Column | Getting married to yourself: That’s a thing, Y’all
“A woman draws her life from man and gives it back again/And there is love, there is love.” – Noel Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul and Mary).
Could that timeless lyric be devolving into “A woman lets armpit hairs grow and lets them grow some more/And there are selfies, there are selfies”?
Just weeks before my own 28th wedding anniversary, I learn through Great Britain’s Telegraph newspaper that women giving up the search for Mr. Right (or Ms. Right) and getting married to themselves is a real “thing.”
(Yes, a few men have hopped aboard this trend as well; but the “Telegraph” notes that sologamy is a much harder sell among males. That’s understandable. Where’s the fun in leaving the toilet seat up when you live alone? Who wants to forget his own birthday? What kind of “war stories” can you muster out of being the “old ball and chain” and sending yourself to buy MALE hygiene products?)
Most of us still see the benefit of having a sounding board, a soulmate, a yin to our yang; but other individuals have grown tired of bad relationships (or no relationships), so they take a quantum leap and make their solitary, self-focused existence OFFICIAL (albeit not legally binding).
Companies are springing up to offer package deals that are almost exactly like traditional two-person weddings. You can have invitations, guests, gifts, music, the walk down the aisle, the preacher, the ring, the vows, the cake (adorned by a single figurine), even the honeymoon. The packages have everything except the ... er, package.
By all accounts, the family and friends of women who marry themselves are exuberantly supportive of such narcissistic nuptials. Life has gotten so complicated. Used to be an ENABLER just needed a pack of Marlboros or a valid ID card. Now it takes a tuxedo or a bridesmaid dress.
Will the new style of brides try subtly influencing their friends via the ceremony? Maybe instead of merely throwing the bridal bouquet to predict the next bride, they’ll tie a MIRROR to the bouquet first.
Don’t be fooled. Many of the trendsetters who promise to cherish themselves until the day they die are still dating other people on the side! It’s not enough to monitor yourself with a Fitbit. Now you have to hire a private eye to keep track of yourself! (“I saw her/you coming out of a seedy motel with her/your old imaginary friend and her/your old Ken doll.”)
I agree that society unfairly stigmatizes people who either don’t want or can’t get a partner, and I suppose self-marriage is harmless enough; but why make a big spectacle out of that one tradition-flouting rite while not celebrating other eccentricities? We need quirky newspaper society page notices such as “I chew all my vegetables starting with the letter ‘B’ precisely 100 times. If you wish to send linens, dishware or toaster ovens, I am registered at...”
Wait...I forgot one problem. If self-marriage does catch on, the biggest consequence will be the lack of opportunities for IN-LAWS. In-law wannabes will roam the streets accosting total strangers with unsolicited advice or offers to get in on the ground floor of a get-rich-quick scheme.
Luckily, here’s Paul Stookey’s pal Peter Yarrow to drive the point home.
“Mike the would-be in-law lives in a van/And frolics in your swimming pool/He’ll repay you when he can ...”