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Why do I want to get married so bad?

It started with the hair. First, many of the women I knew were growing it out. If their hair inched past their shoulders, my developing theory went, a Facebook announcement would soon follow: She had gotten engaged. Was there a more obvious way than long hair to signal your readiness for a wedding updo, followed by a lifetime of legally enshrined gender roles? I started feeling a little relieved when someone would show up with a fresh bob.

I only noticed this because the things that trouble us are also usually the things that interest us. To my horror, starting around the time I turned 27, I could not bat marriage away: It felt contagious, in the conversation — and you couldn’t deny that it really suited some people, like jumpsuits. Even Beyoncé was singing, in dubious duet with Drake, that getting married was all she could think about. It was irrational and useless, but I was starting to tell myself it was possible there were people for whom it worked. Still: Marriage was — it remains — my most embarrassing interest to date.


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