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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

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Marriage was simple back in my day. But now...

I was never very good at it, as my ex-husband – wherever he is these days – would no doubt confirm. And loudly.

But this new-fangled marriage malarkey that’s getting so many normally cold fish all sweaty behind the gills has me properly foxed.

I don’t mind admitting, I’m now lost in confettied confusion; unsure as to who wants to marry whom, where they want to make soon-to-be-broken vows; why they can’t, if they can’t – and if they can, what it is that makes them special. Not that it’s any of my business.

Marriage used to be a simple matter of running up bills, squeezing into a meringue dress you wouldn’t look at twice under normal circumstances, arguing over guest lists and making a leap of blind faith into a misty unknown nonsensically referred to as “until death us do part.”

Simples. So what if everyone knew chances of the delirium of one-true-love continuing to end of days were slim enough to make winning the EuroLottery a dead cert? That never mattered.

Weddings were for pretending. Champagne-fuelled kidology convinced that the fairytale of Cinderella’s happy ever after could actually be a reality. Not only until her Prince Charming found the pub’s dart board more alluring than his bride or her tastes changed from seductive candlelight to a girls’ night out – but for always.

One man, one woman, one expensive delusion, one eventual disappointment. Easy-peasy.

Not any longer. Marriage – or is it only the wedding? – has gone all shouty and cross. The who, why and where of it has whipped MPs into a fury no bank crash, economy collapse, double dip recession or illegal war managed to do. And that, you have to admit, is thoroughly weird.

Nothing is simple now. What started with one man and one woman has moved to one man and another man; one woman and her ladylove.

That was relatively straightforward – if gay people will pardon the pun – but then the marriage mix grew yet more puzzling.

Politicians and other worthies, considering themselves deserving of opinions on how and to whom love should be shared around, started questioning the wedding rights of Jedi knights and pagans, humanists and tiddlywink players ... no, I didn’t understand that either.

Bible students, some clergy, traditionalists and folks who spend far too long worrying about what other folks do at bedtime, added to the noisy, sanctimonious rows with fire and brimstone contributions, making creepy references to unnatural behaviours – clearly having spent too much time watching late night satellite TV movies.

All very tiresome, if you ask me – which of course, nobody did. But I’m going to throw in my three-penneth anyway.

Since when was the pivotal point of married life all about sex? Whose business is it anyway how two lovers express their feelings for each other? Why should a formalised contractual leap of blind faith be confined only to the kind of couples who (my ex and myself included) have a proven track record of making a spectacular hash of it?

And – another penneth – don’t those shouty folks in Westminster have more important things to do than concern themselves with the personal lives of people who need nobody’s permission to fall in love?

Like mending a broken Britain, for instance...?


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