I got a wedding invitation in my inbox today. It’s a phenomenon that brings with it both excitement and a shade of melancholy. I love going to weddings. I have no shame about this. If I know the couple intimately it warms my heart to see them coming together in their chosen fashion. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big wedding, a small wedding, with lavish food or a modest selection. There’s an attraction to seeing how two people decide to celebrate their union. I’ve seen massive, almost architecturally designed cakes, smaller cake pops and artisan cupcakes. I’ve seen potluck affairs and a la carte meals. I’ve seen aisle songs played over speakers and guitar strumming singers. I’ve seen professional wedding photographers and the excited auntie with a camera. I’ve seen so many of my friends sculpt an atmosphere of joy around them and it’s been achieved in an assortment of ways.
I’m not going to RSVP to this wedding, however. It arrived today for a wedding this Sunday. Also it’s in New Zealand, which is more than a few hours away. Maybe give more notice next time.
I’ll put this out there too. I’m not gonna come out and say that marriage is for everyone. If you don’t like it and have your reasons, that’s great. If you think it’s unnecessary, impractical, or a relic of simpler times with shorter lives and more rigid social structures.. Well I can’t fault you. Don’t get married, live your life in whatever way that makes you happy. I see a lot of familial pressure on couples to tie the knot and I think it’s really shitty. It’s bullying, in many ways. Despite the often well meaning intentions behind the nudges, prods and insistence, they’re almost universally done in favour to the self-interests of the inquirer rather than the inquiree. It’s putting your desires above theirs, in a situation that’s really none of your business. There could be a myriad of reasons that the couple mightn’t want to get married yet, or even at all. Developments outside the scope of your knowledge that’re intruding into the scenario. How often does this consideration come into play though? Because the askee is more concerned with their lineage or legacy, they’re disregarding the comfort and boundaries the couple may have established. It’s seen as such an innocent inquiry because of preordained societal constructs, when in fact it’s boorish and classless. Let them tell you if and when they’re ready.
So anyway, despite my reservations (but lack of response) about attending this particular wedding, it’s reignited my desire to attend another wedding. I got stuck in this awkward spot. See, all of my Christian friends from high school got married in their early 20s. I don’t blame them, I’d have gotten tired of whatever notion of abstinence they’d practised too. The other people in this group were high school sweethearts who’d been together for 5+ years already and the marriage was just a formality. They were nice weddings, but they dried up after a few years. The rest of my friends were dating around, discovering what they wanted out of relationships before settling down with someone who fulfilled that criteria. I figure that usually takes some time, right? If you’re in your mid 20s how long do you date a partner before deciding that you wanted the partnership to last a lot longer? Life, even? Just as the second wave was cresting, I left the country. I missed that peak, leaving behind the established couples who took the next step. Weddings I would’ve loved to have witnessed. Lifelong, beloved friends whose union would’ve melted my stone heart (by adding ice?). The people who’re getting married here in Toronto? Well I haven’t known them long enough to expect an invitation. I’ve nary been here three years, how would I expect to make the attendee list?
So what I’m saying is, if you happen to be getting hitched any time soon, possibly slip an invite my way. I don’t even need to know you, but I’m a great guest at parties and tear up the dance floor. If you give me more than five days notice, I may actually be able to make it.
No pressure or anything though.