I Now Pronounce You Fans Of Strife.

It seems to be the season of binding yourself, legally and emotionally, with someone you feel you have spent enough time with to ensure that you will definitely not get bored of them, or annoyed with them, or feel a creeping sense of waste and regret mostly due to them. That’s right, I’m talking weddings. I was supposed to go to a wedding this weekend but sadly I was feverish and snotty and ever so slightly vomity. I say sadly, but I’m not a big fan of weddings, so although I wish happiness and eternal togetherness to the couple in question – especially should they see this – what I really mean is fortunately. So, fortunately, I was unable to attend as mucus and the sweats and sick are not really the stuff of romance, or for that matter the stuff of musty, pointless institutions. They aren’t the only humans I know who are getting hitched. Oh no. There are loads of the buggers. It’s almost as if a trend is being followed – one domino falls and the others follow. Unless the subsequent domino is alone, cynical and bitter.
What’s the point? Of weddings I mean, not just in general. Sure, you love each other or whatever, I get that, and that’s nice I suppose but why the marriage? Why the expense, the stress, the legal entanglement? Obviously it’s a selfish desire to show off, act like you’re definitely more in love than everyone else and attempt to fix the deep emptiness and drifting loneliness you have always felt. Ok, maybe not. Well a little bit, but not entirely, so why? Why? It really can’t be that appealing to fill a religious building with people you kind of know, or are apparently related to, and then feed them all.
So two people commit to each other in a gesture of eternal love, because before that point they were just pretending, and in order to truly join together they need to have a party. No ordinary party though, an over organised, future cripplingly expensive one. Before the party there’s the cookie cutter, production line ceremony in which pleasantries so over used and repeated that they contain no real meaning are exchanged along with platitudes and half arsed, impossible to keep promises laced with borrowed sentiment and a sense of try hard, impersonal, never-gonna-live-up-to-this impending doom. Still, there is cake. And everyone gets to forget about their grinding, relentless lives for a day. Joylessly necessary division of work, debt, bickering. These are just some of the things the happy couple can practice on the day, in order to perfect them for an increasingly tiresome future. That and a lessening physical attraction to each other.
In a way a wedding is a wonderful metaphor for life: the focus is on an overwhelming minority, everything costs a lot more than it looks like it should, most of the words spoken will sound nice but ultimately mean very little, someone’s mother will eat and drink too much causing her to throw up over someone who up to that point was unsure how they felt about the whole thing, and if you’re really lucky some fool will get so pissed they’ll let you diddle them in a dark corner. Basically, everyone involved will be relieved when the whole sorry affair is over. And that’s before the affairs even start.
Of course there are exceptions. The odd few harmonious couplings who skip through a never ending field of buttercups and daisies, managing, inconceivably, to avoid planting their feet in cow shit. They’re freaks, naturally. People argue that there are tax breaks and other financial reasons to be wed, but if you’re getting married for tax breaks I would conclude that romance is not only dead but that it has been shredded, burned and and then somehow reanimated in order to kill it again, just to make sure. Anyway the money spent on the occasion is probably only just off set by any breaks, so you’d only end up even. And married. And divorce is expensive.
If one feels they must get married, and I’m not saying I won’t one day be persuaded by some beautiful creature, I feel it would be better to do it quietly, just the two people in love, somewhere amazing and inspiring and personal to them. No presents, no several courses, no free bar, no bloody disco. Then, after you’ve returned as a legally recognised unit, you can gather your real, close, actual friends and family and all go out on the piss, and everyone can pay for their own drinks and kebab. So congratulations to those I know who have just got, and soon will get married. Good luck and all that, hope it works out. To everyone else who has time to think about it, do you really need to? Have you been together long enough, do you know anything and everything? What difference will it make apart from the extra pressure it will put on both of you. Will you be anymore entwined? Will it make any difference – not to the crowds of hungry, judgemental onlookers – but to you, and if so, why?

Just carry on. Just get a cat or something. Just go away with each other. Just be together.

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