Another two couples have just become engaged, but I feel very differently about the respective announcements.
The first is the lovely Kiwi and German couple with whom I spent Christmas Day here in Sydney, and I couldn’t be happier for them. They are both warm, caring and creative people and seem genuinely to bring out the best in each other and to share the same values. Excellent news, then. Not a bit Hogarthian.
The second couple’s announcement, however, I confess I am a little ambivalent about. He is an old friend. And Gay. Yes, as in Homosexual. Or at least, he was when I left the UK a year ago. I have never met his fiancee, but she’s definitely female.
I have seen photos of her. She looks like a typically Middle Class English woman in her mid 30’s. (I can say that because I suspect I, too, look like a typically Middle Class English woman). Horsey and sensible; practically if a little dowdily dressed. She rather reminds me of Charlotte Bronte’s description of Jane Eyre: “small and plain”.
Anyway, my point being, does she know he is or was gay? Does she care? And will it matter, really, if what they both want is to settle and have a family?
Maybe they’ll be married successfully for 50 years, rubbing along together companionably while other, more traditional, relationships crash and burn around them?
His parents, at least, will be delighted at the prospect of returning ‘normality’ and the probability of grandchildren.