It’s a Wedding, Not a Ritual Sacrifice.

angry-brideStop me, if you’ve heard this one, kittens. Marriage is an unnatural abomination! It makes mice out of men and shrews out of women. We were meant to be polyamorous sex tigers, roaming the wild plain in our convertible mini-vans, untethered by the myth of love and free to shag anything with legs. That’s science!

Oh, you have heard that? Yeah, me too, especially since Professor McGregor and I decided to hitch our life wagons together. Lots of people are stoked for us, but there are also a lot of people who think it their mission to warn us off marriage. They shake their heads, disgusted by our naïveté, insisting that marriage is really hard and most of them don’t even work out and wouldn’t we be happier with a nice puppy, instead? Puppies are pretty tempting, but so is marrying my dear bearded one.

It’s not like we haven’t heard the statistics. You can’t throw a stone at an American sitcom, without being reminded that “50% of all marriages end in divorce!” Which is true, but also not. Divorce rates are substantially higher for those who marry under the age of 25 and for those on their 3rd/4th/8th marriage, which skews the results. Also, sometimes shit happens. People grow apart, change life priorities, or turn into Yetis. There’s no rhyme or reason to the future. It’s unpredictable, by nature, unless someone learned something from Dr. Trelawney’s class that I missed. We’re not morons. We don’t believe it’s all going to be candy lanes and gumdrop clouds for eternity, but we’re also not going to chuck it all, because bad things might happen. I’m the world’s most paranoid person and even I think that’s no way to live!

It’s the oft-repeated assertion that marriage is unnatural that really makes my toe jam boil, however. The line of thinking goes like this: Humans aren’t meant to be monogamous, just look at science! You see, cavemen puttered around killing things and ravishing women, so that’s our natural state. Men want to spread their seed! Women want to raise the babies! Monogamy doesn’t work, because it strangles our biological impulses. Except…no, it doesn’t. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but humans have progressed a bit. We found fire, built some cities, and really settled into not being animals. If marriage is an unnatural state, then so are shoes. If you’re going to preach that we shouldn’t do anything cavemen didn’t, then you better put that hamburger down and give me your iPad. Cooked food is unnatural and the only technology you need is a spear, right?

Look, marriage isn’t for everyone. I totally agree! Some people are much happier having lots of anonymous sex, instead, or dedicating their lives to building robot sloths. Some people have had so much tragedy in their lives that they can’t depend on someone else and be happy. Some people just don’t want to get married. There is no universal right choice, because—say it with me now, longtime readers!— people are people and people are different. I’ve known gloriously happy long-married people, as well as joyfully single ones.

So, save your looks of sympathy for the naïve engaged couple. Maybe your first marriage didn’t work out, or your husband drives you batty, but that has no bearing on us. We are not marching to our fated doom.

Marriage is neither a ritual sacrifice into a pit of despair nor a crime against nature. It’s just this ceremony that means we’ve decided to be together always and want the legal rights that go along with that. Your advice comes from a good place, but it’s misplaced. We only get this one life, so we should all make our own choices. Mine is getting married, while yours may be riding in that mini-van of sex. Cheers to us both, darling!

– Grace

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38 thoughts on “It’s a Wedding, Not a Ritual Sacrifice.

  1. Um, why should we only be free to shag anything with legs? Legless people can be shagged too. It’s not really the legs that are important. You should get a book, lest your honeymoon be filled with awkwardness! lol. Sorry.

  2. Getting married is a personal choice. While I think SOME marriages ARE doomed to fail from the start, SOME of us have put in the time, the work, and really DO love each other and want to make it work. As a newly-wed myself I think theres nothing better than getting married. Thats just me tho, to each your own I say. Don’t listen to the nay-sayers and just be happy! And don’t stress about the planning. Just do whatever it is you want to do and thats that. 🙂 Congrats!

    • Thanks so much for the great comment and congratulations on your marriage! I am totally in you camp: just because some marriages don’t work out doesn’t mean all marriages are broken. People are different, so are their marriages and lives!

  3. Very true and well-said. Oh, and if I may add my two cents on the science bit: There are ALL kinds of partnership models in the animal kingdom. From monogamy to harems of males, harems of females, hermaphrodites, sex change, even parthenogenesis (that’s when no males whatsoever are involved) – if you trust science (which I do) then you will have to accept that the evolution of monogamy in humans is at least a possibility. So go right ahead and marry that man of your dreams, dear Grace. I have yet to regret this move, 6 years and 2 children later.

    • Thanks so much for the great input, Sandra! You are so, so right – if nature allows for so many different partnership models, who are we to say what’s best or most natural for humans? Trusting in science is always the way to go, if you ask me.

  4. I have often wondered if the marriage ceremony was outlawed if that would help decrease the ole divorce rate. I don’t know about you guys, but a lot of girls I know (sorry to pin the finger on us, honeys) spend their whole life thinking about that one single day. They plan, plan, plan, plan and give no absolute thought to the ‘until you die’ part. I think marriage is hard but possible for two people who want to work for it and realize there is life after that big fluffy dress and expensive reception.

    • Amen. I think we’d all be better off, if we stopped focusing on the one day of the wedding and instead spent some time considering the actual marriage.

  5. Great post! I’m with you, Grace! I have a friend or two that insists marriage is a “dated, archaic convention” every time I talk about my future dream wedding (which isn’t often, I swear!). Well, that’s all fine and good for you, but I’m not against the idea of being married. If it happens with the right person, it happens. I’m not going to abstain from nuptials just because a lot of other people seem to having trouble getting it right.

  6. “If marriage is an unnatural state, then so are shoes.”

    Made me giggle. Thankfully the office was empty when said giggling occurred.

    Statistics don’t mean crap. They’re all compiled and interpreted to suit whoever the stats are for. Marriage, like you’ve said, is a personal thing. Those naysayers can just go on living without shoes!

    • Ha! Thanks, Jaina! Glad there was no one around for the giggling.

      And you summed it up brilliantly. Statistics are crap! They don’t mean anything on an individual basis at all.

  7. What a fab post, and so well said! I do agree with you and I often get the “oh”! When I let people know I am engaged and am getting married in less than a year. Some of these ladies have made fabulous comments to support your position, and I absolutely agree. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. Too many people are excited about the wedding and overlook the marriage. It’s not really love that will cause tension, it’s money, it’s kids, it’s decisions regarding these things. So many people don’t talk about these issues before marrying and then are shocked to learn that the husband doesn’t want to have a joint account or the wife wants her kids to go to private school or take dance where dad wants them to play soccer and there’s not enough time or money for both. It’s astonishing, really. Good luck! I’ve been with my lady for 17 years and we’ve been married for nearly 11. I don’t see anything that could derail our train. We’re in the toughest spot right now, I hope. Little kids are trying. Once we get these bastards out of the house, it’s smooth sailing, right??

    • Thanks for the great comment, Don. You know, it’s exactly all those little things that worry me, not whether or not I’ll still love Professor McGregor in a few decades. Life just throws a ton of curveballs to deal with, big and small. Good luck with the little ones! According to my parents, they’re definitely the toughest spot!

  9. I always had my personal problem with marriage. A lot of black children grow up in single parent households like I did, and I hardly ever saw strong relationships. Back then, I thought I could never have my own stable marriage. Then I got older and started getting into girls at school and really how bat-crazy a large number of them drove me. I went from not thinking I could ever get married to flat out just not wanting to get married. I don’t know…it was never seen as an option to me, but like you said, it’s not for everyone.

    • Johnathan, you bring up several really great points. If you don’t see strong relationships, how can you believe that one would work out forever? It would be a completely illogical leap of faith. I will say though, I felt similar to your current mindset as little as a year ago. Marriage wasn’t something I seriously considered for myself, because every guy I’d ever dated drove me absolutely insane. Hell, even the men in my own family – love them like I do! – were hard for me to imagine consistently living with anymore. So, Professor McGregor, who is so refreshingly uncrazy that I have a post scheduled waxing poetic about that very thing, was a complete surprise. Marriage, the institution, is not for everyone, but can I hope that you meet a woman who restores your faith in part of our gender? I wholeheartedly believe that people are people, not their gender, so it makes me sad when so many bad run-ins with women or men leave people wary of them all.

  10. I agree. People should be free to make their own decisions throughout life. Life isn’t a dictatorship. We all can’t have Hugh Hefner mentality. If you want to be married then do so and eat the wedding cake while your at it. Simple.

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