the water got high and she never got dry

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

we don’t need no piece of paper from the city hall

There are some wedding and marital traditions I don't feel the need to keep. I’m keeping my last name. Even though the spelling and pronounciation are mangled on a regular basis and it serves as the basis for countless puns and nicknames (which I actually enjoy), it's a part of me and a part of honoring my parents and keeping my ethnic heritage salient.

Husband to Be and I have already discussed that I want to share that name with some of our future small fry. I want both my parents to walk me down the aisle. The idea of one's dad "giving them away" is ridiculous and my mom has had just a big a hand in raising me as my dad.

I have zero interest in doing a bouquet or garter toss. I seriously doubt I’ll wear a veil. I will of course eat my words if by some freak chance I end up as a strapless gown/tiara/veil wearing bride, but I really don’t think that’ll happen. It’s just not me. I’m not gonna make my Chicas of Honor wear ugly, expensive, matching dresses and dictate their appearance down to the last detail.

But some traditions I just can't shake, whether it be because traditions are the glue that bind cultures together or because the wedding industry is just that damn good at its job. As much as I love cupcakes, I still want the traditional wedding cake. I still want the overpriced white dress I can only wear once. I will still inevitably obsess over unimportant details of colors and favors and centerpieces. I both accept and am bothered by this.

This book is next on my reading list. I’ve been looking around for books on feminism and marriage that are more nuanced than just “According to feminism, marriage is outdated and evil, a product of capitalism and patriarchy” etc. I have nothing profound or enlightening to say about feminism and marriage but I find the debate really interesting. Intellectually I agree with many of the arguments against marriage, but I’m just too much of a romantic to buck all tradition.

Is marriage in a sorry state these days? Yea. Is monogamy an artificial construct? Probably. Maybe it’s foolish, cockeyed optimism, but we don’t value the things that come easy. Even with all the valid complaints we make about the boredom and cost and silliness of going to wedding after wedding, we continue to do it, not just out of obligation, but because beneath all the frippery and materialistic trappings, there’s still something beautiful and special going on – two people taking a leap of faith together and asking their friends to be with them and root for them as they jump.

Marriage isn’t a fairy tale and there are no guaranteed happy endings, but for that one moment all these people are together for the sole purpose of hoping for and believing in the best for two people taking a calculated risk.

I can't wait to take that leap with you, babe.

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