Before I say 'I do', let's go over every possible scenario

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So many what ifs, even when one has found a soulmate

Alex, the first night we met, I knew you were the one. When you asked me to move in, I didn't hesitate. When you proposed, I said "yes" right away.

But doesn't that all seem... a little unlike me? It took me three months to commit to a new shower curtain. And I just really feel like, well, maybe instead of following my heart, I should be thinking through our relationship the same way I think through everything else: way too much.

When I sat down to write these vows, the words just started pouring out of me. Into a "pros" and "cons" list.

What? Well, you said your vows were going to be funny. I don't know why mine can't have one little joke. See, this is why we need to talk about this whole thing - obviously we're not always on the same page. Sorry, everyone, I'll try to make this quick. Although really, you'll sit here as long as I want - I'm the one paying for the open bar, haha. I mean we. It's our debt now.

Oh, my God. We're the ones paying for this. What if we go bankrupt? We'll have to downgrade our plans for a dream home to a dream cardboard box under an overpass. Oh, you think that's crazy? Well, I already asked my sister, and she said we can't live in a tent in her and Robert's backyard, so really what other options would we have? Right, Sandy? Oh my gosh, you can't hide behind your maid-of-honour bouquet, Sandy. Everyone can see you. You look beautiful, by the way, thank you so much for being here.

Or what if we get our dream home, but one of us leaves the stove on, and we both die of carbon monoxide poisoning? I would rather our dream home have an electric stove, but hey, nothing's perfect, even in dream scenarios. Yes, I think about this stuff! I also don't want one of those refrigerators that make the ice cubes for you because I like filling the trays. What, you thought my wedding vows would be all, "Ooh, your eyes are shining stars and my soul orbits your aura"? Please. I'm far too pragmatic for that.

Oh, my God. We're the ones paying for this. What if we go bankrupt? We'll have to downgrade our plans for a dream home to a dream cardboard box under an overpass. Oh, you think that's crazy? Well, I already asked my sister, and she said we can't live in a tent in her and Robert's backyard, so really what other options would we have?

Speaking of which, back to the carbon monoxide. Although if we're both dead, I guess we just skip to the "till death do us part" part - marriage mission accomplished. But what if only one of us dies? Does the other then die of a broken heart - like, in solidarity? Or spend a lifetime alone, making 911 calls to complain about neighbourhood children laughing too loudly, "as if there's anything in this stupid world to be happy about"? Or what if we both almost die but then we both pull through, and at first we can't remember which one of us left the stove on, but then like a year later out of nowhere I remember it was me, but I can't bring myself to tell you? Do I let the guilt tear me apart inside, or do I kill you before you remember it was me, too, and seek your revenge?

Fine. You want me to "be realistic"? Well, OK. What if we survive the carbon monoxide poisoning and never figure out how it happened, but one of us is so shook up by it that in that fragile state, he seeks comfort in the arms of another? Yeah, "he", because by "one of us" I mean "you". I'm not saying I don't trust you! But if either of us is going to go out and cheat, frankly, it should be you. You'd be better at it. Remember when I tried to flirt with that bartender to get us free drinks? I just wound up hearing about his novel.

What do you mean, that would never happen because you love me? What if you're selected for a special mission to Mars to begin populating a new colony of humans in space? It wouldn't be "cheating," exactly, because it'd be a direct order from the president, but - Wait, are you starting your vows? Don't start your vows, I'm not done yet! Stop! Wait a minute, "Since you met me, you've never wanted to even look at another girl"?

Let's take a minute to unpack that, because I am a woman, a strong, confid - well, maybe not confident. I mean confident in myself, but not necessarily my decisions, obviously, or we wouldn't be talking about this. Unless - oh, no, do you think those things might be connected?

What about - hey! Can you please take this seriously? There are a lot of things to consider here, and I just want to make sure we're thorough. Right? Don't you agree? Hmm? Do you need a minute? You look like you need a minute.

Everyone, please Cha-Cha Slide on over to the reception hall and meet us back here in, say, half an hour. And I was just kidding earlier. It's a cash bar.

NYTIMES

• Alison Zeidman is a comedian and writer.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 02, 2016, with the headline 'Before I say 'I do', let's go over every possible scenario'. Print Edition | Subscribe