This is our truth, tell us yours
Those of you with taste and discernment will be aware that is has been a fortnight of high drama in Borchester. The wedding of the century, complete with hay wagon, matching wedding bands and Jezza in a suit was ready to go. Kirsty arrived, glowing, I think is the official term, and within 15 minutes was howling with the pain of a woman who has seen her dreams shattered.
Confused? You mean you don’t listen to the Archers? Oh and a brief aside, no rubbish about the Archers being for townies, a media myth is there ever was one. You dont have to live in Ambridge to recognise the world of corner shop gossip, knowing your neighbours and battles over hedges. It reflects far more of the country than Eastenders, and there is another blog in why the media ignore that and the rise of UKIP.
For those poor souls who dont follow it, Tom Archer, local Sausage Baron, was set to marry Kirsty, local all round nice girl, (the sort of person you want by your side when your partner turns out to be an abusive manipulating twunt, if you are reading this Helen). They were not loves young dream, instead close friends whose love blossomed out of shared experiences and interests. Tom claimed that he loved Kirsty, just not enough to marry her. Although he clearly hated her enough to humiliate her in front of all her friends and family. He even expected praise for his bravery, apparently buying into a myth is to be considered brave.
For romantic love, as it is sold to us by greeting cards and pop songs is a myth. It apparently blinds us to a persons faults, takes away our ability to eat and sleep and is used to excuse behaviour that in other contexts would be seen as stalking or obsession. It resembles an illness more than an emotional state in which we should be making life changing decisions. A teenager may have the excuse of inexperience for buying this idea of love, little more than a marketing ploy, created by troubadours and continued by their modern counterparts, but it makes little sense for anyone over voting age.
Of course Kirsty was not blameless either, she bought into another related myth, that a wedding day is the most important in a woman’s life, that the dress, money spent and button holes are a symbolic representation of her worth as a person, as a woman, and of how much she is loved.
Carter wrote brilliantly yesterday of the tinkering with patriarchy that is the Marriage Certificate Petition. When we marry we compromise with the fact marriage is fundamentally a property arrangement, designed to pass a woman, as property, from one man to another, and protect patrilineal inheritance. I, like carter, married all too aware of the problematic nature of marriage, and it too was an unconventional day. No canapes and flower arrangements simply our closest friends, including my girlfriend and a best friend we had regular threesomes with, and a vegan banquet cooked by two Anglo-Indian friends. Weddings are symbolic, but they can also symbolize who you are, what your life is, rather than having to fit into the cookie cutter mould of what others have decided weddings, and love, mean.
Love should not be an illness, and a marriage is not the end point. An adult view of love, and marriage, would see it as a beginning, yes a comimtment, but one of two human beings who see each other not as idols but as real people, and still want to spend their lives together. Perhaps if we were not so blinded by the myth of romantic love fewer marriages would fail and fewer people would spend their lives looking for that non-existent other who can make them complete.