Nadira Hira’s manifesto on marriage.
I won’t change my name. I’ve spent the last three decades making the one I have mean something. And I’d like to keep it up, thanks. Which is, I hope, a major part of why he’ll love me always.
I won’t accept a ring. I will gush over my friends’ rings, of course. I will keep my views on the fraught history and general scourginess of diamonds and engagement rings to myself, mostly. But till he too is sporting a symbol of ownership on his strong and manly hand, I won’t be wearing a bloody thing on my finger.
I won’t stop celebrating men—him, and all the others. This will be a service to our children, and given my taste—Brad, Idris, Sandman—a testament to his quality.
I won’t try to style him. (Unless he asks.) Because he’ll dig me any time, even when I’m rocking Vibram Five Fingers at brunch.
I won’t make asinine jokes about being useless in the kitchen. There is nothing funny about not being able to boil a pot of rice. It is a basic survival skill, one I fully expect him to possess as well.
I won’t look at him sideways when his friends behave like idiots. Because my friends and I can be pretty idiotic, too—we just do better PR.
I won’t stop smiling at strangers. Or chatting with old folks. Or helping that random person who I can just feel needs it. This can be annoying, I know, and sometimes it’ll make us late—or tired, or vaguely unsafe—but humanity is compassion. And he’d like me a lot less if I were a heartless ogre.
I won’t take for granted what he does unbidden—the trash, the driving, the grinding, the hearing, the hyping, the loving.
I won’t be angry at him for thinking less about our kids than I do. I worry and plan and obsess and overanalyze as a matter of course. He and his kind do or do not, Yoda-style. This is all right.
I won’t get out of bed without kissing his face. As my mother used to sing to us, this is the way to start a new day. Which still holds up under scrutiny.
I won’t tell him the truth, even if he asks, when what he needs is inspiration.
I won’t let him suffer from a poverty of expectation. Ever.
I won’t doubt, especially when he does.
photo by wilson hui / flickr