Talking Gender

Why do we want to get married?

Over the past three weeks, I have seen a wedding entourage every single weekend, complete with slow marching processions, flowers upon flowers, flowing white dresses and cars covered in petals and Christmas decorations. And every time, I have been struck by the ostentatious ceremony of it all.

Putting on a wedding is quite a production. I don’t even want to imagine the kind of money that goes into it, what with kitchen parties, send off parties and reception parties. I get the feeling that the actual wedding vows get lost in the sea of celebration. Somehow it seems that while the wedding is the beginning, it is also the end. Marriage, it seems is a non-starter, overtaken by nuptial events.

Curious, I asked my colleagues about the rate of divorce, and they told me that it is super high. “Well, not so much divorce, but ‘separation’,” one lady said, making exaggerated quotation sign marks with her fingers. “There are a lot of weddings but also a lot of break ups,” she added.

So what’s the point, I’m wondering to myself. Why are wedding committee members going around collecting money to hold massive wedding ceremonies that are supposed to dovetail neatly into marriage, but instead are staggering unceremoniously into divorce? I mean, into ‘separation’? Why do they bother? And why do women want to get married? Do we even know what marriage really means?

I doubt it; otherwise those of us getting married in droves would stay married. It’s not the men’s fault necessarily, or at least not their fault alone. It could be that women are so caught up thinking about their fairytale wedding that they neglect to contemplate their futures as wives, not princesses. And men? Well, it seems men just jump in the wedding limousine and go along for the ride. End of the day, neither really knows what they are getting into.

And neither do I, really. But what I do know is this: I want a marriage first. The kitchen, send off and reception parties can come later. Celebrating marriage is what a wedding should be all about.