Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Single Rant

It's Tuesday, and you need a good rant. Brandon's got you covered in his response to the inane Atlantic article positing that Single People Should Get Weddings, Too:
What irritates me about the whining is that I did not sign up to be in the Kiddy League of Life. We do not all get consolation prizes whenever things do not go our way, and we do not all get trophies whether we win or not. The world does not exist to validate us. Moreover, we are all perfectly capable of handling this fact. And even to suggest that single people need to be treated in such infantile ways, spoon-fed through a state of life that by definition can be handled by anyone and which, considered in itself, has no standards of excellence that have to be met, is an insult to all single people everywhere. I don't care how lonely you feel. Get over yourself and do something important, and then maybe you'll get a pat on the back.
Of course, it's possible that the only weddings the unmarried Atlantic authoress has attended have been overwrought, overfinanced occasions that serve as self-aggrandizing gift grubbing for couples who make enough money to buy their own toasters and have been living together anyway. But that doesn't negate the fact that marriage itself is more significant that a made-up celebration of singleness called "La QuinceaƱera Doble." (This event, partially financed by the author's parents, leads the reader to wonder: if she ever does get married, will Mom and Pop be expected to shell out again, or have they already coughed up enough for life events?)

Weddings are also not celebrations of individuals, but of new family units, formed from existing family units, which is why, although every couple at some point dreams of eloping, it's actually really selfish and offensive to do so. Yes, even if you, like everyone else, think your family is crazy.


bearing said...

Weddings are also not celebrations of individuals, but of new family units, formed from existing family units...

Obviously I agree with you that this is what weddings are "supposed" to be.

How are we to deal with the fact that we live in a society in which weddings are quite often not what they are "supposed" to be?

It's a serious question that I'm forced to contemplate just about every time I get invited to a wedding. There's a tension now between etiquette and truth. (Of course, now that I think of it, it has always been such.)

Literacy-chic said...

Eloping isn't always selfish. Sometimes, it's simply practical. We were "married" twice--once in a civil ceremony and once in the Church, and each time we had no others but our witnesses in attendance, and very little afterwards. We could not have afforded anything else--and my mother surely could not have. I think my mother thought the celebration of the family unit was not strictly necessary. Had we had a larger event, serious conflicts would have arisen.

Josiah Neeley said...

When people graduate from college, it is customary to have a big ceremony commemorating this fact.

But what about all the people who don't even go to college (or who go but drop out)? Shouldn't they get their own ceremony, with speeches, special clothing, and all the pomp and circumstance?

People who don't go to college should get their own non-graduation ceremony, where the non-graduates can be handed their non-degree (an N.A.), with a dinner afterwards where all your relatives can tell you how proud they are of what you haven't accomplished.

It's only fair, really.

mrsdarwin said...

Lit-Chic, I think you and I would agree that having a quiet wedding ceremony is not the same thing as eloping. There's no requirement to make a wedding a big production. I think the common definition of elopement is getting married secretly, often with the purpose of excluding family members.

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

A QuinceaƱera Doble --wow! You couldn't make this stuff up in a novel. Readers wouldn't be able to suspend their disbelief!

Eric Mendoza said...

Mrs. Darwin, you should see the link to Mike Flynn that Brandon posted. Flynn notes all sorts of modern ideas of "marriage."

Some people apparently now think they can "marry" themselves, the Eiffel Tower, their dogs, a warehouse, more than one person, and even brothers and sisters. In my nerdy travels, I'd add those wanting to marry fictional characters. Even 'The Onion' couldn't come up with this sort of satire.

I'm not sure what to say. I've gotten accustomed to modern silliness of this sort, where some think we can live in a fantasy world indulging our desires while ignoring basic biological and demographic realities.

Well, at least Micheal Liccione pointed out to me another article in the Atlantic about anthropologists studying a central African culture with bizarre (well, at least to us in the West) views on sex and marriage, that is, that sex is for reproduction.