Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Two pairs of my friends have got married in recent weeks. I wasn't invited to the knot-tying, but then hardly anybody was. In fact it was only by accident that I found about the first one before it happened. I was supposed to find out with the rest of the circle of friends from a facebook post ironically entitled "No more premarital sex." The other was a group e-mail in faux-third person "A and T got married." Both had links to a few photos, and a promise of a reception.

I'm not sure what to make of the lightness here, especially in the aftermath of New York and New Jersey's rejections of gay marriage. If it's such a small thing, why would anyone object to extending "marriage rights" to all? (My friends don't.) And if it's no small thing, why make light of it this way? It could be self-consciousness over the marriage rights issue, of course, or about the very institution itself - an institution which many people I know think quaint if not reactionary. What does marriage mean anyway nowadays, especially for people already living together? Is it private or public? Or have facebook and e-mail long since opened up a middle area which is neither and both?

Both pairs of friends, let me hasten to add, are not only very devoted to each other but wonderfully suited to each other. Nice that there's a socially recognized way of validating their love! It is a big deal!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Many of the concerns you bring up here were, in fact, things we thought about in the weeks leading up to our marriage, but I have to take issue with your characterization of us as "taking it lightly." We may not have wanted to invite a lot of people to the actual ceremony, but we had a BCP ceremony in our church, with close friends and family, after seven weeks of marriage counseling with our priest. And then planned a relatively large reception to include our wider circle of family and friends. We didn't enter into it lightly or attempt to make light of it -- it was our friend who named the photo album "no more premarital sex," not us. ;)

I appreciate your final comments, though!