With season 1 of Netflix's "Fuller House" now firmly in the internet books and out for general viewing, can we just take a moment to applaud how gracefully the entire original cast of Full House has aged over the past almost three decades??? Slow clap... and in the words of the still-dreamy Uncle Jesse: "Have merrrrcy!"
Great. Good. Now, that that's out of the way...
Remember that one episode where middle child Stephanie Tanner, felt soooo overlooked by her family that she decided to get 'married' to her childhood friend Harry, so that she'd finally get some shine/attention? That classic cute scene, where the "priest" (who couldn't have been more than 7 years old) proudly announced that everyone was "gathered here today to join Stephanie and Harry in holy mattress money (aka matrimony)"? Ha! Mattress money... what a dummy! Or, (bear with me here) perhaps he was just a kid who knew the real deal.
Perhaps the truth is that even at a young age, we humans are coming to the quick realization that in Western culture (and others, no doubt), matrimony often translates to "matri-MONEY". This is likely inherently linked to the long-standing traditions of dowries and such; but facts are facts. And, the 'BIG BUSINESS' of marriage is about as undeniable as Stacey Dash's top spot in a racial draft (should one ever occur). With the average wedding costing somewhere close to $30K (often, plus the honeymoon), I have to wonder just WTF is going on? How and, more importantly, WHY is it normal that one day of wedded bliss (ok, ok - maybe 2 weeks at best, if you include the cost of a honeymoon) can equate to:
- pretty much my entire 4-year university tuition?
- two modest down-payments on homes?
- a brand new and fully-loaded 2016 sedan vehicle plus free gas for a year?
- the annual salary of a fresh-out-of-college graduate?
- the cost to literally travel around the world for a year? (seriously... facts!)
And, I'm not talking about the big 'fairy-tale princess wedding' here. I'm just talking about a fairly standard affair (church ceremony, celebratory reception/after party at a restaurant)... nothing extraordinary. So you can imagine the exorbitant cost of a celebrity wedding or the weddings of folks who are a little more well-to-do. I, personally, can't fathom why we would do this to ourselves! I mean, I've certainly been guilty of putting myself in a bit of debt for superfluous things, such as a nice pair of shoes or electronics, or things that I convinced myself were a "need" and not a "want" at the moment; but when I look at the magnitude of the average wedding cost, I'm completely perplexed as to why one day of my life should ever cost that much dough.
I've watched more than my fair share of wedding-related shows and movies: Say Yes to the Dress, Bridezillas, Rich Bride Poor Bride, The Wedding Planner, Bride Wars... the list goes on. Most of these shows and movies depict weddings of some level of grandeur, with dresses and rings costing in the thousands each; flowers, food and photographers costing in the thousands each; and same for the reception venues. Heck, up until one of my best friends got married last year - I didn't realize that even the church charges you a fee to get married within the sanctity of their walls! Was I so naive as to think that my God might just give me the wink & the gun and say "hey, this one's on me" if and when it came time to get hitched in the house of the Lord? Clearly, I didn't have all the facts.
So, why do we do it? Married readers - I'm handing the mic to you. Speak now or forever hold your peace! :)
Why do couples feel completely and utterly justified to blow that amount of money on ONE (albeit, special) DAY? We don't do it to celebrate any of our milestone birthdays. We don't do it to celebrate completing 20 or 30 years of formal education. Fuck accomplishing a Masters or a PhD, am I right?! We don't even do it on the day where a woman gives birth to an entire freshly-grown human life form. Seriously - not even then do we think: "Now this. This shit right here deserves an all-out $30K celebration!" So, just what is it that makes the simple act of binding two lives together (spiritually and on paper) soooo "ball so hard"-worthy? When I think about it, it's almost maddening, really. Putting such a hefty price tag on something so innate and intimate as sharing a love and a commitment with your person seems almost pompous and kind of wasteful.
Now, granted - I say this, but at the same time I've also witnessed some very beautiful and well-put together weddings (both fictional and non) that surely have cost upwards of $25K - $30K, if not more. Still, as gorgeous and enjoyable as they were, I just can't help but really wonder if the brides and grooms who threw these pricey one-day shindigs truly had no regrets about the actual cost of their wedding when the day was all said and done. Is there a certain level of buyer's remorse that comes in waves, after the wedding day? It's ok to be honest, here.
Funny enough, I do consider myself to be quite romantic-minded, and could easily spend hours looking at beautiful wedding gowns in a store or magazine. I'm the friend you call when you want an honest opinion on each of the 101 bridal gowns you've decided to try on in one day. I've just never been one who dreamed of a fairy-tale wedding for myself, complete with unicorns, silk linens... white doves being released from their cages. On the other hand, it's not to say that I'd be completely content zipping down to a courthouse or a "Little While Chapel" in Vegas to get hitched either (but I also wouldn't rule it out completely, lol). All I know is that spending that kind of money on one day of my life would give me unheard of levels of anxiety and almost certain regret.
If I had to choose between one day of 'high-priced matrimony' and 'holy mattress money' - let's just say... that Tempur-Pedic filled with hundreds over there might be looking kinda sexy bruh...
They want to tell us that diamonds are a girl's best friend, and all that. But, if I'm being honest... I'd much rather hop a flight to the other side of the globe with my person. We could just frame the marriage certificate and Facetime our friends and family whilst on our year-long global honeymoon instead. Just sayin'.