"But unless we can shift from treating all citizens first and foremost as separate individuals, toward a willingness to take a policy stand explicitly for life in common, the trend away from shared life toward bitter atomisation will continue, and the deferred costs of that atomisation will increasingly come due," writes Mary Harrington."
My grandmother was in many ways an unconventional woman, but having been at different times a doctor, a farmer, and a single mother, she was never less than pragmatic. On one of my regular visits to her care home, in my mid-twenties, she said to me out of the blue: “Mary, I think you should probably grow your hair out and get married.”
Back in my arty, transient, queerish flatshare, leading a hand-to-mouth existence curating experimental art events and working unpaid in Web 2.0 startups, I laughed with my housemates at her quaint views. At the time I was enjoying my freedom, the fungibility of my existence, the sense that I could change everything at the drop of a hat.
Something must have stuck though, because a couple of years I realised I did want to get married. I very intentionally sacked off the polyamory, the friends with benefits and the complicated entanglements and started dating with a view to finding a life partner.