Beyonce wasn’t talking to you…
The Tale of… The Wedding Belle
1 measure Gin
1 measure Dubonnet
1/2 measure cherry brandy
1 measure orange juice
It’s the 31st December 2013- cue inspirational quotes about all the new things I am going to do in the new year and how amazing 2013 has been.
I have come to the conclusion that surviving your twenties may be one of the hardest things you ever do. That’s all just drama of course, but serious drama none the less. It’s all about being lost, finding your way on your own and battling that inevitable unemployment rampage.
But I am simply mad, and stumbling through these last few months has at last given me a shred of perspective. 2014 isn’t going to be about giant leaps, but rather tiny steps in the hope of finding my feet and in turn, hopefully my sanity.
With this in mind, I would hope that a few other people would take some similar advice. I have been astounded by the number of people under 23 getting engaged, settling down, starting families. Everyone has an entirely different idea about how their life is going to pan out, but I can’t help but be horrified by news of constant engagements and for what? Two people who have been together a couple of years and can’t think of anything else to do to keep things exciting? Don’t get me wrong, one can never make a judgement as an outsider on another relationship but there is a developing pattern when it comes to this topic, and I have found, I am not the only one who thinks so.
“Marriage is something people do when they run out of things to talk about.”
I have started to question the value of marriage. It seems to have become less about “marriage”, that is, spending your life with another person. But rather “getting married” that is, the declaration of love that occurs on one single day. It seems that the actual purpose of marrying someone because you want to tell them they are the person you want to share your entire life with has been blurred with the idea of spending one day telling the world that you’re not single and are in love.
Whilst discussing wedding vows with my Mum one day, I found myself verbalising a belief I didn’t even know I had- “How can you stand there and promise someone you will spend every day of your life with them until you die? How can you know that? You don’t know what will happen, how you will feel in 10 years, 20 years. Divorce isn’t just a seven letter word you know…”
Firstly, it’s clear I’m not ready for marriage. But more importantly, is this because I simply am not ready for marriage or is there some logic to what I am saying? Of course, it’s a lovely sentiment, to be so in love that you don’t want to spend your life with anyone else. But can anyone really, honestly and truthfully, claim to know how their life will turn out? It’s all on this idea of ‘faith’. It’s a wonderful idea, and a dangerous word. Marriage is ultimately having faith in putting yourself in the hands of another person.
The reason divorce has for decades been viewed as such a sin is because of the notion that it breaks ‘vows’. Vows which quite frankly, possibly shouldn’t be made in the first place. If you cheat before you have established your relationship as ‘official’- it’s not exactly cheating and the punishments seem to be lessened. If you cheat on your boyfriend/ girlfriend it’s bad. If you cheat on your fiance, it’s really bad. If you cheat on your husband or wife, you’re pretty much going to hell. So maybe now we’re getting down to it. Has marriage simply become a way to validate your relationship, in order to deter the chance of being broken?
In spite of this, I actually do believe marriage has value. But that value is somewhere with the boys who hold doors for you, and the times when men paying for dinner on the first date wasn’t such a controversial, feminist or otherwise sexist issue, and was simply a man being polite to a woman he was attracted to. Such things are not entirely lost, but have the same re-surfacing probability as that dress I lost about six years ago which I’m pretty sure one of my friends stole and would never admit to (that’s right, I haven’t forgot).
So if you’re planning to get down on one knee any time soon, or planning to say yes to such an offer, I think you need to think about a few things.
- Are you doing this because your partner has given you an ultimatum…get married, or break up?
- Can you see yourself waking up every morning next to them? That same face, those same terrible habits, the same no matter how much you ask them to will never, ever PUT THE GODDAMN SEAT DOWN? And maybe he is willing to clean the bathroom, but when this results in you finding your toothbrush in the sink covered in bleach and he had NO INTENTION of telling you….
- What are you looking forward to more: the wedding, or the rest of your lives?
When it comes down to it, what is the rush? In an age when phrases like “YOLO” (if I hear it one more time…) have become embedded into language, everyone is in a rush to make everything happen right now. Living your life like you could die tomorrow certainly may be better than running scared, but you’re still living your life on the basis that you are at some point going to die. Which, albeit the truth, is a little dismal. I think that maybe we are in need of a new rediculously overused, will-be-put-on-every-tshirt-on-the-highstreet catch phrase.
You live every day.
So enjoy every day, and maybe don’t try to make everything happen right now.
“Honey, Beyonce didn’t mean you had to put a ring on it right now.“
p.s. To anyone with plans to propose to their partner tonight… Sorry.