Image by Daquella Manera
I usually don’t put much about events from my life on my blog. As the title of the book on blogging says, ‘No one cares what you had for breakfast’! So I keep personal events mostly off the blog and try to focus on delivering what is important for my readers’ health.
However, blogs are a personal medium and even someone as content-focussed as me likes to have a sense of who the blogger is. So here is a little of my personal reflections on my wedding yesterday.
1. We had a great time. It is my second marriage and my partner’s first. It was very casual and small. Immediate family and a few friends. This meant we could talk to everyone, photos didn’t take too long (no straining of the smiliing muscles) and not a major organisational operation. We are both of the non-romantic persuasion so it really was very much our way of doing things.
2. It is surprising how many there are expectations still about marriage. The divorce rate (and it has been quite high for decades now) does not seem to have dented the desire of people to get married.
3. Most people are quite conventional in their expectations of marriage. My immediate friends tend to be quite strong individualists. I was a bit shocked at how strongly people feel about what I think of as small departures from the usual – my partner wearing pants not a dress for instance.
We had also forgotten about flowers. (My partner has fairly strong environmental views and would rather see flowers growing than cut.) The celebrant’s reaction to this was little short of shocked. [My partner said that she prefers trees – and prevented a heart attack by assuring the Celebrant that I was only joking when I said that maybe she could carry a pot plant.)
4. The focus on one day and one ritual on that day is extraordinary. People will travel great distances to be at an event where they don’t get much time with the people they are there to be with. And may spend almost no time with these people for years on end. The excessive focus on the day is matched by neglect for the rest of the time.
5. Perhaps weddings exist for the sake of photographers. Much of the ceremony is set up with the needs of cameras in mind.
6. I’ve realised that I don’t take seriously the idea that God cares about documentation. I hadn’t realised this until I was reflecting on my reactions to our wedding. I was never much of a believer in ritual or officialdom; over the years I’ve gradually arrived, without my realising it, at my current position: God/spirit isn’t bothered by paper credentials – God/spirit is concerned with values and how people treat each other.
7. In the current legal climate in Australia: if you are the parent who stays home with the kids while your partner goes out to earn the money, you would be crazy not to be married. The legal situation of a defacto partner is far more precarious than a married one. I don’t know the situation in other countries.
8. Marriage seems to mean that people are treated differently and taken more seriously. It confers a status.
9. We need some way of recognising the seriousness of the commitment we have to other kinds of relationships. “Prendship” is one possibility.
10. We still long for companionship, acceptance and love. We still hope for a relationship that will be life long and enriching. And most of us put in a fair deal of work to make this a reality. While some of the reality of marriage may be problematic, some of the motives speak to our highest ideals.
What do you make of the current state of marriage? And what has been your experience of marriage? Do you think we need to recognise the seriousness of other kinds of relationships. I’d love to hear what you think and feel about this in the comments.
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