Life & Arts

Divorce for Christmas

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(Image via kewell1905.wordpress.com)

I’m all for marriage equality but I’d much prefer to kick start the end of marriage and divorce my wife.

She tells me marriage is embarrassing and contrary to the person she feels she is. She didn’t change her surname when we married though it’s true that Gosling is not a Top Gun fighter pilot name.

Nothing will change if we divorce — my wife will celebrate the rock and roll of me and I’ll buy her cookbooks she doesn’t want. The kids will still have parents, but they will be the cooler, bohemian play by their own rules Camry driving parents.

When folk tell me they are engaged, I stumble. "Congratulations on being with the person you were with last week," doesn’t work as a reply.

A colleague announced her engagement and pointed at me and said:

"It’s hard to find happily married people but he genuinely is."

She asked what marriage means to me and I said that marriage is a huge red face.

My wife asked me to marry her while on the toilet and I was in the bath. She was only sat — I didn’t give a "Yes" to the sounds of pee.

I needed an Australian visa and her proposal was a shrugged

"We may as well just get married, huh?"

My to-be-wife wearing a green plastic ring, we got drunk on chapagne. Drinking led to phone calls and soon Australia knew, while my English family was left in the dark. Australia seemed safe as we didn’t think they would come.

They did.

Weddings aren’t about the couple; they are about everyone the couple knows. Everyone wants to come, stare, eat, advise, take photos and copiously drink. We were lean with invitations, but we still ended up 50+ when our original plan was two witnesses and a curry. We had a salmon in the bathtub on ice and a marquee.

Cheering, flashing cameras, even people in hats, and all the while we blushed huge red faces and thought

“What have we done?”

She didn’t seem pleased with the red face, so I said that marriage to me is also Socks.

Single, I’d have four functional pairs at best and one vodka-fugged morning I found my housemate had yanked my laundry from the machine and left my clothes dumped on the floor. This was one of the many reasons why I trained the cat to throw up in his room.

Movies came to my rescue. I remembered Uncle Buck microwaving laundry and dashed my socks onto a plate still partially covered with beans. 15 seconds lead to a cloud of foot steam and hot wet socks. I put them in for another 15 seconds and running late pulled them on and left for work.

At my desk, I pulled off my shoes and found my sock extremities had vanished. I could see disintegration happening and in a moment of stupidity, I stapled the holes closed. By the time I got home, my socks were gone and my toes bleeding.

Since marriage, I have always had socks. I don’t credit this to my wife; there is just something about being in a couple that makes socks seem achievable.

She still looked less than happy, so I said relief.

It is nice to be married. It’s a relief not to be alone. It’s good to be in a team, to have someone who hears you. Someone to do things together with, to be a united front with. I taught my son to pee in pot plants. My wife taught him to make pasta. I taught my daughter to deride her grandmother, my wife taught her to make birthday cards. Having a wife means having someone to talk to about stool consistency, should the need arise (again).

"So wait," she said, staring despondently at the glimmering diamond on her finger, "for you, marriage is red faced sock relief?"

The image wasn’t good, I’ll admit.

Knowing what we know now, it’s unlikely we would have married.

If we had, it would have been two mates and a curry. We’d have saved the cash and gone to Morocco. It made no difference to my Australian visa or our relationship. We’d still have had the kids, we just wouldn’t have that piece of paper — which I signed on the 'Wife' line, so technically my wife is my husband.

As much as I am for gay marriage and the same rights for everyone, I’m keener on marriage itself being discontinued and everyone taking more holidays. Love I’m all for, love is grand and rewarding and fascinating. Love is as incomprehensible as maple syrup and bacon and just as irresistible.

Marriage though, it’s just a piece of paper and a $10,000 bill (at least). It’s an awkward dance in a room that's seen it all before; a cake that isn’t really enjoyable once its cut into. It's YouTube clips of you and your groomsmen dancing to Grease songs.

It should be a holiday. It should be a trip somewhere where nothing makes sense, everything is humbling and there is no wi fi.

As Bill Murray suggested, if you last a year travelling with just one person, then that person is the one you should spend your life. (Although, dammit, at the end of the clip he says to marry them.)

Lets divorce. Let's kick marriage to the kerb and encourage kids to travel more.

Once we’re divorced, we won't need half as many lawyers either. Now, if I could just figure a way of getting rid of real estate agents.

Divorce for Christmas! I’m up for it, she’s up for it, and this time just two witnesses, a curry and no salmon in the bathtub.

Can anyone recommend a good curry house?

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