17 January 2008

My Heart is Stirred by a Noble Theme

It's been a while since my last post. This is due largely to me waiting until something momentous happens that inspires me to write about it. There has been a bit going on for me lately, but nothing that has had that… that… 'je ne sais quoi' (pardon my French) that makes my blog amongst the most pretentious on the internet.

Having only recently recovered from my latest interstate wedding trip, I felt the time was right, as one of the last remaining single men in the country, to provide what I hope will be a logical, culturally sensitive, sober and universally acceptable account of the whole 'wedding' production from the point of view of a non-participant. Regular readers will of course realise that the chances of me assuming any of the aforementioned characteristics, let alone all of them at once, are fairly slim.

Weddings are really really stupid (...hic...). I'm not saying this with any specific reference to the last one I attended (which was comparatively nice), but rather as a denouncement of the cultural phenomenon of weddings in general.

I should probably make the point here before I really get into full denouncing mode that I am distinguishing 'weddings' from 'marriages' here. 'Marriage' is a great idea; a holy union twixt bla bla bla. Weddings, on the other hand, are almost enough to make the work I'm supposed to be doing instead of writing this look enticing. Almost.

I can accept that it's appropriate to mark the joyous moment with a certain amount of ceremony and celebration. I don't accept that it's necessary or desirable to mark the moment with a large degree of exertion and stress. I haven't been privy to a wedding yet that didn't involve at least three days of complete madness, running around to ensure a 40 minute ceremony can be performed without a single problem. Not that they ever are.

At this point photographers, dressmakers, florists, chefs, venue owners and old ladies in floral dresses who appear out of nowhere will be making the argument that it is all worth it to make sure the happy couple have a perfect day, and that everything goes exactly the way they want it to. Forgive my cynicism, but if everything went just the way the happy couple wanted it to, wouldn't we just skip the stress and cut straight to the honeymoon? It seems to me that most of what goes on at weddings happen in spite of what the couple wants, not because of it.

It was shrewdly observed by an onlooker at a recent wedding that in fact the wedding ceremony is not for the couple, but rather for the couple's mothers. I'm not sure why couples' mothers find it such a joy/necessity to tear their hair out over the ceremony and reception, although I suppose it may serve to distract them from the fact that their son/daughter is about to get married. Perhaps sagely fathers-of-the-bride in time immemorial designed the wedding ceremony in order to give mothers-of-the-bride something to do instead of fretting enough to give themselves stomach ulcers.

I recently heard a sermon preached on Psalm 45, which is a royal wedding song. The first verse says "My heart is stirred by a noble theme". The preacher remarked on the contrast between the psalmist's attitude towards weddings and the typical Australian attitude. I couldn't agree more.

Far from home



Garry with 2 Rs
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