Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ladies, get a grip on marriage!

Picture this. We have a beautiful set up whereby many of us at some point decide to make a lifelong commitment to a member of the opposite sex. We make solemn promises and we do so in front of witnesses so that we can be held accountable for this. If we are mature, we understand that it isn’t a magic ceremony but a decision to love and live with someone in spite of all the vicissitudes of life – until one or both of us dies.

Now this is a legally binding agreement and there are some costs associated with doing it. These are: (in England, in Scotland and Ireland it is slightly less)

To give notice £30 per person £60.00

Registration ceremony £40.00

Certificate £ 3.50

Total £103.50

Now tell me, for what reason do we then decide that what I discussed above is a far secondary consideration to throwing our friends a party, buying an overpriced outfit we will wear once for a few hours and buying some jewellery? For this is what a wedding has become.

Time and time again I hear couples who wish to marry say they cannot afford to and trust me, they are not saying they don’t have £103.50 which is all they need. They mean they don’t have twenty grand to throw a party, buy the clothes and the ring (and the rings are usually in addition to the £20k!).

To be fair, it’s usually the women who go nuts over the party, jewellery and clothes. The men seem to be quite sensible and see a marriage for what it is. Lord knows they take it seriously; you won’t get a bloke marrying you (for the most part) unless he really wants to. And many sensibly don’t want to have anything to do with putting on the overpriced fiasco that the modern wedding has become – just tell them when to show up. In fact, many a male friend of mine has said how disgusted they have become with the behaviour of their bride to be in the run up to their wedding. The obsession with show and the extravagant spending on so called ‘must-have’ items leads many a man to take a long hard second look and causes some to scarper.

The obsession with peripherals is a disgraceful indictment against womankind. If I were a man, I would leave skid marks at the sight of a bridezilla (basically any woman obsessed or in my opinion, even remotely interested in a party, dress and jewellery), they should be obsessed with the marriage and it being successful.

There ought to be a law that you cannot have the party and the dress until your fifth anniversary. I give a concession on the rings because it is part of the public declaration – a way to help prevent adulterous advances or thoughts – but the rings needn’t cost the earth. You can get good ones for £100 or less.

Marriage is not about a party, a dress and some jewellery. It is madness to treat it as if it is.

If you are considering getting married – put some thought into what your life will be like and how you will have to behave for the rest of your life with this other person. Keep in mind that you both will change, life will happen to you, for better and often for worse. Understand marriage isn’t a Mills and Boons novel or a Hollywood film and if you have spent months concentrating on the party and given next to no thought to the marriage, then recognise you have no business inflicting yourself on another person. Step back and take some time to grow up.

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