Cover Story: That Girl

Age: 26 Lives: Clifton Works: Graduate Student I've long lived in fear of becoming "that girl." You know her? She's the one who dates the same man year after year, praying, before each birthday,

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Age: 26
Lives: Clifton
Works: Graduate Student

I've long lived in fear of becoming "that girl."

You know her? She's the one who dates the same man year after year, praying, before each birthday, holiday and anniversary that this one will be the one when he presents the perfect diamond ring and pops the question.

I have always felt sorry for "that girl." And I've met many of them over the years, talking as they do in hushed tones about the ring, the right moment, if he's done it yet and how they've waited and on and on and on.

Yet here I am. After so many years of pitying "that girl" and even swearing off marriage for myself, I find myself torn between disappointment that my own man hasn't tried to land me forever and fearing that he just might.

I've always been torn on the subject of marriage.

And it's not because I come from a broken home or have issues about commitment.

No, my marriage woes center on becoming that other type of girl — the one who has to ask permission to go out with friends, call home if she's late, explain where she's been, grocery shop, wash dishes, cook and clean.

A lot of this, though, has already been dispelled with me. My man cooks more meals for me than I cook for him. He cleans and washes dishes and all of those other things our fathers didn't do.

But right when I'm about to call the caterers, my feminism talks me out of it. I wonder if I really want to join the institution that has legalized the subjugation of women, even promoting and protecting it.

Do I really want to have to call when I will be late? Part of me sees calling home as giving in, while another part considers it mere courtesy.

I've found myself searching for a marriage much like those that gays and lesbians seek. I want something not ridden with historic injustices and oppression, something simple, something free.

Despite all this, much like "that girl" I long loathed I find myself waiting for that moment when he says, with ring in hand, "Hey, how about me and you get hitched?"

I already know the answer, but it doesn't seem to make the answer any less daunting.

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