In the Blog

Love and Strategy?

June 5th, 2008     by Mir Verburg     Comments

So my little brother got married last week, and despite my total and overwhelming love for him and for my new sister-in-law, (and the fact that I was an awesome bridesmaid IMHO) there are moments when I was less then appreciative of the institution of marriage.

I loved their wedding. I loved the seven course Italian meal with scallops and steak (sorry vegetarians, that’s how I roll). And I loved dancing with my cousins to Michael Jackson. There is something about dancing with family members that is much much more fun then dancing at a club or a party. I think it’s because you’ve known then since you were two so they’ve already seen you do the “you put your right foot in…” dance, and they’ve already seen your awesome Milli-Vanilli lip sync routine for camp, so nothing you could possibly do dance-wise is going to embarass them anymore, it’s like free to be you and me with a DJ.

I digress, post wedding blitz I was feeling if not pro, then a little less anti-marriage, when I stumbled on this comment in the Globe and Mail this morning: Looking For Mr. Good Enough

Such is the new thinking from the front lines of modern dating. Forget about finding Mr. Right. You should settle for Mr. Good Enough. Heck, go for Mr. Just Okay. Don’t expect a head-spinning courtship. You should not even want love. In fact, you’d be wise to borrow a few pointers from arranged marriages.

It seems that getting married is hipper than skinny jeans these days, and maybe since matrimony is such a hot commodity, hooking up “for ever and ever” takes precedence over actually loving your partner?

It makes me shudder. The article actually recommends making a list. Like: must wear matching socks EVERY DAY; Must not sing songs by top-forty artists while cutting nails onto living room carpet; Must take pleasure in weekly trips to Bed, Bath and Beyond to stare at the remainders shelves; Etc.

This is not to diss anyone who has enjoyed or is planning to enjoy an arranged marriage. I am just pointing out that over the past few years there has been this tendency in the media towards making girls feel like they have to get married or else their entire life will be crap. It’s as if my Jewish bubi has been sending the media on-message memos. (“CBC: you know what to do now, that feature on early onset infertility. Do it before Passover so I can ask my grandaughter when she comes for Seder if she’s been thinking about her dry womb.)

The marriage focus is extra weird given that there were several decades (think the 1970’s) where the institution of marriage as a whole(not just from the ladies’ POV) was critiqued. I mean, heck, I live in Quebec - the province with the highest rate of shack-ups (fine, fine, common law relationships) in the nation. The reason for this? A concerted effort to destabilize the power of the Catholic church in the 1960’s. So why is marriage suddenly de rigeur again?? My poor single head is reeling from all the advice I’ve been getting since about 2004.

Not to mention the whole marriage is a straight institution dealio, I mean either be equal opportunity and target everyone, or just give-up already. Because as a woman of marriageable age I am beginning to get offended that I am clearly the picky, choosy, mean as hell, too quick to say ‘no’ obstacle to a happy marriage. Were I otherwise, I might feel bad that the whole marriage-marketing scheme wasn’t directed at me, and then (horror of horrors) I’d get married out of spite.

So what does anyone else think? Is love a game with strategy, or is it a series of happy accidents that sometimes ends with a ring?

Tags: in my opinion...

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