She gave him an ultimatum. She said he had to marry her within the next year, or she was done. She’d been with him for years already.

She still had a bit of a wild side to her back then. She liked having a bit too much to drink and having to balance on a handsome stranger’s arm to get her down the stairs to the subway platform. Never anything more than that. It was all in good fun. She really loved him. She really wanted to marry him.

When he hesitated, said he wasn’t ready, she was hurt. We made alternate fantasy plans. When the year was up, we’d ditch Canada and go to Spain. We’d teach English and room together in a villa in Seville. We’d eat paella and drink sangria every night, never worrying about relationships.

But her parents got involved. Her father sat him down and told him he would give them a down payment for a condo, if they were to get married. Her mom urged her to have babies soon. At 26, she was already a year older than the mom had been when she’d had her. Her mother warned her against having babies later in life because she would never be able to connect with them if she was an “old mom.”

She didn’t disagree. For her, the proof was right there in front of her. Her mom had been a young mom, and they were close. Her boyfriend’s mom was older, and they were not. A year older, overwhelmingly single and with no plans of children of my own anytime soon, I vehemently disagreed. I offered no opinion on the matter. My proof existed too. My mom had me in her mid 30s, and we were close.

She double booked herself on a Friday afternoon. We were supposed to lead the after-school activity to the museum together, at the same time she was scheduled to leave for a two-week trip out west. She was the one who suggested I invite that new teacher Ant, whom I’d gone to university with, instead. She insisted. When I hesitated, she doubled down.

Her boyfriend proposed to her out on a lake with a mountainous backdrop and her siblings baring witness in a boat nearby. The ring was perfect, the pictures were perfect, the moment was perfect. I squealed about it on my third date with Ant, showing him all the perfection. Her fate, however loosely, will forever be tied to mine.

They were married a little over a year later, almost to the date. On my one year anniversary with Ant. I was a bridesmaid. It was one of the most fun, over the top, and memorable weddings I’ve ever been to. They both radiated with happiness. They’d made the right choice.

Sometimes we’re not really sure about what we want until we go for it. Sometimes we want conflicting things, or things that scare us. Sometimes the path we choose requires a little extra push and that push affects those around us in unexpected ways. Most of the time, luckily, things end up happening exactly as they should.

She had her first baby last fall. Her second this past March. Her kids will be close in age and have a great mom. They’re gorgeous. Their parents are madly in love. They’re all supremely happy.

Ant and I have been together for five years today. We’re not married and still don’t have any plans for kids anytime soon. But we too are supremely happy.

All because she gave him an ultimatum.


15 thoughts on “The Ultimatum

  1. I think we put too much pressure on marriages these days. I’m a bit progressive with this, but I think it’s completely possible to be with someone without ever getting married, as marriage is nothing but legal work, to formally announce to the public that, yes, the two of you are together. I’d say if you’re happy being with someone, but not married, then that’s fine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree with the age stuff! I was actually so shocked to hear people would hold those beliefs these days. Especially a “young mom”.

      I think the ending was surprising because I initially started with the idea of writing this more critically, but then I realized that people can be happy in different ways, and I thought that would make for a more interesting take 🙂

      Thanks for reading.


  2. Glad things worked out well–sometimes you just have to put your foot down. As for me, I was 33 when we had our daughter and we’re very close, so I think it just depends on the person:-)

    Liked by 1 person

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