugh. Being imaginative is such a bummer sometimes. At least I can comfort myself that I am nonetheless fabulous. More to follow.

Problem: I can't seem to attach a photo to these posts even though I should be able to do it quite easily. Any advice?

Why, oh, why?

I'm not sure what is running through people's minds when they are looking for wedding attire, but frankly I find it dismaying that so many brides end up looking more like the cake itself than the woman of the hour. A certain amount of detail accentuates the beauty of the bride. A garish amount of flourishes takes away from it by distracting the viewer and drawing the eye downward to a hypnotizing pattern...of swirling rhinestones...and...scalloped...swirling..shiny....ooh, shiny!

The bottom bit of this dress, with the exception of little swirling sparkly bits stuck randomly through what I imagine is tulle or something, is nice, flaring outward in such a way as to be just princessy enough. But come on...short sleeves? Short sleeves in white make me thing of that annoying guy at the office who thinks a short sleeve button down makes him look subtly casual. Bleah.


Yes, more funny stuff

What does a girl do while waiting for a man to propose? Keep herself laughing, of course.

The celebrant noticed that the bride was in great distress so asked her what was wrong. She replied that she was nervous and afraid she would not remember what to do. The celebrant told her that she only needed to remember 3 things.
First the aisle, because that is what you'll be walking down.
Secondly, the alter because that is where you will arrive.
Finally, remember hymn because that is a type of song we will sing during the service.
While the bride was walking to the wedding march, family and friends of the groom were horrified to hear her repeating these 3 words. . . Aisle, alter hymn; Aisle, alter hymn

Husband to wife: Why do you keep reading our marriage licence?
Wife to Husband: I'm looking for a loophole

The bride said she wanted three children, while the young husband said two would be enough for him.They discussed this discrepancy for a few minutes until the husband thought he'd put an end to things by saying boldly, "After our second child, I'll just have a vasectomy."Without a moments hesitation, the bride retorted, "Well, I hope you'll love the third one just as if it's your own."

As a new bride, Aunt Edna moved into the small home on her husband's ranch. She put a shoe box on a shelf in her closet and asked her husband NEVER to touch it.
For fifty years Uncle Jack left the box alone until Aunt Edna was old and dying. One day when he was putting their affairs in order, he found the box again and thought it might hold something important. Opening it, he found two doilies and $82,500 in cash.
He took the box to her and asked about the contents.
"My mother gave me that box the day we married," she explained. "She told me to make a doily to help ease my frustrations every time I got mad at you."
Uncle Jack was very touched that in 50 years she'd only been mad at him twice.
"What's the $82,500 for?" he asked.
"Oh, that's the money I made selling the rest of the doilies."

A businessman boarded a plane to find, sitting next to him, an elegant woman wearing the largest, most stunning diamondring he had ever seen. He asked her about it.
"This is the Klopman diamond," she said. "It is beautiful, but there is a terrible curse that goes with it."
"What's the curse?" the man asked.
"Mr. Klopman."

Never teh Bride vs. The Beard

The events that precipitated the creation of this journal are simple. Two back to back weddings and two nuptual announcements that surfaced within weeks of each other. A couple, engaged over the long term, refusing to set a wedding date, finally break down and choose a fall affair. Another couple, after dating for four years, announce their engagement and ballpark wedding date. Okay, so the latter two couples have dated and known each other for longer than I have been with The Beard. So? Years ago, I watched two of my friends walk down the aisle. Yes, one of them was pregnant, but she had gotten engaged before getting pregnant. Or so I was told. Dun dun dunnnn.

But I'm rambling.

The Beard and I have been dating for three years now. We live together, quite blissfully, I think. My desire to be married is not something I can readily discuss with my friends, who are mainly the sort who'd rather not settle down. Ever. They want permanent roommates...and someone they can no doubt dump at a moment's notice when the relationship becomes unfabulous enough. Marriage is fast becoming an old fashioned concept, ripe for taunts from young people who look at the statistics and think, Divorce is the norm...I best avoid that. Because, goodness, we wouldn't want to put ourselves out with any hard work, would we? Yes, being married is hard work, if only because you're more inclined to want to make it work because of the difficulty of divvying up shared assets. Unless, of course, you're famous, and then it's de rigeur to marry five to ten times.

I like the potential benefits of marriage. A recognized connection in times of trouble, i.e. hospital and police related incidents. Financial intracacies that involve two instead of one. Shared possessions - and big ones, too, like homes. Taking on a new last name and becoming a family of two. A recognizable and public partnership.

As for that last one, I hear a lot of people screaming these days about how relationships are private affairs and don't need to be recognized by some state or some god. But hey, people, many people at least, are exhibitionists by nature. If that wasn't true we wouldn't have artists or musicians or even teachers, for goodness sake.

The Beard doesn't know what he wants, I think. I don't like to push the idea of marriage too much, lest he think I'm some kind of freaky traditionalist who wants to push him into buying the cow. But, heck, he knows I'm traditional. I'm a feminist, insofar as I believe in equal opportunity for those who have the aptitude for it, be they man or woman or some combination of the two. But I also believe in nice, stable partnerships based on marriage (for the straights and the gays, damnit) and having a few kids when you're still young enough to enjoy it and struggling along. Sure, I believe in careers - I even have one! But I believe that there are a number of roads to fulfillment.

There I go, rambling again. Too bad. I'm a woman in waiting. You hear that, Beard? I'm going to get you eventually!