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Stop the Madness! Onely’s Top Ten Reasons NOT to Get Married… January 9, 2009

Posted by Onely in "Against Love"...?, As If!, Food for Thought, Heteronormativity, single and happy.
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Hi everyone,

As I mentioned in my previous post about heteronormative wedding cards, part of my holiday madness included attending and participating in the wedding of one of my good friends. Every time I go to a wedding, I can’t help but count the many reasons why I never want to get married (and/or have a wedding). This one was no different — and because my friend IS a close friend who also happens to like to control everything in her life, the reasons I normally have against weddings seemed magnified in this case.

So, in the spirit of all of us who feel justified never wanting a wedding of our own, Onely presents … “Stop the Madness! Top Ten Reasons We Never Want to Get Married”:

  1. Who wants to write all those thank-you cards?!
  2. Even if your parents *are* loaded, they won’t be after the wedding!
  3. Who says your parents are paying, anyway? And what will they demand in return? (For my best friend, it meant that certain Bible verses had to be read during the ceremony)
  4. How many times do you have to say you’re SORRY for bitching out your mate, your best friends, members of your family (who could help it!) in moments of extreme stress?
  5. There’s always the question of changing your name — if you’re female, there’s the decision itself (which is often a tough one), and if you’re male, I hear the paperwork’s a BITCH.
  6. Coordinating a big (or small – I hear it always feels HUGE) event is NOT an easy task, especially if you’re not prone to organization or planning ahead.
  7. All those silly bridal magazines and wedding books!
  8. C’mon, do you *really* care about the flowers that much? It’s not an easy task to learn to live with yourself when you realize that you have been caring excessively about every minor detail and no one else will even notice!
  9. Your living quarters become a chaotic mess as the gifts come pouring in. What are you supposed to do with all this STUFF?!
  10. Everyone else has an opinion about how “things” should be done. Seriously, does your mother’s bunko friend really need to give her two cents? And WHY is your mother listening to her?!

Dear readers — what would you add to our list?

– L

Comments»

1. Rachel - January 9, 2009

I’d add the whole history of marriage. Essentially, it’s a patriarchal, religious institution that was designed to control sex, especially that of women (hard to tell who’s the father if a woman wasn’t married…). Also, in its current form, marriage creates a marital status system that draws a red dividing line between those who are married and those who are not. Non-marital relationships are being devalued because of that line – somehow you’re less than someone married. I don’t like this hierarchy.

2. onely - January 9, 2009

It would also be interesting to know how many of the traditions associated with a wedding event (white dress, ring, father walking bride down aisle, etc) have similarly offensive roots, and if so, what are they? That’s not my area of expertise (um, sudden thought: do I *have* an area of expertise?), but I can sure imagine some of the yuckiness that might lie behind them. . .

That said, I wonder if we’re in a process of reclaiming those traditions on our own terms, kind of like gays reclaiming “queer”?

But *that* said, I’d still like to do away with most of that stuff for my own (non-forthcoming!) wedding. . . I’m envisioning a pool party with mango sculptures. aw heck, maybe I’ll just have a pool party anyway.

. . . Anyone have a pool?

–CC

3. Rachel - January 10, 2009

A pool party! I love it!

Some people argue that we can simply solve the gay marriage debate by converting the state granted institution into civil unions – both for same- and different-sex couples. Leave “marriage” to religious institutions. I don’t agree with that because I think the government should not value one relationship above all others and whether you call the thing civil union or marriage doesn’t matter as long as you still exclude best friends, those sisters in Britain, or any other relationship constellation that is now left out. We (as a society) can – and should – protect all children no matter what adults raise them. We should provide health insurance for everybody no matter what. Etc. A lot of the things that LGBT folks want to gain via marriage are not available to anybody who isn’t married. And that’s wrong. So, we need to really start thinking outside of the box and look at what we actually want to accomplish with the bits and pieces that are part of the current marriage benefit package.

Okay, I’ll jump off my soap box into the pool now ;-).

4. Shannon - January 10, 2009

hehehe

I would add that you have to spend oodles of money on a dress that you’re only going to wear once and that you are probably going to get stains on at some point during the wedding.

5. onely - January 11, 2009

Rachel and Shannon — thank you both for your excellent and thoughtful additions to the list!
:) L

6. bobby - January 12, 2009

lol love it!

Reading this though makes me wonder if I could find an article somewhere as to why we have made weddings such a big deal and part of our society.

I guess we are just ritualistic creatures ;)

7. Rachel - January 12, 2009

Bobby: Bella DePaulo touches on what she calls “matrimania” in her book “Singled Out.” I bet she has tons of references to other research on why weddings are such a big deal to us.

Along those lines: It would be interesting to see a cross-country comparison. I don’t think matrimania is as intense as it is in the US.

8. lori - January 13, 2009

I would like to add that historically, women were married to further their family’s property or power. Love marriages weren’t necessarily the norm- as a woman especially, you married to survive. (Jane Austen wrote about this often) Until the 20th century and long after they had the right to vote, the disparity of legal rights for women v. men was appalling. Women were “chattel”- considered of equal value to that of the cow and the household furnishings.
And when it comes to divorce, “marriage” is twisted to be little more than property division battles as more and more states adopt “no fault” divorce laws.

9. Lauri - January 19, 2009

this post is perfect for me today after spending yesterday afternoon at David’s Bridal…One thing I would add is that Bridal gowns are UGLY. Ok, maybe not UGLY, but BORING. I love dresses. Love them. And I would sooo much rather be the GUEST at the wedding wearing some super hot, artistic cocktail dress than the bride…wearing…a white strapless gown. They’re not only boring, most of them are not the least bit sexy. Aren’t we all there celebrating the fact that these people are going home to have sex, and this is what the woman is wearing?

10. Monique - May 15, 2009

I’m jumping in late, but oh, do I love this post! My sister’s getting married in about a week, and I guess I’m the only one not enthralled by the bride and bridesmaids’ dresses, gifts, flowers, and so on. I can’t believe so much money is being wasted. We’re in a recession, for God’s sake. Couldn’t they invest these dollars in stocks, save them for emergencies, or use them to pay some bills? And oh, did I mention the all guests and family members you have to be nice to and chitchat with- even if you’re not into it?

And Rachel, to answer your question, no, it’s not only in the US. My sis leaves in Florida now but she’s originally from Haiti and the whole wedding thing is a BIG issue over there. People get in debt all the in order to fund those ‘special days’. I currently live in the Dominican Republic, and it’s the same madness over here too.

11. Lorelai - September 22, 2009

I read somewhere that there wasn’t really a standard color for the wedding dress until Queen Victoria wore white at her wedding (don’t hold me to that, but I defintely think its her). Although most brides avoided black and red dresses because they represented death and prosititues respectively.

Onely - September 22, 2009

That Queen Victoria–such a troublemaker!
CC

12. Justsay No - October 27, 2009

I find it interesting that the majority of marriages end in divorce and yet people still invest in the dress, ceremony, engagement rings, etc., making a huge expensive deal out of it. The ceremony and all that comes with it is business… cake, ring, dress, etc., all provide jobs. Most women want “all the fixins” on their wedding day… so men do what they need to to make her happy – we go into debt – just what a couple doesn’t need when they’re starting off a marriage, more debt.

Onely - October 27, 2009

Agreed–except academically, I feel forced to play devil’s advocate and ask, if I choose to spend 10,000 dollars on an all-expense paid cruise to the Galapagos with my own personal massage therapist because I think it will make me happy, is that any better than spending that much for a wedding? Actually, probably not, because they’re both very materialistic superficial investments. I know I have a point here but I forget what it was because I ate too many beans and franks, sorry. . .
CC

13. BILL - October 29, 2009

The problem today is that all the laws favor single mothers. A woman has more to gain financially be getting out of a marriage and getting Child Support. The best thing for a man to do is not get married based on current laws. The only men that do get married are those with nothing to loose. I can’t wait until they perfect cloning technology. Its too risky financially to get married.

14. Carlysdating - April 23, 2010

I’m afraid I disagree with everything you’ve written. If you don’t want all the craziness of a big wedding but you want to marry someone you love, have a small wedding. You only get married once. Have a few close family/friends in your backyard and make it official! On my dating blog http://www.carlysdatingchronicles.com I’m searching for Mr. Right because I can’t wait to get married. I want to have a beautiful and small wedding on a beach.

Gustavo - October 13, 2010

You only get married once? What planet do you live on? I’ve been married three times – the third was the charm, no kids in prior marriages. The wedding is only one day – the joy you can feel for years after in belonging to a loving family is why we really suffer the pains of weddings. May you all find a special someone to have beautiful children with.


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