All of My Friends are Married

Actually, I take that back. Some, like me, are in long-term, unmarried relationships. Others are engaged. Some are single. Some are in long-distance relationships. One of my friends is in a phoneship. I asked her to clarify this a couple of weeks ago.

“A phoneship,” she started, “is basically where you talk on the phone.”

I was intrigued. Moira and I were two cocktails in at The Roosevelt Hotel, our talk switching from work to dating in LA. I’d told her how my now-boyfriend and I met in Las Vegas in 2011, before the dating appvalanche of 2012. In-person, apps, phones — it was the same mating dance, vibing to the same groove.

“So,” I began, hoping for more, “you’re going to have lunch with this guy, right?”

“Oh God, no,” she scoffed, settling way back into her old-fashioned.

“But why not?” I cajoled. “Lunch is totally safe.”

“Honestly, I don’t think either of us is ready for it,” she said, stone-cold with sincerity. “But you just gotta see how good-looking he is.”

She pulled out her phone excitedly, scrolled for a few seconds, then handed it to me. Chocolate skin, ivory smile — “good-looking” was putting it mildly. He looked like someone she could have fun with. And from what she’d further share, he seemed equal parts introspective and provocative, all without a full-on physical distraction. Perhaps there was something to this phoneship thing.

The other day, I told my boyfriend that if our friend Johannes and his girlfriend of a-year-and-a-half ended up getting married before we did, I’d break up with him. He laughed.

I guess I was joking. But when Trump was elected president last November, we had a serious conversation about the likelihood of getting married, and I can recall not liking the idea. After nearly seven years, I was just getting used to the idea of not being married to him.

“So are the two of you married?” We were at a rooftop house party, getting a pre-spring tan in the late afternoon warmth. The question, asked sweetly from a girl with peach-colored lips, removed me from my sun-and-seltzer-water buzz. My boyfriend sat in a wicker chair, similar to mine, not far from me. I felt a slight itch on my thighs.

“No,” I said. “We’re not married.” I decided to leave it at that. I didn’t really feel like mentioning that he’d been married before and was in stages of divorce while we were getting to know each other. Neither did it feel right to bring up the bitter taste of resentment when I realized that my father may not ever walk his baby girl down the aisle. Neither did I mention that I’ve literally dreamed about our wedding four or so times within the last year, and it felt kinda great. No, we’re not married, and God forbid I try to relate to a married couple, as I’d just be told, “it’s just different when you get married”.

I’ve one married friend who knows to not say that to me.

Anna Voight
Got Engaged to
Steven Broadbent
February 17, 2018 at Los Angeles, CA

The Facebook notifications aren’t all that surprising anymore. I do remember being more excited about seeing them, though. Ten seconds is about all I can muster now.

Sometimes I love weddings. I’ve caught the bouquet, twice. My boyfriend laughed each time.

I believe in love, but more importantly, I believed my mother when she told me to not get married, ever. My own mother, married to my father for forty years. “Get the dress, the ring, and have the party, but please do not feel that you need to get married,” she said. For all the times I’ve cried to her about life, I’ve decided to take that statement as her being on my team, and not declaring me a total disaster.

Guess I’m just going to go with it.

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