I had heard somewhere, that there are specific events in ones life which age you up to ’10 years’ a time. They are listed as deaths, births, moving house and getting married. Well having suffered several losses, one childbirth and roughly 24 house moves, mostly with much household contents, I could never understand how marriage factored into that little ‘saying’.
That is however, until now.
I’ve also heard many a time that having children is not for the faint-hearted. Well, neither is marriage and by comparison, having children is a walk in the park. Having made the decision in January to set the date for July and with what I thought to be ample time for planning and preparation, nothing could have prepared me for myself.
Everything is set and ready to go, in 10 days that is. My second dress fitting is on friday afternoon and it is simply beautiful, my bridesmaid is at my side after her tragic ordeal, all attending friends are excited and waiting anxiously for the big day. The table seating plan, table arrangements and service are all organised and the flowers are ordered and should be ready for collection on friday the 22nd. So what seems to be the problem?
I think the thing about marriage is that we as the human race have decided that everything is disposable and most things in our lives are contract driven – and usually lasting no longer than 24-36 months. Everything is in the “here and now” and if you don’t like, you can always get another one, regardless of whether it’s a car, a cellphone or a hobby. But marriage, as the institution would have it, is supposed to be permanent. Forever. Until death you do part. People don’t like being told what to do… so rebellion dictates that as soon as you’ve signed your life to someone, you’re not going to like it.
That’s stupid. Because parents don’t have children on a short-term loan basis, it’s also a life sentence, and somehow they cope. I’ve been with the man for 5 years and never questioned my love or devotion until I decided to set a wedding date! This whole thought process has had me turn from butterlies-in-my-stomach-bride-to-be into the dragon lady and then back again, at least 32 times – to the point where He asked me if I had remembered to take my medication!?! Then I threw a shoe at him. He still loves me [apparently] and hasn’t called the wedding off…
It’s scary to take the big step to make the whole thing ‘official’. Taking on a new surname, making decisions about things -TOGETHER and doing so for the rest of your natural life… My parents have been together for 30 years. Awesome. Has it been easy? NO. I have learnt from them however, that if you have certain fundamental principles in place, then you’re on a good inning. Namely to have trust and respect for one another, to remain honest and open at all times, to communicate effectively and to love unconditionally. When I think of these things, my nerves calm and I stop fretting over having the wrong flowers or not having lost enough weight to look like a skeletal bride.
The question I pose though, is with it being such a very huge decision and ‘lifelong’ undertaking. Why do it if you’re not in it for good? Why are divorce rates so high? Because people treat people & marriage like they treat ‘things’ and ironically treat ‘things’ how they should be treating people. I may have thrown a shoe, but at least we spoke face to face – and when we were done, I hugged him and kissed him all over the face and told him how sorry I was… as he simply shook his head and mumbled something like, “Until your next tantrum”.