One of my closest friends is getting married on Saturday. This is great news for him. His fiancé is a wonderful woman. I am happy for him. I’m glad he was able to find someone who should bring joy and love into his life. I hope that they have decades and decades of contentment and bliss. I believe that they have a relationship that can weather the storms and find a long-lasting and fulfilling stability. They’ll be great together.
There, that’s out-of-the-way.
I feel as though I have an endless list of reasons for hating weddings. It seems completely obvious to me that everyone should feel the same way. I want to point out this complete and utter loathing of weddings is not the same as my beliefs about marriage. It has nothing to do with my thoughts on marriage at all.
I don’t think I’m unique in my disdain for weddings themselves. I didn’t even like my own wedding.
I hate the idea of placing all this emphasis on the pomp and ceremony of the wedding and never placing emphasis on what being married actually means. I loathe that we throw these huge, insanely expensive parties for a bride and groom that would almost always be better off using that money on something important, like divorce lawyers.
Weddings are a waste of time and resources that inevitably start a couple out on the wrong foot. It’s a few hours of dancing and singing with no substance. If weddings mean to stabilize a relationship for a new couple, then they should be spread out over several months. They should be time-consuming and meaningful. They should be filled with lessons from couples that have gone through all the waist deep garbage that piles up in the first year of marriage and can pull any couple under.
I honestly believe that the emphasis we place on weddings is the reason that we have so many failed marriages.
In the old-times1 a couple didn’t just have a wedding. They didn’t just go to a Church and get hitched. It was a process. First, they had to court for a while. I’m not entirely sure what a courtship entails, but I’m pretty sure it’s different from dating. I think it involved sewing people to a bed, but I might just be thinking of The Patriot2.
After a courtship, came a betrothal. I’m pretty sure this involved one party going and paying the other party’s family a large pile of cows. Different cultures determined which side was paying the other and which family members got to keep the cows. Cows were always used, though. Bovines have actually been the primary center of our economy for thousands of years. Shhh… That’s a secret.
Then, the couple would spend A YEAR being engaged and learning to be part of each other’s lives. ONE YEAR, NO LESS, and often MORE.
Then, they’d have a small ceremony with a guy in a robe and be sent away from their families for at least a month.
That’s why it’s called a Honeymoon, it lasted for a full lunar cycle.
Hopefully, when they came back from that, they’d be pregnant with their first kid and they could start the entire cycle over again.
See how the world was so much better back then.
Now, from my experience, marriage goes like this:
A couple meets. They go on exactly 35 dates. They decide they like sleeping together but don’t hate each other enough to start fires. They tell everyone they know to come and give them free things for their home at a party they throw that costs roughly as much as a new car. Then, they go back to their lives, and debt, until the stress of it all causes them both to go insane. There might still be a cow involved.
Eventually, they divorce.
I’m choosing to blame the wedding process.
Maybe I’m misguided. Maybe I’m just biased and jaded. I mean, just because my marriage collapsed in a horribly spectacular way doesn’t mean that everyone’s marriage is going to implode violently, right?
Maybe. I just can’t shake the feeling that there is something wrong with modern marriages from the beginning. There has to be something poisoning marriages from the outset, and the only changes I see are the ever-increasing significance of weddings.
I’m probably just projecting my other fears onto the ceremony of it. I don’t like parties in general. I’m not big on ceremony, and generally think it’s meaningless. Weddings are a ceremony and a party. They are full of people wearing stuffy clothing, mingling and drinking.
Of course, that says nothing for how horrible it is to go to a wedding alone. Weddings are proof to a single person that everything they are in life is failure. In celebrating a couple that works, we are actually parading out our friends that aren’t in working relationships and torturing them for several hours. It’s cruel and unusual punishment.
I avoid it at all costs. I definitely don’t need reminders that I am a lonesome loser, beaten by the Queen of Hearts every time.
But, I care about my friend. I will go to his wedding. I will smile and have a good time. I will congratulate him on snagging a woman that makes him happy. I will congratulate her on snagging a good dude. I’ll be genuinely happy for them.
Then, when they run off in their limo to make rabbits blush, I will slip out the back, drive deep into the country where I will stare up at the sky and scream, “I. HATE. WEDDINGS!”
Then I’ll go back to my empty apartment and contemplate exactly how much rainbow sherbet I can eat in one sitting.