Rest in peace, the wedding. I will refrain from dancing on his grave, but only because I am wearing the wrong shoes. Which is typical. Even in death he screws us to footwear.
I have long been bored with wedding failures, sometimes in the voice of a lack of love with the world, sometimes in reference to such nostalgic concepts as “capitalism” or “commodification of gender” or “bad cake.” You may have calculated your costs, like a particularly embittered divorcee, grinning over hugely inflated bills for canapes and balloons and sentimental fetishes on the table. He may have grabbed you in the smoking area and yelled about the passivity of princess culture and its inevitable conclusion, the huge white dress and its required pedestal. The erasure of a woman’s name at the end of a performance of proposals and symbolic rings so politically retro that it would not be a platform if it were reserved for a university debate.
Perhaps I have whispered chilling facts about the mythologizing of the dress or the marketing strategies of expensive items such as diamond rings that were coded as mandatory. The rush that heteros tend to have to institutionalize and sign contracts about love.
One of the most unifying deaths of the past year was the death of the elegant wedding, and yet none of the above were to thank.
All those feminist arguments against weddings faded in the face of a series of recent testimonials from American wedding photographers. In discussing their experiences of working through Covid, they said Texas Monthly about unmasked ceremonies and sweaty dance floors. An asthmatic photographer said she had been filming a wedding reception for a couple of hours when a bridesmaid approached to thank her for her presence, considering the circumstances: the groom, she explained, had tested positive for coronavirus the day before. It was a first for the photographer. When she left before the last dance, the wedding planner told her it was the least professional thing he had ever seen. The bridesmaids accused her of “ruthlessly ruining an innocent woman’s wedding day.” One told her: “I am a teacher. I have 14 students. If I am willing to risk it, why not you? When he left, he told a maid of honor: “I have children. What happens if my children die? “The maid of honor replied,” I understand, but this is your wedding day. “The photographer tested positive shortly after.
Weddings, parties that revolve around holding someone else’s unwashed hand, had already come under scrutiny. Last summer, a single Maine wedding caused more than 170 people to contract Covid and at least seven deaths. None of those who died had actually attended the wedding, now widely reported as a “wide-spread event” – the guests passed it to people in a nursing home, a jail and a church. In October, 300 people gathered for an illegal wedding in Washington, and 17 later tested positive for the virus, some of them homeworkers; seven elderly residents died in the homes where they worked. The stories accumulated with a family tragedy, and one of its few welcome side effects was, finally, a questioning of the weddings themselves.
Surely the concept of the traditional wedding should have collapsed sometime around the fourth reality show, or when a couple realized they didn’t have to pay a band to play a reggae version of I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing. from Aerosmith before they did. allowed to have sex. Or when the thought was first expressed: is a fancy wedding the scam that tricks women into enslaving themselves with marriage? But many millions disagree, to the point that last year it was more important for some to perform this ceremony of subjugation to an audience that risked their lives than to stay home and love peacefully alone.
I know how I sound. I have to live with me, I hear my voice both inside and out, its estuary hum famous for crushing both vowels and fantasies since 1981. But I am still amazed that these ceremonies have become so ingrained that couples have been willing to inadvertently kill. by them. . It amazes me that women seem to choose these sinks of cash and dignity among the many alternatives, most of which require far fewer bouquets.
And yet oh my. And yet, despite all my decades of outrageous cynicism, recently, for the first time, I’ve had a taste of what it possibly feels like to want a wedding. It took three waves of a deadly virus, a routine in which I sat in front of my boyfriend for a thousand hours every day, a baby born in one of the most disturbing moments in living history, our family condensed to be his elders , death around us, life in our lap, baked potatoes in the oven, but I got it. I had a desire to formalize a compromise that otherwise resides in our shared couch and pans, and the occasional benefits of a contract that makes it harder to leave. Brrr, is romance a side effect of Covid? The vaccine cannot come soon enough.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism