To do list – 2020

• Marry an EU National.

The end

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Only joking. About the ‘the end’ bit. Obvs. The marriage bit – notsamuch….. Otherwise this would qualify as the shortest (shittest) post I’ve ever written. This is not up for debate.

Nobody seems to be taking me seriously. I’ve been tentatively tabling the idea since June 2016 as follows: ‘Right! Let’s get me good and married.’

I’ve set it as a permanent homework for students since the result of the referendum. I’ve mentioned it to my hairdresser, GP, the man who pays my salary and very much to all the men friends I have. I need a European husband and pretty pronto, given the current timeline of Bozo and his cabal of hard Brexiters. As I understand it, I have until December 2020, so come on, let’s get cracking.

Despite constant reassurance that it is, indeed, just for the papers, the men I’ve spoken to definitely don’t (want to) understand that it’s *Just. For. The. Papers.

With my best interests at heart, some have entered into big bro mode – seeking to screen potential suitors for my guaranteed future in the EU, in the manner of a character from an Austen novel. Others, who are single, to whom I’ve said, ‘marry me for the papers‘, have suffered, I’m sure, anaphylaxis. The symptoms are all there: skin flushes, hives, the throat and mouth swell and they can’t swallow. There has been clutching of abdomens, nausea and some vomiting. Some described a sense of impending doom. They could all be possessed, of course. I’m not stupid, I’ve seen the documentary: The Exorcist. But I don’t think so. It’s because marriage not for the papers is ‘terrifying’, and marriage for the papers is, of course, one in the same. One even passed clean out. Poor soul. Quick, call Austen again, we’ve got a vapours situation over here.

It doesn’t matter how much I say, ‘it’s just for the papers’, it’s falling on deaf ears. Is it because I’m knocking forty-nine and have a cat? Fair enough, I suppose I’m fair game in that respect. Shouldn’t be, but probably am.

Because, of course, any woman in my situation can’t possibly just want a marriage of convenience. They must really want to get married (due to profound **single sadness syndrome) in the real sense, to finally fulfil that Disney dream. You know, for that happy ever after. Well here’s a message for ya, my ‘happy ever after’ is the ability to retain my full rights as an EU citizen and keep moving around the EU if and when I want, freely, until the day I die. You won’t see that in any Snow White adaptation, so stick that in your breeches, Prince fucking Charming.

There is, inevitably, the question of what I will be bringing to the party. Well, to paraphrase Jack Kerouac; I have nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion. So whoever might decide to help a gal out would simply be an altruistic hero and would probably go to heaven. Or something. And of course, there’s the T. O. T. A. L. F. R. E. E. D. O. M. You can suffer two years of someone else’s post going to your house, can’t you? And you can use the situation to fend off real suitors with the genuine excuse of ‘I’m married’. Waggle that ring finger, baby. You can have an affair claiming ‘she doesn’t get me’ without having to do all the sneaking around, because you’d be in your place and I’d be in mine. Then when she wanted more, you could claim, ‘it’s complicated’….. I’m not advocating any of this, of course, I’m just saying it’s there should you want it. Come on chaps, isn’t that the dream? I’m doing the donkey work for you. If, for authenticity, a little kiss at the registry office is in order, I’ll spruce meself up for the occasion. I promise, sir (channels Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady).

Should there be occasion to spend some hours in each other’s company at any time during the mandatory two year period, in the words (or not) of another famed writer, I have nothing to declare (offer) but my genius. I may have tinkered with that a tad. And by genius, I mean witty repartee. And by witty repartee, I mean nonsense. You might be familiar with this.

The confusion of a woman wanting a marriage of convenience seems genuine and the fear seems not to be of the magnitude of the undertaking of marrying someone simply to help them out, but in the notion of marriage itself. As if once those papers are signed they’ll come home to find all their soft furnishings changed, their pants in the wash basket (stereotype? You betcha) and me reclining like Babs Cartland on the sofa with the – heaven forfend – remote control in my hot little married hand. Oh the humanity.

And so it is I continue upon my quest, like a secondary character from Lord of the Rings, hoping, at some point in the not to distant future, to be able to place that European ring upon my finger. I’ll keep you posted on progress, my Precious……

* (unless of course they’re handsome and charming, in which case I may be persuaded otherwise)

** made it up, sounds plausible.

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