I don’t usually rant on this blog. But well, here I am. (Ok, maybe I rant here more than I’d like to admit.)
You know what I’m sick of? I’m sick of all these anti-wedding, anti-marriage Huffington Post esque articles (“Let’s Ban All Weddings”) about how weddings have gotten out of hand. Ok maybe they have, I recognize that. It is kind of weird that there are 37 wedding related shows on television. And that people spend $15,000 on a dress, but that’s still their choice.
I am sick and tired of the media writing me off as a “bride who only wants to wear a pretty dress for a day, and doesn’t want to be a wife”. Of course I don’t know flip about marriage, I’m not married yet. But at the slightly-less-than 6 month mark of my engagement, I’ve spent the last 8 months before now deliberating long and hard what I want my marriage to look like. I’ve sat through hours of counseling with my fiance, we’ve talked at length what we want our lives to look like in 5 years, 10 years, 15 years. Where will we spend holidays? What about technology in the bedroom? What do we consider acceptable with friends of the opposite sex? We’ve discussed raising children – we’ve contemplated what having teenagers will be like, curfew or not? What age do they get cell phones? How do you address the sex talk? We haven’t come to any grand conclusions, but they are topics we’ve discussed. So yea, I get a little offended when someone makes the off hand gesture that young marriage is all about the ring. Or the dress. Or the wedding videography. My marriage is intended to be a sacrament. That’s what it’s really about. I’m in this for the long haul and to think otherwise defeats the purpose for me.
Of course it’s scary – it’s terrifying. I’m not exactly plowing forward thinking, “I’ll never, ever encounter difficulties in marriage because we’re saints!” I know we’re not saints. But I’ve surrounded myself with some pretty awesome couples I look up to and gain encouragement from. And as my mom likes to tell me “You can’t know what you don’t know. So just keep going and do your best with what life hands you.”
I think the point of marriage is to genuinely care for someone the way God cares for us. Ok fine, we get as close as we can for being human. That’s why growing a family is so interconnected with marriage because it is also an impression of God’s love on earth. Being a mother or father, ideally, represents the most selfless love we can experience. When it comes to executing it, we’re not perfect. But hey, that’s where reconciliation comes in.
I’ve let the wedding planning really slow to a near halt in the last month with exams and pre-production for my film. I’m not proud to say this – but we’ve been sending out Save the Dates over the last 3 months and still haven’t gotten them all out. My wedding is going to be a classy affair, don’t fear, but I haven’t gone bridezilla because I have other things going on in my life than my wedding. I don’t have time to fret over flower arrangements. The cake? It’ll be vanilla or something. Some might argue that I shouldn’t have planned a wedding while I was still in school, but I knew I wanted that. I knew I didn’t want to wait a year after graduating to dedicate simply to wedding planning. I’m 23, I’m not getting any less busy any time soon.
So yea. I’m sick of this bitter nobody-should-get-married internet movement, because to be honest, my generation is already terrified of getting married. On the one hand, people are spending their life savings on confetti and candle centerpieces. But on the other hand, I see my generation is scared straight that their 5 year relationship isn’t long enough to get married because according to Cosmo, 7 years is the perfect relationship before getting engaged. While that may be the case for some, I think many people aren’t giving a long, hard critical look at their individual, personal relationships because we’re being foddered by the fear all the media purports. Which is that there’s this perfect formula for a perfect relationship – and guess what, I’m here to tell you, there isn’t one. There is no insurance for relationships, unless you consider a pre-nup. Besides, since when does the media have anything valuable to say about marriage? The secular, commercial world would love nothing more than for our marriages to fail. Unhappiness equates to feeling vulnerable and insecure, which leads to buying things to correct that feeling.
The only thing you can do is pray to God every night you’re on the right track.
At least, that’s what my pre-cana counselor said.
In fact, those were some of her first words when we first started seeing her. She said “Forget all the advice except for this – you’re only ever going to figure it out by figuring out what works for you. So forget the books, forget the formulas, stop comparing and looking at other relationships, find what works for you and go with it. If you don’t, you’ll be miserable.”
Ok I’m done ranting.