Monday, August 15, 2011

Mawage



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."

What do you think about it all?

5 comments:

  1. love the quote!!
    Ange

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mel's Dad/Sam and Oliver's GrandadAugust 16, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    Interestingly my dear girl, there is a rally today at Parliament House, and the guest speaker is an American lady spouting the cause for "a man and a woman" being the only true way for marriage.

    Funny that this rally is being held in the Australian city which has the highest rate of divorce!!!

    I bet the papers don't pick up on that!

    ReplyDelete
  3. My husband and I will be celebrating 30 years of marriage later this year and what a ride. Thank goodness we both have a sense of humour! Sue E.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! Congratulations Sue!
    Dad, I didn't know that Canberra had the highest rate of divorce. Perhaps that's why I know so many divorced people!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hmm I have always seen marriage as a public statement of a private commitment. (or maybe those of us who decide to do it should be committed but that's a whole other question...)

    I can understand why some people decide that they don't want to do it. But I also think that two people who do SHOULD be allowed to. I suppose I have seen the whole gammit - my parents who are still very much in love, partners and together after over 40 years; someone who I love WANTING to marry someone THEY love and not being able to and someone else I love being destroyed emotionally by their spouse when the spouse didn't take the relationship as seriously as they did....so the whole question is really difficult for me.

    Maybe the whole 10 year contract thing I have heard bandied about is a good idea - you either renew your vows after 10 years or you can walk away (financial and offspring questions being handled by an independant mediator...)....

    But I do agree any two consenting adults who want to share their lives together and are prepared to make the public statement of it SHOULD be allowed to (Have to say that "two consenting adult" thing cause that same rally your Dad was talking about also linked same sex marriage to some rather nasty things.)And I also think that the fact that some marriages (and I do see them as marriages) AREN'T legally recognised makes them want the public recognition even more.

    Anyway from my point of view, having watched you and Anthony together, you are stronger than a lot of married couples I know, I consider you married in every way that actually counts.

    The ceremony is just that, and if you don't want the public ceremony that's your decision. Scott and I decided to have the ceremony but in the long run, it was a good party - a great chance for my family, who live a long way away to meet him (had people come from Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and as far away as Perth), but other than that...I don't think our relationship is any stronger or any weaker because of it. Maybe it is easier to make the decision not to have the ceremony when both families all live in the same city...

    Sorry got a bit long winded about it but it is something I have thought a lot about recently.

    Esther

    ReplyDelete

I love comments!