I’d like to announce that we have a new contributor to The Minimum Effort. He goes by the name Alex, and as you can tell from this piece, he’ll be taking a slightly more cheesy route with his articles. So try to enjoy, and if you have an opinion, don’t be afraid to leave a comment and tell him how stupid he is.
Call me old fashioned, call me romantic, call me anything you want to baby, but I love a good old marriage. From the ceremony itself, to grandparents (rather haphazardly) boogying to classics such as Fresh Prince of Bel- Air and Black Eyed Peas, to the drunken antics of the bride and her maids, everybody it would appear loves a wedding. Why shouldn’t they? After all, according to the Oxford Dictionary, marriage is ‘The legally or formally recognized union of a man and a woman (or, in some jurisdictions, two people of the same sex) as partners in a relationship.’ In layman’s terms; to marry the individual you love for the rest of your life. Or for those in Essex; an excuse to get royally pissed and attempt to pull a bridesmaid or three (not that I’m condoning this you understand).
This union of two people who love each other and want to spend a lifetime together should be celebrated, for it is a truly wonderful sacrament and commitment. Yet there are those in this twenty first century who turn their noses up at this ceremony, with the general conclusion that, ‘Marriage, pah, it’s an expensive pain in the backside,’ or else ‘What an old fashioned, uppity, silly thing to do.’ Rather ironically, upon returning from the marriage of my fireman cousin and his policewoman bride (okay she may just be a teacher) I happened to overhear a lady attest to that very first statement. Cost she claimed is too great an obstacle for love. I’m sorry, but what? I have two main problems with this wish washy argument. Firstly, there is such a thing as a savings account, allowing a couple to ‘save’ money over a number of years, all the while gaining an (admittedly small) rate of interest. It may take a few years, but costs can be conquered and if all else fails then a loan/ parents pocket is the next best step. Furthermore, weddings are generally planned occasions, meaning that there is a significant time gap between the proposal and wedding day. Thus, money can be saved over the time frame. Hollywood would have us believe a wedding can be organised in a number of weeks, yet it takes planning the likes of which has only been seen in the preparations for D-Day to achieve.
Yes, the venue has to be found, meals sorted, colour schemes checked, entertainment provided, cakes made, speeches written and the dreaded seating plan decided but at the end of the day, that warm fuzzy feeling (not just in the head) and the countless array of gifts make it so so worth the money.
Secondly, marriage is not, in my humble opinion, outdated. There is a reason that the physical ceremony itself has been around for thousands of years and that is because it works. Historically of course marriages were prearranged and love was not considered, yet does this not prove how developed and changed the occasion has become? It is a rare sight in the UK for a marriage to be forced upon the individuals. Times they are a changin’ and so I question the validity of such an argument. Others will point to the seemingly new found phenomena of couples living together and not legally tying a bound. In our country, law decrees that couples cohabiting may draw up a contract outlining the rights and obligations of each partner towards the other. Coupled with this, people living together would claim they are essentially married. Therefore you may cry, with this and a high divorce rate, what is the point in marriage?
The point is this. If you truly love somebody and want to spend your life sharing each and every moment of every day with them, then marriage is the ultimate bond. Symbols such as the ring, show a unity which can never be broken, vows uttered steadfastly commit man and woman and the taking of your husband’s name, shows a willingness to enter into his family. Without marriage none of these miraculous things can occur. And after all, when you look into your lover’s eyes and say the two words that mean so much, only then, can you truly claim, baby I’m your man.