30 October 2009

It's Friday, we should break up - Marriage

I would assume that most of you know that I'm not really a big fan of the marriage idea. But if you don't...well, I'm not.

I think it's a silly concept and completely unnecessary. Making a legal contract with someone else for the rest of your life? No thank you.

It's not that I'm against celebrating your love for someone else. I just don't understand why you need a little piece of paper in order to do it, why you want the government involved in it, or why you need to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on it.

Aside from this, I would like to separately breakup with engagement rings. I didn't realize this until a couple of days ago, but engagement rings are wrapped up in all kind of legal bullshit. Legal bullshit that basically means, "If you're a woman, please to bend over so we can shove something in your bum."

It seems that an engagement ring is an offer in a contract of marriage (It's a nasty word, isn't it? Contract...ugh). And as such, if the marriage doesn't take place for any reason, the man is legally entitled to the ring.

I always thought that this was just a matter of protocol. Generally speaking, my opinion was always this: If you're the girl, you should probably give the ring back. If you're the man, you should probably expect that the ring is gone. I don't know, it just seems shitty, especially if you're the one who ended it, to go to the woman and say, "Yeah, I know I hurt you and stuff, but that ring I gave you as an everlasting symbol of my love? I'm going to need that back."

Um. Douche.

Generally speaking, it's equally douchey to keep the ring, if you're a girl. Though the common consensus seems to be that if the guy did something shady, the ring is yours.

But the law says no. Because we still live in 1637.

How is an engagement ring not a gift? Albeit a stupid one. And this whole spending two months salary on a ring, if you're the guy? Um, no. Especially not if you make any amount of money. And why is it that if two people are both gainfully employed that only the MAN should buy the woman something? It's just lopsided and wrong.

Instead, I propose this: Go on a "we're getting married" vacation! Split the cost, everyone has a good time and instead of a ring, you have pictures to show everyone.

Or buy each other something.

Or don't buy anything.

Or don't get married. Just have a mature, long-term relationship, based on mutual respect and trust that either party can leave without calling a lawyer. Because everyone knows that lawyers are the devil. Right, Princess?

So that's it, Marriage. And everything that goes along with it. I'm out. I'd like to be happy and continue to have sex, thanks. And those are two things it seems most (NOT ALL, I know) marriages are without.

In other news, tomorrow is HALLOWEEN! I'm so excited. I love you, Halloween. You are the best holiday. Everyone have a fun and safe weekend!

UPDATE: I do know that there are logical, rational reasons to get married. All of Erin's points (in the comments) are valid, even if she did sign in using her husband's name (which I think is pretty funny, considering). And for those very reasons, and pretty much only those reasons, I may one day get married. But an engagement ring holds very little interest to me, either way. Unless, of course, the government we now live under decides to come to its senses and stop supporting so fiercely what is essentially a religious institution and institutes civil unions for all with equal rights to everyone. Which would be great.


Jay Ferris said...

While all of the other little girls were pretending to get married, little Shine had a plastic 12 gauge pump action and a machete strapped to her back playing zombie slayer.

That Kind of Girl said...

I'm totally with you on the lopsidedness of only the man giving a ring. When I get engaged, I plan on giving my fiance a totally sweet-ass gift of reciprocal awesome (because no way am I foregoing a ring!). Back when I thought The Ex and I were on the marriage track, I was definitely constantly pricing COMPLETELY BADASS guitars as my engagement present. But alas. (Or not really alas, but no way to put all those hours of online shopping to use, at any rate.)

mysterg said...

I agree. Why buy a ring when you should be buying your intended a chastity belt which only you have the key for?

Gofahne said...

We've had this argument a dozen times and people keep completely EFFING up all my support of marriage. So, go ahead and be all logical and shiz. I'll keep trying to find the loophole to prove you wrong and also continue to fail miserably.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I expected that the ring was gone.

When it came back, I was like "hooray!"

And then I realized that it meant that she realized how desperately broke I was.

And then my hooray was more of a sad-ray.

And then I tried to return it. It was at this point that I began to weep uncontrollably until my friendly neighborhood pawn shop helped me out.

Maverix said...

My (now) huband and I used to have conversations like that but I'm glad we got married. It isn't like it changes your relationship in any huge way: if you were going to stay together forever, you could totally do it without some silly piece of paper.

BUT ;) That silly piece of paper...

1. Makes ME the next of kin if something happens to my husband. This means that, should something happen, his family could not march into our home take everything that we own (goddamn it there wasn't any way to get around the rhyme) and leave me with nothing. Before that silly piece of paper, the opposite was true. And his family? Would have no problem coming in and taking the clothes off my back because they are greedy bastards.

2. That piece of paper means that, if something happens to him, I have power of attorney, not his family who (thank god) all live very far away. If (god forbid) a plug needs to be pulled, I make that decision. I decide the medical care, etc.

3. If he screws me over, I have legal recourse. Without that little piece of paper, he could totally eff up my world and I'd have no way to kick his ass for it except to wait for karma.

So, really, these days it's about CYA. And, you know, love and stuff :)

Erin said...

Oops, sorry, that last one was from me but I'm using my husband's computer and didn't notice that he was still signed in to his google account!

Rachel said...

I know a couple that bought each other engagement kayaks. And then went on a epic kayaking engagement trip. It was so very them.

Just A Girl said...

I'm with Erin about the POA and legal rights. That's a pretty good reason to get married. And I want a fucking ring, alright? Don't judge me.

LBluca77 said...

I'm anti marriage myself. Marriage is just all about making things legal. How is that romantic? How is that love? I say if you love someone and want to be with them then do so, paper should not determine how much you love some. The way you treat them should.

Stacie's Madness said...

hmmm, great post!

12minds said...

As far as the ring goes, it varies from state to state. In some states, the non-breaching party is entitled to the ring, in others it stays with the girl, and in others it goes back to the guy regardless of fault.

From the legal standpoint, the rights granted by the state upon marriage are invaluable. Erin brings up very good points. Also, if there are ever kids involved (like, if A and C get married but A had kids with B and B's a crappy parent and left on day 1), then C may have stronger legal ground to get custody of the kids if A and C are married as opposed to just living together.

Lily said...

Exactly what Maverix said.
I don't need a little piece of paper to prove my love to my husband, but I DO need that paper if we are to be on the same health care plan or if I am to inherit his possessions and/or insurance if he kicks the bucket.

So, as much as I DON'T need that piece of paper...I kind of DO need that piece of paper.

And the ring? Since we started sharing our income before we were engaged, WE, not HE, bought the ring.

It's pretty and it sparkkles ;-)

NatalieCottrell said...

I want a ring.

Not an engagement one.

Just a shiny one.

(But, to honor the TRUE topic of this post, if I ever dane to get engaged, that SOB better be prepared to wear a ring as well from the get-go. It's not fair to be a "marked woman" without a "marked man." Presents for all!)

Lusty Reader said...

to each his own, i say. luckily there are many ways to combine your life with the one you love under health insurance, banking and other areas without getting married, and those are all legal corporate things.

but what about religion? people have mentioned legal reasons to get married, but what about because it's a sacrament, like getting baptized or confirmed? it's a ceremony, a celebration, and a religious and personal covenant.

the only person i am pro-marriage for is myself, everyone else can do as they dang well please and i understand why you wouldn't want to. it's a very personal decision and there are great reasons for both sides. it's just too tricky to argue about something that is based on LOVE. to me, the only reason you should get married is if you are in love, and what is more confusing than love?

Alice said...

omg, i want to freaking KISS lusty reader for that sentence: "the only person i am pro-marriage for is myself, everyone else can do as they dang well please."

why can't everyone think that way? LOVE.

Joanna said...

I support your hatred of marriage, just as I'm sure you support my dependence on it. But I am totally with you on the uselessness of engagement rings.

I actually subscribe to the "it's a gift and the breaker-upper is SOL about the ring" school of thought. I pawned the (purchased-at-a-pawn-shop-in-the-first-place-and-not-even-sized-for-me-I-guess-I'll-pay-for-that-myself-thanks-asshole) engagement ring my douchebag ex gave me, and used the cash to pay for the simple, gold elopement rings Tony and I have. I like that our marriage is a lot like this pragmatic ring-buying situation. We sold the cheap, sparkly symbolic crap and got something that fits us and that we can get dirty. :) Or something.

Trixie said...

My husband thinks marriage should be a negotiable contract that is up for review every ten years. It is logical but not so very romantic. I never wanted to get married. Never saw the point but now that I stay home and rely on him for income and health benefits I sure do.

And once you have kids...well.. talk about backwards attitudes! For some reason (and this bugs the living crap out of me) it's okay to get pregnant while not married as long as you immediately tie the knot once you find out whether or not you really wanted to be married, whether or not you're ready, whether or not you've been together for very long at all. Heaven forbid you have a child while not married even if you've been together for fifteen years. Suddenly everyone gets all uptight and self righteous and religious on you.

McLean said...

The whole gettin maried thing is nowhere on my radar, but I'm gonna have to give you a jumpin' Hi-5 on this one! The absence of a ring also has the added benefit of allowing you to see that crushed look on the guy's face when he's flirting with you and it gets slipped in there that you're engaged. He probably does that double-check look at the left hand and then says something lame like "oh cool! what does he do?"

GingerMandy said...

i think the idea of marriage is pretty lame, with the exception of all the legal shiz, and don't judge me but yes i want a sparkly ass ring. not gonna lie.

LiLu said...

I'll get married. But just because it's an excuse to throw a huge party.

I'm simple like that.

Jeff said...

wife's ring? many sparkles.
my ring? lord of the rings "one ring". that's right. now i get to wear it all the time and nobody thinks i'm lame.
maybe i shouldn't have said that.

justjp said...

I am a huge supporter of this law... Come on, you know how many hookers you can get if you pawn it? Duh... Vegas trip.

Jenny said...

My parents married three months after they met, not for legal or religious reasons but basically so they got to affirm their lvoe in front of everyone else they loved. Now I'm in my twenties and they're still together.

Meanwhile I want to get married for all the sensible reasons, and because of the whole sparkly ring and beautiful (but simple) white dress thing, and also primarily as a religious rite of passage.

And also, which is pretty important I feel, if you've got that little bit of paper, you've actually said by signing that that you hope to be with someone for the rest of your lives, and rather than walking out when things get tough (I'm notorious for that in my relationships) maybe it makes you more likely to try working at it together? I'm a big advocate now of 'working at it' after watching my cousin completely change her attitude to her relationship and then completely rejuvenate it as a result; and because me and, well, Someone, are doing something pretty similar ourselves. If you don't commit to it, and if you're not looking to put some real work and time into playing hte long-term game, I think perhaps there's a lot you miss you on.

But I also completely agree that while I agree with marriage for myself, I don't actually care in the least or disapprove of people who disagree. Free country!

Though that said about the engagement ring thing, nto sure what the ruling is in the UK. I'd almsot certainly give the ring back, though. It might take me a while but to be honest I'd want to give it back.