This Matter of Marriage
Published By: MIRA
Published: Jun 15, 2012
ISBN # 9780778323792
Available in: Secure Adobe eBook, Secure Adobe Epub eBook
The alarm on Hallie's biological clock is buzzing. She's hitting the big three-O and there's no prospect of marriage, no man in sight. Hallie, an organized, goal-setting kind of person, gives herself a year to meet Mr. Knight...In Shining Armor. But all her dates are disasters. (There's the cheapskate and the sex fiend and...well, never mind.)
Too bad she can't just fall for her good-looking neighbor Steve Marris--who's definitely not her type. Anyway, Steve's busy trying to win back his ex-wife, Mary Lynn, who's busy getting married--but not to Steve. Life would be so much simpler if he could fall for someone else. Like...Hallie. They're friends, though--and sometimes friends become lovers. Sometimes friends become more.
A new year generally starts out with me writing a few inspiring lines about how I'm going to lose five pounds--let's be honest, it's ten--and pay off all my credit cards and other high expectations like that. It's the same every January. But this year's going to be different. Oh, I still want to lose those extra pounds, more than ever, but for a different reason. I want a husband. And eventually a family. And that means I need a plan. Being a goaloriented person, I usually begin by identifying what I'm after (MARRIAGE!!) and then I work out a logical procedure for getting it. Which, in this case, includes looking good. (Not that I look bad now, if I do say so myself. But I'm talking really good. Are you listening, thighs?) Because, as I've learned in advertising, packaging counts. Putting all this into words is something of an eye-opener for me. I've come a long way from those college days when I refused to give in to what I called the "female escape route," like some of my friends. Cassie, Jamie, Rita and Jane all got married within six months of graduation, and as far as I could see, the only reason they did was because they found the real world more of a challenge than they'd anticipated, and used marriage as a cop-out.
Not me. Oh, no, marriage was much too conventional for me. I wanted to kick some butt in the business world first. Make a name for myself with my very own graphic arts firm. And I've done it! Now I feel like I've come full circle. I've accomplished a lot, and I won't minimize my achievements, but this Christmas I realized there's more to life than getting the Woman of the Year award from the Chamber of Commerce. So, last week I made the decision: Marriage! It's time to let a man into my life. Until now I've viewed relationships like...dessert. Nice occasionally, but not with every meal. My friends have been tossing potential husbands in my direction for years, and I've frustrated them again and again.
I'm too picky, that's what Rita says. Not true. I have my standards; every woman does. But my work's the reason I haven't married. I've poured my heart into making a success of Artistic License. For the past six years my focus, my talent and all my energy have been with the business. It's filled every waking minute. Then, this Christmas it hit me. I want more. I suspect this has something to do with losing Dad last June. Mom's still struggling, but then so are Julie and I. The holidays were really hard without him. Somehow, the celebration seemed empty and sad, and we were all kind of weepy thinking about the Christmas things he used to do--getting the tree every year and making a big deal out of hanging the decorations Julie and I made when we were kids. Reading the Nativity story on Christmas Eve. Putting on his Santa apron to carve the turkey. Things like that.
I'm so sorry Dad missed his granddaughter's first Christmas. I knew Julie's baby would help Mom through the grieving process, but I didn't expect little Ellen to have such a profound effect on me.
I've always thought of myself as the strong independent type. I haven't wanted a man around for fear I might be forced to admit I need someone. I don't know why I'm like this. (Then again, I'm not sure I want to know, either.) The point is, I feel differently now. It started when Julie gave me the baby to rock. I swear my heart melted when I held her. In that moment I felt something I can only describe as maternal instinct, and I realized this is what I want. This is what's been missing from my life. A husband, a family. With the right husband, I know I can have it all. Home, family and career. Plenty of women do it, and I can, too....