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!