Friday night we went to the beau’s office holiday party. This is the fifth year I’ve attended his holiday party, but the first of those years that we’ve been married. Some things happened this year that definitely did not happen in years before:
- I got a lot of how’s married life? thrown my way. “It’s fine, it’s great,” I said. I didn’t really know how to respond to that. Maybe because I’m not really sure what married life is. It mainly feels a lot like life before September 18th, except there’s a lot less wedding planning. I don’t know if the sameness is a bad thing or a good thing. They say no news is good news, so maybe I’ll go with that.
- “Has he changed now that you’re married? Does he just lay on the couch and expect you to bring him a sandwich?” someone asked me. “Yes,” I said. Yes. It seemed easier than saying no.
- “I’ve rededicated myself to opening the car door for my wife,” the CFO said. “Oh,” I replied. I’ve always just handled my own car door.
- “I think he’s ready to propose,” a woman confided in me about her boyfriend. She’s around 30 years old. She’s applying for a Ph.D. program in biochemistry. She wants to work with stem cells, and her mother wants her to have babies. “I don’t know about that,” she told me. “I’m not even sure I’m ready to be married.” Additionally, there’s the fact that her parents are Korean and über-traditional, and his parents are British and not. “Well, there are various ways to get around that,” I said. Like maybe just eloping.
- I bumped into the wife of an accountant as she was busy exchanging texts with her kids’ sitter. “Everything is quiet here,” she read aloud from her phone, then she looked up. The light from the screen had painted her face blue. “You should definitely have babies,” she told me. “They’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me. The best.”
- “Do you work?” another woman asked. “Yes,” I answered. She didn’t seem interested in talking to me after that.
- I fell into a long conversation with an older paralegal whose opening line was about how she’d never had children and didn’t regret it. She’d been married once before, a long time ago she said, and she’d made a lot of mistakes back then. “You should read Women Who Run with the Wolves,” she said. “It changed my life.”
I could say something here about the tableau of gender, but I guess I already did.