I was thrilled to hear that a young friend of mine is getting married. Her boyfriend proposed to her while they were away on holiday. She was beginning to wonder whether it was ever going to happen, but, as it turned out, he planned it beautifully, chose the ring himself and picked the perfect moment. Bravo Rupert!
Wedding plans are afoot, and I have my suspicions that the two of them are going to be very happy.
I don’t always feel like that about people getting married, and, apparently, more and more young people are doing it.
We were all sitting around sharing a drink with Katie and discussing her plans, such as they are, since the engagement is brand new, and I was introduced to a brand new concept, one that proves, once and for all, that real romance, that a belief in something that might actually endure, is finally dead.
We’ve all had our share of heartache, and some of us have been married more than once. Let’s face it, we’re not all perfect, and to err is human. My own life has been a rich tapestry of mayhem and madness, happiness and misery, love and anger, and... well... you name it. There are some things, though, that I have come to know and trust, and that, while I hope I don’t take them for granted, I have some faith in, even through the tough times.
I’m a great believer in being two people, two individuals, first, who each stand on their own two feet, who can then form one strong relationship. If two people believe in that and commit to a future together, I think it’s only natural to believe that love can and will endure.
The first great blow to romance was delivered by the Americans, of course, when they developed the prenuptial agreement. What the hell is that thing about?
Who goes into a marriage preparing for its failure?
I suppose there are those who would say that the answer to that question is pragmatists. It’s nonsense, though, isn’t it? What about love? What about passion and romance? I hope that by the time two people marry they have spent enough time together to know each other’s quirks and foibles, and possibly each other’s weaknesses and maddening little habits, and I hope they’ve spent enough time together to know that those things aren’t going to turn out to be deal breakers. I also hope that the day any two people walk down the aisle there is still room for butterflies in their stomachs at the sight of each other.
There shouldn’t, in my opinion, be room for the sort of doubt that allows for a prenuptial agreement between two people who claim to be in love. If a man ever said to me, “If you really loved me, you’d sign a pre-nup," I’d know he didn’t love me enough to marry me. Likewise, if I ever found myself consulting a lawyer about a pre-nup, I’d know I didn’t love the man enough to marry him.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the final death knell was finally sounded on romance over a nice glass of wine at Katie’s engagement celebration when the words, Wedding Insurance were spoken in front of me for the first time.
It had to be explained to me.
I’m middle-aged. I might not feel it, and once in a while I’m even told that I don’t look it, but apparently, strictly speaking, I do qualify, so I’ve been to quite a lot of weddings, and, over the years, I’ve seen a fiasco or two. I’ve seen bridesmaids’ dresses that puckered in the rain, a venue that burned down two days before the wedding was due to happen, a best man that missed a flight, another best man whose suit was three sizes too big, a bride who was so nervous she lost ten pounds in the last week before she was married, a groom who vomited in church, and a wedding cake that fell off the show table at the reception.
All of those problems were solved, or became great stories to tell the grandkids, or couldn’t have been helped by insurance. The wedding venue was moved to one of the guest’s very large, very grand houses, and local guests all brought something to eat. The day was really special. There’s no way a new venue could have been found with a day to spare for a Saturday in the middle of June, no matter how much insurance money was involved.
I had it explained to me that the real reason for wedding insurance is so that everyone gets his money back if either the bride or groom cancels the wedding.
|John and Ann Betar from Connecticut, married 80 years|
I bet they didn't have a pre-nup or wedding insurance!
People are now planning weddings they might not even turn up for, let alone planning marriages that might not last. How bloody cynical is that?
Katie doesn’t plan to take out wedding insurance, but I wonder how many people do, and I wonder if they give it a moment’s thought, and, if they don’t, I wonder if they realise what that sort of cynical attitude might mean for them and their relationships and their lives and their futures.
We don’t believe in Gods anymore, and we haven’t for a while, but I, for one, didn’t realise how little we believed in love, and I think it’s a crying shame.