Having spent my teenage years in smoky cafés in Berlin, reading Henry Miller, Anais Nin and Jean-Paul Sartre, my romantic dreams were mostly geared towards becoming an artist and leading a Bohemian life in Paris. To my friends and me marrying was something only boring people did and when we finally bowed to it (mostly for tax reasons and 'for the children'), we tried to keep it as inconspicuous as possible. (One of my friends actually married secretly, telling me later that she was convinced that marriage is the sure end of all romance).
So when I moved to England I was slightly bemused by the enthusiasm of most English for marrying, getting children and owning a house. Coming from a society where renting is a convenient and safe option (German renters are not only well protected, many rent contracts can be passed on through generations) to me owning a house only meant constraints to ones freedom; and though children are lovely, they often just happen. As for the husband… well, that would be one half of assumed boredom, wouldn't it?
Perhaps I was cheating myself all the time. Because when I stumbled upon a beautiful beaded dress in Australia I bought it with the words: "If I ever marry, this is going to be my wedding dress". The dress went into some trunk and was never used, until –
Although we kept it all very low-key it was a beautiful day and to me the dress made me feel special and really added to my sense of romance.*
*And now I’m going to brush up on my French!