Such an old-fashioned term - one that I once erroneously thought purely confined to the dusty pages of a torrid Regency Romance where a mutually satisfying marriage contract is drawn up for reasons other than love and commitment, whether for personal gain or political advantage.
These days however in families and societies where homosexuality remains strictly taboo, many actually enter into marriages of convenience to satisfy family pressure to wed and have children. Definite shades of the Wedding Banquet where a gay Taiwanese-American man married a female Chinese immigrant in search of a green card. The surprising number of sites intended for eligible gay bachelors in search of bridal beards attest to the overwhelming popularity of this seemingly antiquated construct.
Even here it's certainly not unheard of. In fact quite a few randy fellows I know are slipping out of their conjugal beds for extramarital midnight rendezvous with their gay boyfriends. There is a shameful difference though. Unlike the more equitable marriages of convenience I mentioned earlier, their wives remain blissfully asleep in their beds unaware of their diminished roles in their sham marriages.
Ugh. Dishonesty. So that's a step I've never thought of taking.
Hey, don't judge me!
Till now. Candid conversations at work with a nurse of marriageable age, Miranda Merry - and yes, who knows I'm fabulously homosexual - has led to teasing titbits like this.
Miranda : God, I hate being single.
Paul : You won't be forever.
Miranda : I'm practically on the shelf. Damn spinsterhood.
Paul : Can't empathize with that. It would be nice to have a baby though.
Miranda : We should just get a sham marriage. You marry me, I give you the baby.
Paul : I can keep my boyfriend.
Miranda : But I can have affairs.
Paul : You can't get impregnated by uglies though.
Miranda : No problem. I can't trust myself anyhow. You can vet through the men.
Paul : I hope you're not kidding.
Miranda : Not entirely sure if I am.
Frank discussion of this supposed marriage of convenience seems to crop up every once in a while - much to the stupefaction and chagrin of the other disapproving nurses. Even with their shockingly inappropriate conversations, guess there are still some lines they don't cross.
Though I am getting more curious by the day. A marriage of convenience with Miranda. What if she isn't entirely kidding?