Sunday, August 23, 2015

On marriage and land ownership

Mawwiage... is what bwings us here togefah... today.

And it also permeates my social media of late, a symptom of the pleasantness of July and August weather in the northern hemisphere, where most of my acquaintances live. If only there were a social media filter that let me elide* "wedding photos and announcements". It is an inundation, and one that makes me feel like I am falling behind in some sort of absurd life-contest, even though it's not a contest and I'm quite happy with my life. Which is successful!

Part of the overwhelmed feeling is certainly the concentration: a huge spike in the graph for August weddings, a giant plunge in the graph for November, February, and all other months. Babies are similarly-celebrated Giant Life Milestones (GLMs), but they're more evenly spread across the year. A few years ago when my entire cohort seemed to simultaneously graduate from law/business school I had similar feelings of being left behind the GLM-race while everyone else forged ahead.

I found this article satisfying just because it asked any questions about the desirability of marriage: "How we end up marrying the wrong people". I understand, of course, that outward-facing social announcements will focus on the perfection, the love, the happily-forever-after, how lucky X is to spend the rest of zis life with Y, etc. It seems... performative.** And at this point in late August, repetitive.

I think I'd be pretty ok starting my list of criteria with "how much land do they have". A grain of salt: I remain unwed. #Spinsterlife forevah! Until the sufficiently-landed suitor comes along... and we are married in January (in our volcano supervillain lair) or November (by a Pastafarian minister on a hangglider over the Sahara)  or March (witnessed by a pod of dolphins in international waters).

This post's theme word is vituperation, "bitter and abusive language." I intend no vituperation towards the happy couples; their joy is delightful, and should be duly celebrated.

*What would be much more satisfying would be a filter which restricted the feed of announcements to conform more closely to demographic trends, e.g., by showing one divorce announcement for every two wedding announcements.

**... like all social media. My own included. Cognitive dissonance acknowledged.

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