Amber McNaught’s weekly column on just-married life…
There’s no doubt about it: marriage is the start of a whole new phase in your life. Just to prove it, before our wedding I redecorated the entire house from top to bottom (or rather, I made Terry do it), and bought lots of new bedlinen and cushions, and other soft furnishings. It wasn’t so much a “nesting” instinct as an awareness that the wedding was, in many ways, a fresh start for us both – and an opportunity to replace that tatty old bedspread we’d had for years.
For us, though, redecorating the house was pretty much where that “new start” ended. Life, we thought, would go on pretty much as usual once we were married. Other people, though, had other ideas…
After you get married, you see, you are expected to start having babies. It doesn’t matter if this is something you’d planned for yourself or not – it’s what’s expected, and it’s what people will persist in asking you about every time they see you, right after that “how’s married life treating you?” question.
We were actually quite surprised by this. You see, we don’t plan on having any children – and all of friends and family members are perfectly well aware of that. When we watched our wedding video for the first time this weekend, though, we were immediately struck by how many of them, when asked to record a message for us, wished us “health, wealth, happiness – and lots of babies”. Yes, even the people who know we’re not having any.
The babies are just the tip of the iceberg, though. Other things people expect us to start doing now that we’re married:
Take up gardening
Have the whole family round for Christmas
Buy a bigger house (“with rooms for babies”)
Visit garden centres (this is not always connected to point 1. Sometimes they expect us to just do this just for “a nice day out”)
Take caravaning holidays
Start talking about DIY a lot. (OK, we are doing that one)
In short, they seem to expect us to suddenly start acting like grown-ups. This is pretty frightening because in my head, I’m still only about 15. I don’t think we fit into the “newlyweds” mold very well, though. I suspect people are secretly a little bit disappointed by our failure to knuckle down to the serious business of having children and mono blocking the driveway now that we’ve got the wedding over with. I don’t think I’m quite ready to be a grown-up, married lady yet. I am enjoying all the soft furnishings, though.
Amber McNaught is a freelance writer and regular Shiny contributor. She will not be hearing “the pitter-patter of little feet” any time soon.