When I was young, I thought it would be nice to get married. The romance, the ring, the big shindig and the tropical honeymoon...
I guess like (almost) any young girl, it seemed so romantic and wonderful. Movies with men sweeping pretty young things off their feet didn't do anything to hurt my semi-fantasies either.
As time went on and I started seeing a bit more of the world (and the ways that people could truly hurt each other if they wanted to), the sheen started to wear off a bit. My parents were always good marriage role models (they've been married 40 years), but there were plenty of people around me that marriage didn't agree with.
When I got myself knocked up and decided that I'd stick with Anthony for a while, he pretty much vetoed marriage right from the start. I don't know what it was, perhaps growing up in a single parent family, but he just didn't want to do it. Perhaps at the time he didn't want to commit to anything, but he's also pretty introverted, and would feel fairly uncomfortable when involved in any public display of affection.
At first I was worried about it - I'd always thought it would be nice for my dad to walk me down the aisle, but after a while I forgot about it. We spent some money buying a house instead (which was a pretty good move - just the unimproved land value is worth three times what we paid for it!)
We've been together nearly 17 years (I know, I know, I've heard it before: 'you get more time for murder'). In that time, I've seen more than one marriage fail. There are people that I know who are on their second. Or third.
So now, when I see all the fuss that gets made about marriage, I wonder why we (the societal we) do make such a fuss about it? Many people don't enter into marriage with the conviction that it will be lifelong. And then you have the people who want to get married but that aren't permitted by our laws to do it.
Oh, weddings are nice I guess, if you've got the money and lots of friends. I'm even going to one this year which will no doubt be lovely. I'm all for it if that's what people want to do. In fact, for many people the best part of a marriage is possibly the wedding!
I guess what I'm trying to say is that as an institution, marriage is changing. There are some who would have us believe that it still means the same as it did 500 years ago, but I beg to differ.
So why can't we change it? Make it a bit more fun. If it's not going to be permanent, then perhaps we could shake it up a bit, make it more exciting. And allow anyone to do it. If that's what they want.
What do you think? Did you get married? Was it worth it?
And while I'm on the subject, did you hear about the folks in the U.S who started a petition calling for Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie to get married?
Is it just me, or is this just silly?
They're so totally not gay. If they were, I'd be all for the marriage (the best wedding I've ever been to was a lesbian/pagan handfast thingy), but they're not gay. But gee people are making a fuss about it!
I think Armistead Maupin summed it up quite well actually:
"The folks who fret that a wedding between Bert and Ernie would "sexualize" a kids' show were remarkably silent about a frog porking a pig."