The State of Marriage
This week is interesting since around midweek Lee’s in-laws will be visiting. They are scheduled to be in town for about a week. Although there is no tensions between Lee and her in-laws, we think it should be obvious who of us is a little more freaked about the visit. However, we need to focus because the topic of this week is the state of marriage and that deserves all of our attention. So Mom and Dad-in-law need to take a knee while we share our thoughts and insights on WTF is up with marriage.
Lee says: I am a married woman. I have had that status for 21 years. Prior to married woman, I was a single chick. As a single chick, my concept of marriage was that it was a torture chamber where the only reprieve was that during parties you had a dance partner. A marriage was an inequitable arrangement between men and women. A wife was expected to be super-woman while a husband was only responsible for bringing home bacon and demanding to be treated like some sort of royalty or incapacitated feeb. This was my thought from the outside. This was my belief from watching the woman in my life. All of them were hard working, intelligent women who were as worthy of being catered to as their husbands, who they waited on hand and foot. However, it was the culture. It was also the time.
Interestingly enough, marriage has a bizarre history. Marriage was an institution created for financial purposes. Arranged marriages, dowries and proxy were and are still practiced around the world. Brides were purchased or stolen due to status. Grooms were bribed with land or status because of their abilities or wealth. It was only in the 12th century that we started to see the beginnings of romance or love as we understand it. However, love was not a necessary component to marriage until more recently and even now, love is not an absolute necessity. The idea of marriage to have a family was not even in the picture until the late 16th century. No, the Catholic Church didn’t create marriage as a formal rite because of burning bush or lightning bolt. In fact, in this wonderful country where a large number of people think they have a hold on what marriage is all about, we didn’t put regulations on marriage until the late 1800s. Until then, most marriages were common law. That’s right, we all lived in sin.
Marriage in the United States has a freeze frame quality to it. Although we believe that we are all so cool and enlightened, we all have a bizarre 1950esque understanding of the institution. The bride, even if she is liberated and a feminist, retains a shadow of Donna Reed as her wife role model and the groom, despite his firm belief that a woman is his equal, cannot help but to feel a little Danny Thomas in his bones even if he never saw ‘Father Knows Best’.
Marriage has changed because of the cultural pressures. Therefore, due to the outside world creeping into our breakfast nook as we serve coffee and burnt toast to our husband reading the morning paper, we now have to fill our travel mugs and steal a quick kiss as we both go off to our high-powered jobs. We are reprimanded if we say things like ’My husband makes all the decisions’ or ’I don’t deal with the money’ if we are women. Men do not get a complete reprieve on change since Neanderthals get societal finger wagging (while their families coddle them) and the new male/dad or metro-sexuals are often questioned as to their sexual proclivities. Marriage is changing from the outside, in. Perhaps this is the foundation to why people are resisting granting equal rights. As humans, we don’t like to change because we have to. Regardless of why, a change is coming and within 50 years marriage as we know it will be a memory. Especially if all these religious groups are right. Wow, imagine being able to marry your Schnauzer or car.
Paul says: My dog is ugly but has a great personality. If there are any of you ex-homosexuals turned doggiphiles who would like to marry her, we will consider it for a reasonable dowry. Thank you.