Getting married?

21 10 2009

Don’t invite me.

Recently I switched jobs. A colleague at my new work place was getting married and I was invited too. I don’t think I was invited because he particularly liked me but since the rest of my small office were all asked I think he was politely not excluding me. I accepted graciously and joined in the teasing of the soon-to -be groom.

Soon after I received the invitation, the company receptionist started badgering me about what I was going to wear to the wedding: “You must wear a sari, ah” she said very enthusiastically and then began to go on about what time we should go and how we would travel. She also launched a project to collect cash from everyone for a wedding gift. As soon as she started that the rest of the office started other little fund-raisers as well. The driver even came around collecting money for a van we were to hire to travel to the wedding. Meanwhile one girl had her hair cut and coloured. Another rushed off to her tailor to get a blouse adjusted. Even our boss came around to ask the girls for jewelry advice. Wedding preparations had begun in earnest!

I was seething inside. I knew I didn’t want to go to this or any wedding. I hate weddings. I hate the dressing up. I hate the make up. I hate the travel and I hate the sweat that pours off my face taking the make-up with it, leaving stains across my cheeks.

I hate wearing silk in the height of summer. I hate the idea of traveling in a van full of chattering ladies pretending to be enjoying myself. I hate the small talk about their own weddings. And I hate the endless discussion of the bride and how fair she looks (never mind her IQ or personality – as long as she’s ‘fair’ everyone is pleased).

You get the idea. I hate weddings. Period.

And what I hate even more is the pressure to go to weddings from everyone else: “How can you not go men, sin – he has invited you!” said S. T said “He has included you in the numbers to cater for.” L said “Come will you, we’ll have fun, it’s in Panadura!”

Panadura, I thought to myself. That’s a one hour drive in a silk saree…good God, am I to be a masochist?

Finally I decided not to go and to tell everyone this. So I told everyone – “I won’t be coming along because I have no leave – since I only just started working at this new job.”

I also offered to answer the phones while the entire office was away. And so that’s how I spent last Wednesday at work – answering the phone.

The day passed quickly enough and I let out a sigh as 5 o’clock approached, thinking that’s it. I survived.

On Thursday everyone was buzzed and talking incessantly about the lovely wedding. At nine we had our usual staff meeting and horror of all horrors, the boss herself made us sit through a presentation of all the photographs she had taken of the bride and groom! And I had been under the impression I had escaped the worst of it – mustered my resolve and ditched the whole event but here I was, once again being reminded of the joys of marital life – that same old celebration of heterosexuality as the only valid union, complete with scores of relations one mostly dislikes and numerous acquaintances who aren’t really one’s friends but have faithfully come to Celebrate the Wedding.

All this, projected larger than life onscreen for our enforced entertainment. I wanted to scream!

Can we just let it be? Give it a rest? Do we all have to love weddings and everything associated with them? Why do people pressure one to do things one really doesn’t have the slightest inclination to do, just because it would make them happy or because it’s the ‘right thing to do’?

I really hate weddings.



10 responses

21 10 2009
L Girl

I thought its only me, who hates this stuff 😛

22 10 2009
Dreadful Cynic

so do you believe that marriage should only be between hetero couples, or do you hate all marriages in general?

22 10 2009

Sadly, I fall into the same category as the much condemned ladies of your office… I love weddings… the preparation, the minute details, the chit chat about ones own wedding… ad infinitum. 🙂

That said, I do respect your right not to be badgered into something you won’t enjoy, be it an hours drive to an obscure place, a stuffy meeting of pseudo-intellectuals, a pretentious bookclub or (horrors) being forced to watch an amatuer slideshow full of white tulle and fake crystals.

At least you had the chance to gracefully bow out of the actual ceremony… something that may not have been possible if it were family…

22 10 2009

I hate weddings too. I think what I hate most about weddings, as Pol Sambol has said, is the incessant heteronormativity dressed up as a fun thing to do that all of us have to do! Why is it that we spend enormous amounts of money and energy on an event that is over in one day and not remembered by anyone afterwards? Can two people not commit to one another without this ‘approval by society’ gained in such a costly manner? I hate my relatives nagging me to get married when they themselves have the worst marriages I have ever seen! What is it? I wonder. Something like the university rag? We were ragged so we want to rag you too? I think we should all rethink the concept of marriage AND weddings.

22 10 2009
pol Sambol

Well., marriages and weddings are two different things. I dont like weddings. I respect peoples right and decision to get married – even though i cant marry the one person i want to.

26 10 2009

I used to be like you and have evn truned up in jeans and a tshirt to some poor souls wedding. That is when my father sat me down and taught me a lesson in good manners and the polite thing to do. I think people plan a lot about how perfect their day is and they invite others to share their happiness. I may absolutely HATE it but it is good manners to “take an interest”. So that is what I do now, if invited, I take an interest, as good manners are important.

26 10 2009

Correction Gyppo. Some people are invited to share their happiness not everyone. Some are invited for numbers. Some out of obligation. And so on. I make it a point NOT to go to a wedding unless I truly want to share in the joy of the couple because I know them both and am genuinely happy for them both. If not, I just skip it. I think I’ve gone beyond the need to have good manners if it really doesn’t mean anything of substance to you or the other person(s) involved.

26 10 2009
pissu perera

but think of all the free food! 😀

26 10 2009

Well said.But sorry for hearing that you did not escape the slide show. How professional is your Boss?!ӣ$

30 10 2009

HAH! I thought I was the only one who cannot put up with the circuses and the fashion parades they put up calling a wedding. I think the whole purpose of marriage is to celebrate the love of two individuals and not to out do someone else’s wedding or to show off your social status etc. But this is the sad reality of the weddings these days.

What I would also say is, if you ‘must’ put up a circus for your wedding, please go ahead. But don’t invite me! But handling the peer pressure and the family ties… it just kills me!

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