Written by Jess Fostekew


Here’s to you, Not Mrs Robinson

This week is Marriage Week, whatever that means, so we took the opportunity to ask our writers how they felt about tying the knot. Today, Jess Fostekew explains how she wants to get old with Mr Robinson, but she doesn’t want to be his wife.

Mrs Robinson? She's welcome to the name, says Jess.

Mrs Robinson? She’s welcome to the name, says Jess.

I never want to get married, but I’m not sure why.

I don’t hate the government. Well, I do hate this particular government but that’s because I’m not a big fan of compassion-free unfairness. I don’t hate the Queen. In fact, I think I’d like to stroke her hand. I don’t hate ‘the state’ or ‘the man’ or even God, the silly old tit. I’d make promises in any of their names if it was something that mattered even slightly to me.

It’s not about commitment. I’m not scared of loving someone until I’m dead. I better not be; I’ve spawned a baby. A little bastard, technically. I adore him to the point that I would die, kill or even fast for him. It’s the most intense feelings I’ve ever had and I’m not bothered that they’re permanent, that’s not the issue.

I am really in love with one gentle man who I’ve loved for many years; we’ve been through over a decade of various states of entanglement. I can see us getting cheerily decrepit together. It’s not that I think, “Well I love him now, but what if I don’t always?” I’m more idealistic and romantic than that. I love picturing us sat next to each other still so far into the future that whenever one of us moves a bit of us falls off. See? Romantic. But I’ve never pictured us at an altar.

It’s not because I can’t stand the thought of all that attention. Christ, I’m a comedian. Gollum could take or leave his cruddy ring compared to how I feel about attention.

“White dresses in particular can get fucked. I had to wear a white T-shirt for a short film once and it looked like someone had cast the sail of a ship with a face.”

My uncle once told me he feels we’re duty bound not just to have weddings but to have big ones, with lots of people there. He feels that’s a moral duty because of how it brings people together and puts a marker in lots of peoples’ timeline – part of what creates our histories as people who are connected to each other. It’s a valid opinion but I don’t share it.

Duty schmooty. I don’t feel like my life, nor that of anyone I know, is missing a pivotal, memorable moment because I’ve never assembled everyone I love in a room to specifically celebrate how well my relationship is going.

I’m not dead inside, I really love my friends’ weddings. I cry with joy at them. Once I went to a friend’s wedding completely on my own, not knowing anyone except the couple, in Milton Keynes, stayed in a Travelodge on a motorway and forgot to bring a handbag so carried a black rucksack round all day. AND I STILL HAD A LOVELY DAY. In Milton Keynes.

Yet I do not care about doing it myself.

I love one person. One person who, incidentally, if I married and took his name I’d become ‘Mrs Robinson.’ Every day I’d phone people called Benjamin and in my filthiest voice say, “Do you want me to seduce you, Benjamin?” I could do that even if they weren’t called Benjamin. I could, and I would. I love crying. I love planning. I love food. I love parties. I love everyone looking at me. I even love impractical promises so why? WHY don’t I want a special day?

Nope, Jess still isn't biting.

Nope, Jess still isn’t biting.

I hate dresses, that’s a factor. White dresses in particular can get fucked. I had to wear a white T-shirt for a short film once and it looked like someone had cast the sail of a ship with a face.

Money matters. My chap and I want to buy a home before we’re dead or even rent somewhere at least big enough that when our child learns to walk he can practise taking more than two steps at a time. I like spending money on nice food. My other half has a penchant for Star Wars Lego. And there’s the baby; he needs nappies and bat-capes and that. If we’ve ever got the wedge to get married there’s a hundred different things we’d rather spend it on first.

Lastly, I suppose, I don’t see marriage making relationships better very often. My parents certainly never made it look very snazzy. Their wedding picture was a hilarious conga line of perms, mullets and lace collars that I’m sure they would rather have been allowed to forget. My Mum’s lovely belly, giant with a six-month-cooked future me, hence the marriage at all.

They didn’t stay together any longer because they’d married than if they hadn’t and that’s a relief, really. I’m not saying marriage is bad for relationships but, ultimately, I can’t see what it would add to mine.

There’s a place for weddings in this wide and wonderful world, but they’re not for everyone. They’re not for me.


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Written by Jess Fostekew

Jessica Fostekew is a writer, comedian, actor, law degree-waster, sister, daughter and beard-fan with an unabashed food infatuation.