Some girls grow up dreaming of their wedding day. Veil or no veil? Big church wedding or small ceremony on the beach? What shape will the diamond ring be? These questions, I've been told, are front and center in the minds of many women.
I'm not one of those women. My happily married parents tied the knot at City Hall, and my mother didn't take my father's last name. Growing up, marriage was the furthest thing from my mind—I was much more concerned with paving a path for a career I was passionate about than hitting relationship milestones. And frankly, I found a lot of the traditions associated with marriage to be pretty appalling. For example, why does a man forever keep the title of "Mr." while a woman goes from "Ms." to "Mrs.," and why is a woman expected to take her husband's name, saying goodbye to the identity she's had her whole life at the stroke of "I do"?
In my early 20s, I decided marriage was an institution I could do without. I watched friends and cousins get engaged, then married, and there was no question that a partnership and a day celebrating with friends and family made some people very happy. Who was I to judge? If that was their thing, great—it just wasn't for me.