Back from a brief hiatus (traveling, enjoying the downtime between the end of my job and the start of my classes) and sharing something I’ve had on my mind for a while. The question of why marry? Why not just be perpetual boyfriend/girlfriend? This has been on my mind from my interactions with two mindsets: the marriage-is-pointless camp and the OMG-must-get-married camp.
I know a lot of people who don’t believe in marriage. Heck with a national divorce rate around 50% it does seem a bit risky. The theme I’ve noticed in these exchanges is why bother, it’s so much easier to split when you’re not legally entangled. Breakups are easier than divorce. Marriage is just a title, you can be perfectly committed without it.
On the other hand are those desperate to get married, regardless of the partner. Friends that think 30 is the deadline for marriage. People that have comfortable but perhaps not spectacular relationships. You marry in your 20s because that’s simply how it’s done (totally not true BTW).
Deciding to marry is an enormous and very personal decision. Each couple has their own reasons for pursuing or not pursuing legal recognition of their relationship (local government permitting). Our decision was our own, but the basic reasoning was this: we love each other an awful lot. Marrying is our way of declaring that this person is so close to my heart that I want to recognize them legally, socially, and publicly as the most important person in my life. To create a bond equivalent to those created by the accident of birth: family. In making this leap we are recognizing that we will fight for this relationship because yes, divorce is harder than a breakup. And that’s why we marry.
Disclaimer: This entry uses strong language. Proceed at your discretion. I promise it’s worth it 😉
Okay, let me start off by saying that apparently bachelorette is apparently not a real word. Spell check flagged me for bachelorette, but not bachelor or, funny enough, spinster. So apparently spell check is sexist. Fuck you spell check, Merriam-Webster says bachelorette is totally a word.
Anyways, last summer I had the pleasure of going to Las Vegas for the first time in my life. It’s not an experience I’d care to repeat as I’m neither a fan of clubs nor gambling. When we were there, I observed that approximately 87% of the people we encountered there were groups of a dozen men or women celebrating an individual’s bachelor/bachelorette party. There is a weird pressure around these gatherings. It’s like a combination of a weekend pass to free infidelity immediately before your nuptials (which is fucking weird) and an attempt to out-party everyone else like you’re never going to have fun again.
Not to mention how obnoxious they are. Waiting to check into our hotel, we encountered a large group of woo girls parading through the lobby and shouting “wooooooooo!” every 12 seconds. It was quite literally the most ANNOYING thing I have ever experienced in my life. Not to mention the brides all acting like they’re some sort of diva, wearing an expensive white clubbing dress and a sash and a crown and thinking they’re hot shit. Look around sweetie, you’re one of 1500 brides here in Vegas this weekend. Getting married doesn’t make you special, lots of people do it. Being together after 50 years, now that’s fucking special. Come back then and throw a party celebrating your awesomeness. And on top of the affianced expects their attending friends to cough up a bunch of cash for a trip they may or may not want to go on. Because if they don’t then clearly they aren’t a good friend.
I think the bachelor(ette) party culture is really damaging to the institution of marriage in two ways. One, there is this idea that it’s totally okay to cheat on your soon-to-be spouse because “it was the bachelor party maaaaan, no big deal.” It is a big deal. Infidelity is NEVER acceptable. Besides, what a horrible way to start your marriage? Oh hey honey, I might have slept with a stripper in Vegas the week before we got married. No. Get that shit out of here. Second, the bachelor(ette) party is structured like it’s the last opportunity for the bride or groom to have fun before they’re chained down to the shackles of marriage. Way to take something beautiful and wonderful and turn it into something to be avoided and dreaded.
Meanwhile, I’m gonna go drink wine at California Adventure and ride the Pirates of the Caribbean over and over and over again. Hell yeah.