Friday, July 04, 2008

The Cost of Marriage: Subway Edition

I overheard a fascinating conversation on the subway today. I wish I was wearing a wire. Because now I only recall fuzzy little fragments of what could have been a really fascinating look into the lives of strangers.

Two women, one a married Christian, the other a single Muslim, were riding the TTC together. The single girl, probably barely 20, rambled on immaturely about her impending marriage. A marriage that sounded more real than wishful thinking but less real than one an engaged woman anticipates. Perhaps she was seeking an arranged marriage. Or she was just jumping way ahead of herself. I have no way of knowing.

I'm the single girl who probably has little grounds for handing out marital advice, but I'm pretty sure that even the most knowledgeable of counselors would be waving every red flag she could scrounge up. Don't get married, child. You. Are. Not. Ready.

Her thoughts on marriage:
  • I just want someone who's nice. And not controlling.
  • I don't want to have to do anything.
  • I want him to have the money. I want him to have the good job and to pay for everything. In my religion, my money is my own. I don't have to give it to him. I want to keep all my own money. For me.
  • I don't mean that he has to do everything, I just want him to think that he has to.
  • If I don't get married, I'm going to have to move to Calgary with my parents.
To her friend:
  • [RE: finances, household responsibility, children] You talked about that stuff before you got married?
  • How did you bring that up? Isn't it weird to talk about that stuff?
And her friend gently told her about premarital counseling at her church. She told her how easy it was to talk about the important things. Because you have to talk about them. And you actually want to talk about them when you're with the person you're planning a future with.

And the little girl looked baffled. Like someone who was looking at snow for the first time. Here was a woman who shares her money with her husband.

Dear future husband, you can have my heart AND my cash.

And yes, I realize that I called the same person a woman, a girl, and a child. Because she was all three. And should probably move to Calgary with her parents.

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