Sunday, July 31, 2011

Why Not Get Married?

Posted By on Sun, Jul 31, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Dear Jack,

My long time, long-time unemployed boyfriend has finally found a job – in Minneapolis. It’s a great job that actually pays him more than he used to make at his old job. He moved up there a couple of weeks ago and has found an apartment. I’ve notified our landlord that I’ll be moving out and have started packing.

I’m what you might call a country girl. I grew up in a little town up around Dyersburg, moved to Memphis after I graduated to go to college here, and have lived here ever since. Some of my family lives in Memphis, but most of them, including my parents, still live back home, where I grew up. We’re very close.

I’m also very close to my boyfriend. We’ve been living together since college. I hate to even call him my boyfriend because that sounds so junior high, but if I call him my partner people think the wrong thing. This job is a once in a lifetime opportunity for him. In my line of work, I can find a job almost anywhere, so this move is no real hardship for me, other than the pain of moving. To be honest, it is a little intimidating, but we’ll be making enough so that we can fly home two or three times a year.

Here’s my problem. My family is utterly opposed to it. My mom, especially, is about ready to lock me up. She thinks I’m making a huge mistake. She says this is where my home is, this is where my family is, and I’d be a fool to leave my family and run off to Minneapolis. It’s not my boyfriend. We’ve been together so long, he’s practically one of the family. I think my mom is just afraid of letting go, but she’s being completely unreasonable. How can I get her to understand? I’m leaving. I’ve already quit my job.

Bon Voyage

Dear Bonnie,

I may be completely off here, but all things being equal, I’d say the problem is your boyfriend. Allow me to say what I think your mother would say if she weren’t too polite to say it.

“It’s not that he’s your boyfriend, it’s that he’s not your husband. You’re moving halfway across the country to be with somebody who can’t even put a ring on your finger. He may be practically one of the family, but until he’s family in the eyes of the law and the Lord, he’s not family, especially if he’s going to take you away from us. He’s been on probation this whole time, with the hope that he’ll make an honest woman of you one day. Now that you’re following him off into the blue, he’s on the shit list. If he had any consideration for you at all, he’d at least have the decency to set a wedding date.”

Do I agree with this sentiment? Not entirely, though I might if you were my daughter.

Is there any way you can change her? Not a chance, not with words, anyway. All you can do is live your life the way you think is best and not screw it up. Don’t put yourself in a situation in which they have to pay for your sorry ass to come home and move into the spare bedroom. Success and the passage of time will lead to true acceptance.

However, I do have one more thing to say, and not in your mother’s voice. If you might as well be married, you might as well get married.

Got a problem? Let Jack Waggon set you straight: jack.wagg@gmail.com

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