I love my friends. Truly I do. But I must admit that I’m happy to have the excuse of living all the way on the other side of the continent from most of them, because this way I can tactfully avoid weddings.
Weddings generally give me migraines, because I can feel the stress and tension all around me. If I’m not thinking, “Man, oh man, this is a really bad Idea,” I’m reviewing the overwhelming statistical fact that this union is more likely to fail than not. I find this concept supremely depressing. It’s like dressing up for a slow moving train wreck, and being expected to provide a gift for the occasion.
And then, as a woman, I have to try not to grind my teeth too loudly while the traditional sexist pomp and circumstance unrolls before my eyes. The father of the bride, giving her away as if she were property. The bridesmaids, originally supposed to dress exactly like the bride to confuse evil spirits. And even if the word “obey” has been removed from most modern wedding vows, it still looms unspoken over the event. Then there’s the wedding veil to hide the woman away from those same evil spirits. (Why are evil spirits so drawn to weddings in the first place, hmmm?) And the throwing of the rice to bring on the fertility, because of course, everyone wants to procreate, right? Give me strength.
And then once you’re married, you’re legally bound to that person, and their every bonehead financial move reflects upon you. The thought of endangering my hard-won 800 FICO credit score for some traditional view of happily ever after causes a grapefruit sized lump of aversion to form in my throat. And if you think that in this day and age marriage is some guarantee of stability and/or fidelity and/or security, you are, frankly, delusional.
And then there’s the traditional anniversary gift thing. Your first year is paper. Your tenth is tin or aluminum. Fifteenth is Crystal. Fiftieth is diamond. Like you slowly increase in value over time. Like you’re an investment. Well, heaven knows you’ve earned it, but to be honest, I suspect that in reality, your spouse appreciates you less as the years go on. You depreciate as a used car does. Maybe you should get the diamonds in the first year, if they’re so important to you.
Okay, yeah, I’m cynical. But it’s only because I’ve never really seen a happy marriage. What does one look like, exactly?