Sunday, July 16, 2006

Problems I have with weddings and marriage

I've been thinking a lot about this and yes my relationship with Mr T is more than fine. Below are just a few of the problems/issues I've been having either with marriage or weddings.

* Discrimination against same sex couples marrying

* patriarchal association with marriage that STILL exists today

* The way society values de facto couples vs married couples. My de facto friends/family members are not in relationships that are any less in value or commitment or love or anything else than my married ones are. Call Mr T what you want, my partner, boyfriend, husband, fiance I still feel the exact same way about him but people do think differently according to the title I give him.

* The expense and stress all for ONE day.

* The 'shoulds' and 'musts' involved with wedding. There is no way you are getting me in a big white dress or making my single female friends and family members stand up while I throw them a bouquet of flowers.

* The obsession over the smallest of details: invites, flowers, colour of ribbons on chairs.

* The competitiveness and bitchiness from those who attend weddings particularly some bride to be's.

I think the problem is we both kind of feel like sell outs in two ways. One, this day is more about everyone else than us. It doesn't cost $2,000 to feed and provide drinks for the two of us for just one meal. It doesn't cost $5,000 for us to know that we are in a loving and committed relationship. We are having to compromise on a lot of things for example music. Some how I can't see my family enjoying most of the music we enjoy.

Second, there is or rather was a small part of me who wanted to be married for the validation side of things, not his but other peoples. Or rather for priority list. I kind of feel vulnerable in one way as a intercultural relationship because lets face it as a wife (still hate that term too) I will be called straight away if something happens to him (eg: accident) even if he is in Hong Kong and I'm in Melbourne. Sure as a girlfriend I will be called hopefully but I wouldn't be as much as a priority, I could be dismissed as just his 'gwai moi' girlfriend. This is obviously more of a problem when we were doing long distance compared to now when we are together.

At first we approached it as we will do it our way and have certainly started to discuss most of that stuff. I'm either wearing bright red or blue (my 2 fav colours), i'm not taking on his surname, we are having it small and as inexpensive as possible, and I even found a catering service which I would love to support: Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Catering Service, scroll down the page to download their flyer.

We generally boycott things we disagree with for example: sweat shop products, non vegan items, blood diamonds etc. I guess as well I have been thinking about it in terms of the way we see organic food. If you want prices to improve for organic products you have to buy them. Well if you want de facto couples to have the same rights or rather values as a married couple then wouldn't it be best to stick it out as a de facto couple.

Besides we have started to realise that the money we could spent on a wedding could go on a decent overseas holiday.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Am I just over analysing?


jlp said...

I don't think you're over-analyzing. I'm with you on the anger that committed couples aren't being recognized because they can't or won't get married.

I think that, if the Visa weren't an issue, the husband guy and I would happily "live in sin" for decades, with our four hypothetical children. I know it's not fair that we have that option while other couples don't, and I honestly can't justify it to myself. I feel selfish and like a sell-out. But I hope that, if my brother and his partner were in a similar position, they'd do the same thing. I'd rather they were together and happy than apart because of ideas.

But I will say that it wasn't until just after my wedding that I realized the importance of marriage to everyone I care about. Our stupid little Vegas wedding brought our closest friends and relatives all in one place--people who would have never otherwise met were now family because of us. It was kind of trippy. Trippy and lovely.

emma said...

Hmm... I don't think you are overanalyzing.

Here in Finland couples can register their relationship without marriage and get all the tax benefits, rights to inheritance, shared parenthood, get to be the first in line to call in case of emergency and so on. And same sex couples can do that too. So I'd probably go for that. I don't know how that works if the people aren't both finnish citizens though...

If I had a wedding I wouldn't even want most of my family to be there, since we are not close and they don't respect most of my life choices, especially veganism.

Then again I could totally see me and mr right (who I haven't even met yet ;) having some kind of commitment ceremony (maybe some buddhist texts) and a party for the people who are truly close to us.

Knowing me and my immense stressing about all social situations, esp. parties thrown by me, I know it would end up being the worst day of my life, not the best... I would end up hating the whole thing.

kristy said...

JLp and Emma Thanks for your sharing your thoughts. Im glad i'm not alone there. I honestly really thought before I posted this, thinking that quite possibly it could get me in trouble with a few who are already married.

LIke you JLP I also have immigration issues and am considering the idea of marrying without a wedding.