Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Getting Married - 21st Century Style

Let's say you want to get married. You've found your soulmate, and are ready to settle down. How romantic, you think, would it be to share your love with your family and friends in a simple, yet beautiful, ceremony. You've all seen the movies and tv shows where in the first frame the man gets down on his knee and offers lifelong devotion and love, while the woman in tears hugs him enthusiastically. And in the very next frame, they stand before the alter professing said love to their closest friends and relatives.

Here's a hint to anyone out there under the misimpression that in this regard, movies offer a glimpse into reality: You are in for a big surprise.

In between the first frame and the second frame are thousands of small tasks and some large ones that are likely only intended to prepare you for the one huge task that is a child and/or children.

Most of those tasks I was prepared for, but a couple came as a surprise. For example, if you want by be married by a member of a clergy, most of them will require that you go through a relationship program. Our rabbi requires the Prepare/Enrich program.

Last night was night two of the four part series of the program. We learned how to communicate with "I" statements and active listening. Between the two of us that have made it this far into this post, let me just say that it comes off as a little bit of remedial relationship building. They actually tell you that it's good to catch up with your wife to be at the end of your day. "How was your day," was a recommended question (Seinfeld episode, anyone?). Do people have to reminded of this stuff?

But it just made me think about how standardized our relationships are sometimes. We actually had to take a standardized test before we got started. Of course, they don't call it a test. But it certainly feels like one. And apparently, they don't take kindly to the joke, "did we fail the test?"

All in all, it wasn't that bad. And since we got out late, I convinced my bride-to-be to stop at a McDonalds on the way home (Quarter-Pounders Rule!).

But here it is: Buyer beware, before you get married, you may have to sit in front of your rabbi/priest/minister and discuss three areas in your relationship that need "growth." It's quite an experience.


At 9:45 AM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

We had to do something very similar. Did it nip everything in the bud? Not at all. It was pretty perfunctory. I do think some quality pre-marital counseling is a good idea.

At 9:47 AM, Blogger codemorse said...

Well, I can think of one area where I won't need growth...


That sounds sort of bizarre, but as you said, you can't do anything without taking a standardized test.

Certainly, marriage's romantic attractions are pretty-thoroughly dwarfed by the mountains of bullshit one must wade through to attain that exalted status.

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

If you get married in D.C. you have to take a blood test too. Feels moderately antiquated.

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Ben Miro said...

We used a very young priest for our real wedding. It was his 1st wedding and he was too nervous to give us static.

We got married AGAIN for her folks by a baptist minister and I informed him I didn't believe in any of that juju...and he "married" us anyway.

I'm certain the rental fee of the dining room was more alluring than the prospect of saving my blackened soul.


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