THE MARRIAGE is factual. The names are changed to protect the parties from numerous boring conversations. “Who cares,” they say.
Summer in College Town. At 7:30 a.m. eating a bagel with cream cheese at Out To Lunch they discuss getting married. At 5:30 p.m. the same day they are in a lawyer’s office in Raleigh writing their marriage contract. One week later (July 23rd) they sign the contract, in triplicate, and everybody gets a copy. The lawyer’s dog, Gretel, looks on unconcerned.
They live happily ever After.
Springtime in College Town. The graduate has returned to College Town, now a year’s alumnus, after an unhappy homosexual affair. She is introduced to the lesbian community at a party. The women come in pairs, split up and flirt affectionately with all the other women. Someone asks the graduate, Tiggr, to dance. While dancing she asks Tiggr to come to her house to see her silkscreens. Tiggr asks if she has etchings too. The girl doesn’t understand. T. sits in a corner. She watches the women dancing. She doesn’t find the women attractive. Many of them smell bad. The good looking ones have mates. T. feels like a wallflower at the 8th grade prom.
Not interested in feminism, or sisterhood, she has nothing to talk about. Tiggr decides she is heterosexual and goes to spend the night with an old boyfriend.
Springtime in College Town. Roo is preparing to move into a private apartment. She is leaving her lover, a woman, and happily preparing to fuck as many men as she can before she leaves College Town to go back to the man she should have stayed with in the first place.
Tiggr and Roo meet. They become fast friends, and refuse to get involved with each other romantically.
(SEE PART I)
Summer in College Town. Having decided to get married, Tiggr spends the day calling Switchboard, ministers, etc. She gets questions like, “Why do you want to get married?” She replies, “I want to make an honest woman of us.” No one can help her. There is no precedent. Then at 3:30 American Civil Liberties refers her to a lawyer. He asks, “Why do you want to get married?” “We want children,” she answers. He laughs and tells her to come in at 5 o’clock.
The lawyer reminds them a lot of Willy Wonka. He laughs a lot. They do too. So does his dog. He tells them they could get a license, and if there was any hassle American Civil Liberties would take their case; but there would be a lot of publicity. “What a hassle,” says Tiggr. They decide to write their own civil contract. The lawyer reads every article of the N.C. license to them, and they keep the clauses they like and amend others. Some of the decisions take longer than others. Instead of the adultery (‘heck’ says Roo at the word) clause they write a prior consent clause.
“Neither one of us would say no if the other asked,” said Roo. “I mean, I’d have to want to fuck someone really bad to ask anyway, and she could tell if I wanted to or not — that protects us from fucking someone because he or she could do us a favor, and it keeps us honest. I hate sneaky things.”
“You would freak on the come-ons we’ve gotten since we’ve been together. We’re always getting these “you’re really sexy together and I’ve got money so let’s be a menage” lines from men with money. But it’s not like they think we’re missing something in bed, it’s obvious we aren’t and they are.”
PART III (cont.)
They also add a “sex as a weapon” clause. Tiggr said that if one partner cut off relations (for other than health reasons) for 6 mos., that should be grounds for separation. Roo cut it down to a month. The lawyer cut it down to 2 weeks. (When they came back to sign the contract, the lawyer had cut it to 7 days.) They write in a career conflict clause which states that separation due to career interests did not void the contract.
“Our contract is personalized and very flexible without being nebulous,” quote Tiggr. “That’s the way our relationship works. Mostly it’s protective — it keeps outside influences from affecting our personal lives.”
Continues Roo: “We tried to avoid all the legal hassles involved in marriage that make it a sick institution.”
July 23rd on Highway 54. Slowing down to avoid the van approaching in their lane, they try to decide whether or not to be straight when signing their contract. Since the term couldn’t apply to them anyway, they light a joint. Roo hums the wedding march as they walk toward the lawyer’s office. “Shh,” says Tiggr, “this is serious.”
(SEE PART I)
And they live happily ever After. (always worth repeating)