Thursday, August 5, 2010

Caution: Grumpy post straight ahead

I should probably preface this very grouchy post by saying that I am a Church Lady, so it can only be expected of me that I view the world through churchvision, which means that a number of people don't even begin to agree with me and think -- sometimes out loud where I can hear them -- that I need to remove the very large stick from my....well, you know.

Anyway, Meelyn and I were watching one of our HGTV favorites tonight, a show called Income Property, which is hosted by the handsome and appealing Scott McGillivray, who is white of tooth and muscley of arm, but that's not completely why we watch it. We watch it because it's interesting to see sump pumps being installed in people's manky basements -- that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Tonight, Scott was doing a basement renovation for a couple who had bought a house that was beyond their means. The mortgage payment was so enormous, they'd had to cut out every single fun thing in life, like eating in restaurants and having cable television (which makes you wonder how they found out about Income Property, doesn't it?) and getting married.

Yes. They couldn't get married because their mortgage payment was too high. Because before any minister or even a justice of the peace will marry you, you have to prove that your intended is not your first cousin and that you own real estate. But wait, what am I saying? While it's true that you aren't allowed to marry your first cousin, you don't have to own property to get a marriage license. You can live in a refrigerator box at the town dump and someone with authority vested to him/her by the state you live in and God in heaven will marry the two of you.

Which tells me something about that couple. If you think that being married means you have to have a bunch of money for a great big fancy party, you are too young and/or stupid to get married. Because you can go to a minister or even the courthouse with a couple of friends and get married for about fifty dollars. Really. That's all it takes.

When Scott revealed the renovated basement apartment in all its glory and told them that renting the place would cut their mortgage payment in half, the female of the couple clapped her hands and sang out, "Yay! We'll have money! We can finally get married!"

So what does "getting married" mean to people with this kind of mindset? What does the fancy party really mean? Is it part of the package deal, a memory that will make things easier to deal with when one person is studying for the bar exam at the same time the other spouse is practicing for a trombone audition? When you both have the stomach flu at the same time and neither of you has the strength to press the buttons on the TV remote so you're forced to watch an entire afternoon of soap operas, can you look back on the fancy party and think, "Well, all the vomit and stupid plot lines are totally worth it because we had a fancy party"?

Is it just a way to show off to your friends? A means of torturing your eight closest friends by forcing them to wear unflattering bridesmaid dresses that won't even be accepted as donations to Goodwill? What is it? What?

Because let me tell you: I've been married for a long time now and sticking together through all the worse, the poorer, the sickness and the rest of the stuff life throws at the two of you takes a whole lot more than memories of a FANCY PARTY. A FANCY PARTY is not what a marriage or even a wedding day is all about, and if people put off getting married because they don't have enough money for a FANCY PARTY, then they're probably just doomed. DOOMED.

Thank you for letting me get that out of my system.

1 comment:

Two in One said...

Well said! I really can't agree enough.