This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a friend of a friend’s wedding. After receiving a myriad of baby shower invites over the past few years (which I’m usually never able to attend), it was nice change in event.
But for someone who enjoys being a wedding attendee (knowing full well that the reception is the best part), the matrimony topic is not my area of expertise. Whenever the subject of marriage comes up through relatives or within my own friend group, I tend to dismiss the topic with a casual “I don’t think I’ll have to worry about that,” and move on to the next point of conversation.
I’ll only dedicate one small paragraph to a few of the reasons why I have this mindset: 1) I have never realistically pictured myself in the position of wife (and if you want to know the “whys” behind THAT, it will take a late night talk or a few rounds of pints to make me chattier about that ;p), therefore I have not put much thought into the prospect, 2) Yes I realize I’m only 20, but I’m beginning to think that my long-term goals may not NECESSARILY compatible with matrimony, kids, white-picket fence, etc., which I feel is something which most (or at least a lot) of potential partners would eventually want, and 3) I unfortunately have witnessed more examples of bad marriages than good in my life (and in society in general), which…sucks, for lack of a better word.
But I at least know what a wedding entails…or at least what it should entail, though the significance of a marriage seems to have greatly lessened in recent history. The thing is, most people want a wedding, not a marriage. Probably now would be a good time to insert the inevitable anecdote about Kim Kardashian’s less than 90-day marriage to some basketball player, and the fact that the wedding budget was enough to feed a starving third-world country for at least the next few years. Or my entire graduating high school class’s college educations. But whatever. It was for love! A less than 90-day love.
When I hear people (mostly girls) talk about what they want their weddings to be like, a part of me wants to ask point-blank if they realize what the actual point of the whole wedding-shebang is for. It’s all fine and dandy up to a point, a point which makes me a bit disconcerted when the most vital part of even having the ceremony becomes clouded by what way the table napkins should be folded or whether or not to hire strippers for the bachelorette party.
Sometimes I think it would be more beneficial to perhaps downsize the fun and games aspect of weddings, and put more emphasis on the vow part of the ceremony. Perhaps the fun and games can come after the couple has made it through 7+ years of matrimonial bliss (7 because of the whole “seven-year itch” thing)?
^I know that sort of thinking is a bit ridiculous, which is why I said it’s a thought that SOMETIMES occurs to me, like when I think about one particular set of lyrics from Miranda Lambert’s “Automatic”: “Boys would call the girls/And girls would turn them down/Staying married was the only way to work your problems out.”
Annulments, separations and divorces aren’t free passes. When your spouse gets fat, no free pass. When the long-legged attractive new temp starts working at hubby’s office, NO FREE PASS. One spouse’s job that requires making a move out of state is not good enough reason to part ways, nor is the “sudden” realization that you two have “nothing in common.” <– And wouldn’t you have learned that earlier on in the relationship anyway?
I would like to point out that there are some obvious exceptions in which divorce is acceptable.
But planning your wedding isn’t some rite of passage that all couples get to have. It’s not something that automatically comes after the first date, the first fight, the anniversaries, first road trip together, and all that jazz. What if the day before you say “I do,” you find out that your significant other has suddenly lost whatever fortune he/she had? Or that they had been involved in a terrible accident in which you now must be your spouse’s caretaker with even the simplest tasks (eating, bathing, etc.)? Or that they have found out that they have a child from a previous relationship?
It’s okay if you are unsure as to what you would do in the above situations. I would be too. But whether your answer is an “I do” or an “I don’t,” be certain before you check the boxes for willingness to love your partner 1) for better or for worse, 2) for richer or for poorer, 3) in sickness and in health, 4) until death do you part.