There are few things that have changed, as I got older. For the most part, I’m not too different from High school Senior Kendra. One of the things that have changed is my opinion on marriage. All my life I have heard “They met six months ago, they’re getting married!” “They dated for three years, casually, now they are getting married!” No matter what, my biggest gripe was always the pre- marriage time investment. It always seemed small to me. I would say things like “Six months? They don’t even KNOW each other. No fairsies. They get credit for getting married but they haven’t done the work. They haven’t excavated all the purposeful secrets and oblivious forgetfulness. It’s not based on reality.” I would whine. “I would have to know someone for at least 7 years before I would even consider it”. Sometimes I would say 12 years. – I’m a suspicious mother fucker. I had two guys that wanted to marry me, two that I am aware of I should say. Wink wink. I remember thinking to myself, you want to MARRY me? Neither one of them had seen me cry. Or throw up. Neither one of them had any idea there were things about them that bugged the crap out of me. As far as I was concerned, we hadn’t got there yet. I had fantasies of saying, “Yes, I will marry you” taking the ring* and then, on the alter, the priest says “do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?” and I would stand there in my wedding best and I’d say, “You don’t even KNOW me.” And the crowd would do a synchronized gasp.
The thing is, weddings don’t impress me. Two people, who claim they love each other for who they are, show up in exaggerated costumes of the person they have presented themselves as and hoards of people watch and agree, “We believe you! We believe you love each other and we came to witness the public admission of love! We unanimously agree to perceive you as a married couple until you tell us not to.” It would be more palatable if they got up there and gave little speeches, admissions of doubt and fear overcome by belief and hope.
Mary The Bride: “I’m sure you all remember when John broke my heart by having an affair with the paraplegic he saved from the fire”
John The Groom: “She has a name”
Mary The Bride: “AHAHAH-watch the interrupting. Stand down. Since then he has written me copious amounts of apology letters which you can see on my blog Sorry Just Isn’t Enough.”
John The Groom: “You may remember when Mary decided I needed to change my complete personality, including friends, wardrobe, and career goals. I still resent her for that but I’m scared shit of what is out there, ya know? She has a plan for us that include me going TO THE SUPERBOWL every year! Right guys!”
A few people clap.
Fear based decisions, celebrated by the community.
I’d have more interest in going to weddings if the Bride and Groom showed up naked, unshowered, and scared. Medieval times like. A Viking fight to the death. As they trudge through the crowd some people try to stop them, others offer provisions and clothing. We don’t know if the wedding will really happen. One of the two may decide to run. Either way there was an attempt on both sides to be there. The altar is set up with a table and a big feast where one or two of them sit and eat and drink out of an oversized chalice. If one of them has decided to run, the other is offered a physically fit companion to have sexual relations with in front of the crowd, f they choose to. I’d show up for that wedding. Shit, I’d want to be the star.
If you see me sporting a cave girl ensemble, odds are I have a “where is this going?” conversation on the back burner.
For me, I am more against weddings and marriage than lifetime commitment. I just want someone to hang around with. As I get older I realize knowing someone for 7 to 12 years before I decide, “I like this guy” is not an option. Now I’m like “I know his first AND last name, he has a job and a modern day phone, and phenomenal kisser whew this is moving too fast. Pump the breaks. I’m dizzy.”
In all honesty, if I ever got married, it’d be a big secret, even to him. Christ I’ve had boyfriends who didn’t know they were my boyfriend; it’s not much of a reach.
*Nobody has ever presented me with a ring. Or a car or a fur coat for that matter. I am open to any and all gifts of admiration. I guess you need to say it.
Thanks for listening!
Kendra is a stand up comic living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable bed. She spends most of her time wondering where the hell her sugar daddy is and hoping he didn’t settle.