Marriage is Stupid

chickskissingMarriage. I’m not a fan. But that’s akin to my dislike of the taste of steak and lobster- I must respect the fact that many people love it. And pay good money to do it again and again.

For several months, I have received action alerts about the battle for the rights of gays and lesbians to marry. Since I support LGBT equality, I dutifully signed the petitions and sent $25 donations. I was upset when Proposition 8 was upheld and posted furious messages. But deep down I don’t understand why anybody would marry. It seems like a medieval tradition to me. Now, that I’ve attended several weddings, the ritual seems so boring and contrived. The last wedding I attended, I was able to anticipate every moment of the choreographed event. Now it’s time to present the bride and groom at the reception. Oops, time to put down the poached chicken to smile for the obligatory photograph of my table. And of course, the dancing can be fun, but the music is almost universally atrocious. And then we send them off on their honeymoon, never to really talk to them anymore because singles and marrieds don’t have all that in common anymore.

Bridal showers are the worst, could be potentially liberating, but are designed to keep women oppressed. I mean, c’mon, we are supposed to show enthusiasm for 1 1/2 hours while a woman you used to know as wild and unpredictable enthuses over bath towels. From her registry. Usually I want to commit hari kari with the bride-to-be’s shining cutlery. And then we dive into white cake. Really, women have more depth and intelligence than is mirrored by a shower. I know there are rad chicks out there who take their friends out for drinks instead of a shower. But if someone is so nontraditional, why are they having a wedding in the first place?

I blame the media for my hatred of marriage. Because romantic movies and books ended with marriage, I got the distinct impression that marriage means life is over. On soap operas many exciting couples would get married and disappear into the canvas. Look at Sex in the City- they all got married (except for my idol Sam) and they all ceased to exist. TV shows that had married couples revolved around the kitchen and living room. These people talked, fought, and never went places. Marriage seemed lethal for spontaneity.

And besides, marriage causes divorce. I’ve escorted enough people through the splitting up process to say divorce is not worth the risk of getting married. Breaking up is bad enough, but divorce multiplies the suckage exponentially.  

I could apologize for my standpoint and talk about all the wonderful friends and family who are married and still great people. That may be true, but I don’t feel like saying it. I hope this blog post gets lots of people angry. And you should punish me by NOT inviting me to your wedding. Thank you.

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2 responses to “Marriage is Stupid

  1. I totally admire your willingness to write this post, and as you know, I am mostly in agreement with you. I’ve never been married and other than having to figure out something legal to protect the future kid and his relationship with his father, I hope never to be married. I’ve never wanted to be in a big white dress, and it always seems like such a waste of money to hire caterers, reserve expensive locations, purchase flowers, etc. I’d rather spend my perfectly good money on something that I can enjoy more than once. And who really enjoys weddings anyway?

    My only concern about your post is that you’re buying into the idea that singles and marrieds are so different once the big white charade is over. Lots of singles stay home on weekends (me included) and lots of marrieds have exciting and varied social lives that cannot be characterized in media- and stereotype-friendly ways. I also would say that just because someone stays home on weekends, it doesn’t mean that they’ve disappeared into the canvas or that they’re not otherwise fabulous (and since I’ve already fully disclosed my lame social life, it should be clear that I’m really defending myself here).

    I guess what I’m saying is that you may be privileging a particular vision of a single social life that is just as limiting as the one that Hollywood creates of married people. Couldn’t it be possible that both visions are false? That there is no such thing as “singles” and “marrieds” but that real life is much more interesting than anything Hollywood could dream up?

    Anyway, thanks for starting this discussion and I hope it sets off lots of conversation, even if it happens at some cool coffee shop and off-blog. I think it’s high time that people stand up and question marriage (both gay and straight) and I’m really glad you wrote this. Now if I can just figure out how to arrange the legal protection I need without paying an expensive lawyer…

  2. Since I agree with the blog 100%, my response is more for Rachael, who questions if “marrieds” and “singles” really are so different. I’d say that any two individuals are different (i.e., some like to stay at home whether they are single or not), but what is at issue here is the extent to which an individual changes as the result of getting married. Of course, when you take on a life partner (of any kind) compromises must be made. But, I’ve had many a single friend disappear virtually into thin air as soon as the environmentally-friendly bird seed has been thrown in the air. Friends who were previously at the ready for a quick jaunt to New York or longer vacation to a foreign land now demur in favor of yard work, their husband’s/wife’s work schedule, or their children’s play dates.

    It is in no way lame to stay home on a Friday night if that is how you like to spend your time. But if you suddenly neglect your single friends because your husband/wife is less social, then I do think it’s lame. I also think it may be a key ingredient for Ye Olde Divorce.

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