Flying back to England

It had been some four years since I had last visited England. Given how little time off Americans get, visiting my family means not actually having a proper vacation that year, so I don’t get to go back as often as everyone would like. This time the visit was for a particular event: my brother Edward was getting married. I know I have some friends who don’t really understand the whole “marriage” thing.

Marriage question

In answer to a question from Dan What does marriage mean to you? What baggage do you carry about the concept? I think that there are at least three different things people refer to using the word “marriage”. The first, obviously, is the process of civil union as described in law. This gives the married individuals certain rights and obligations to each other—and to the tax man, unfortunately. The second is the religious ceremony of marriage.

Marital bliss

I woke up at 01:30 to find sara snoring like a rusty Roto-tiller. I tried the usual tricks to get her to stop—a light touch on the nose, a brush on the forehead, a gentle nudge. None of them worked, so I tried the usual last-ditch measure, and gently pushed her head until it had rolled into a new position. After a minute or so of blissful silence, the noise began again, louder than before.


A researcher alleges that “men who cohabit with the women they eventually marry are less committed to the union than men who never lived with their spouses ahead of time.” Read on, though, and it becomes clearer: “Men who either drift into marriage “through inertia” following a cohabiting arrangement or who are “dragged down the aisle” by women who finally put their feet down are not good marriage risks, he says.

On being married

Being married is much like not being married, with a bit less insecurity. I’ve been trying it for a couple of years now, and I’d recommend it. Of course, you have to find the right person to try it with. I seem to have done exceptionally well on that score. I’m fairly sure there aren’t many couples who have lived together for over four years without having an argument. Or at least, not since Valium started getting all that bad press.

Why is it?

When my parents say that they’re disappointed that Helen and I aren’t planning to get married, I resent it. When her parents say that they’re relieved that Helen and I aren’t planning to get married, I still resent it. Her parents say she’s far too good to marry a miserable git like me. My parents say exactly the same thing.