Saturday, November 14, 2009

hating weddings


I've never liked weddings. I find them frightening.
Weddings are a very expensive performance designed to present an image of a social category called "married couple" that is proper and desirable and safe.
People spend a lot of time planning this performance, putting together slide shows of their childhood, picking out a package of gifts of porcelain and other knickknacks no one wants (though some couples have gotten smarter and instead give a catalogue so guests can pick out what they want but there is really nothing in the catalogue you want either), lining up a list of people to give speeches (the boring ones by bosses and former teachers, the teary goofy ones by friends) or put on horrible amateur acts (that should stay in the karaoke box where they belong).
It is a transition into adulthood _ the straight life.
It is a capitulation to the social definitions of Husband, Wife, Marriage, Man, Woman, Life, Career, Success.
It is often an opportunity for a woman to be the star for once, defined by an alleged beauty in absurd formulaic outfits (white dress, red kimono, etc.) so people can sigh and say oooh, how pretty she is, with the understanding that as she ages she can never quite be as nice-to-look at (i.e., socially valuable) as she is on that blessed day.
To negate or even question any of these definitions of what happens at a wedding so carefully orchestrated at considerable costs would be totally un-Japanese.
Love or whatever it is that happens that culminates in marriage is highly individualistic, private and spiritual.
But you'd never know it from watching the couple descend from a gondola covered with fumes and walk around lighting candles at tables decked with weird flowers and funny food.
Weddings usually show where people are really at _ in the end _ even if they have claimed for years to be more liberated.
They may say they are doing it for their parents.
It is frightening because it means that in the end we can never win against all these definitions not only because they are so powerful as dictated by society, but because they are so close to people's deepest emotions and values (which what doing it for your parents means).
They are growing up.
They are getting married.
They are leaving me behind.

4 comments:

Marona said...

Hhmm . . . "they are leaving me behind." I think I feel this way, as a person uncoupled, surrounded by couples in a college environment. We profess to be so liberated, so progressive, yet I still see the same old gender roles, even among unmarried couples. These definitions are so tightly woven into our sense of self, even though the self is a performance. You are a woman because of the way you act, practiced over time into a refined art. Sure, certain aspects of biologically determined sex can factor into gender, but if you perhaps deviated from standard gender roles, someone would police you, get you back in line. Or at least try to.

I'll probably be just like them. When some guy decides to "pick me." Cause certainly a relationship commitment shouldn't occur to a woman first; only when the guy needs someone to fulfill his life.

I hope to avoid weddings. It's a complete waste of life and funds.

YURI KAGEYAMA said...

Thanks, Marona.
I feel you are a strong, sensitive and intelligent woman who is in touch with the eroticism in oneself that is an important part of life and identity.
The ritual of marriage as a social role is not the same as the spiritual and erotic in marriage that can be positive and lead to family and create important relationships with child/children.
But that realization isn't something that we get as a gift from the partner but is sijmply found within ourselves.

Abel said...

I like this one alot. My wife and I opted not to have a wedding. Hope see you again sometime, Abel

YURI KAGEYAMA said...

Great to hear from you, Abel. Some people are of the same spirit and connected in a more meaningful way like through dance. A true celebration of marriage.