Friday, December 27, 2013

When We Said We Do, We Didn't Have No Clue

I used to think it was romantic for couples to renew their vows after 25 or more years of marriage. To pledge your hearts to each other all over again after seeing what lies beneath? That’s powerful stuff right there.

It’s easy to get excited about marriage when you’re young. You get a wear a big fancy dress like the one your Trailer Park Tanya doll used to wear. You get all kinds of neat presents. At our first bridal shower, we got enough gadgets to debone and flambĂ© the entire Chicago Bears football team in 27 seconds flat, enough bath towels to absorb the Mississippi River, and 17 place settings of china that have never been taken out of the box.

Your betrothed is perfect when you’re engaged. He don’t burp or spit or fart or snore, he don’t smoke or chew tobacco no more. He showers daily and shaves his stubble, and he’d never dream of gettin' in trouble.  He dresses for dinner every night, and his beautiful smile smells sweet and shines bright. His dirty clothes don’t stick to the floor, and dirty dishes in the sink? No more!

But let’s be honest…the women transform during the ‘I Do’s’, too. During the engagement period, she won’t face the light of day without her BFF's, Maybelline and Pantene. Exercise shorts are worn during exercise, and yoga pants are worn during yoga. She won’t so much as pump gas unless her bra matches her drawers. And speaking of drawers, she buys the cute ones with the frillies and polka-dots before she walks down the aisle. Her fiancĂ©e’s never seen her without make-up, and ponytails are illegal. She wakes up chirping like a bluebird with perfect ivory skin and rosy red lips. She is perfect.

Then the big day comes, and all she can think is God, if you’ll get me through this day, I promise I’ll never get married again. It is the single most stressful day of a woman’s life. In her eyes, every person she’s ever met will either be judging her from the pews, or is huddled in the bushes outside the church like paparazzi, waiting to capture the couple’s first pictures. What she doesn’t realize is that NOBODY CARES. They don’t care who promises to love who after the nuclear fallout ceases, or how you’re gonna live on love when you’ve lost your job and your house, and pawned your first born. They are there so that they can look back on that day, and say “Yeah, I knew they wouldn't gonna make it.”

At least 80% of the guests at any given wedding are there for the entertainment and the refreshments. People go to weddings for the cake, the ice cream punch, and the sausage balls. At your bigger weddings, they go for the alcohol. After all, nothing makes a wedding more memorable than a 6-foot tower of Bud Light beside the groom’s cake…especially when it’s being climbed by the groom’s midget cousin during a rousing, yet ill-timed and more than a little intoxicated, game of Marco Polo.

 But to the bride, every detail determines the course of their entire marriage. Every symbolic mouse fart has to be perfect, else her beloved have a clandestine affair with a transvestite stripper named Claude. The white dress has to be sparkling white, as beige would just scream ‘tramp’. A zit may as well be a gunshot to the head, and should she wake up gassy that day, her children will be destined to work as boar herders in the Yugoslavian circus.

On this day, the gold rings have to shine since they represent the unending circle of love. The daddy has to give the little girl away to her prince so that they may become one. Communion must be taken to show your new, unified commitment to Christ.

That’s all fine and dandy, but there’s a tit to every tat, y’all.  Those gold rings? They just happen to be the same shape as a choke collar….and handcuffs….and a noose. The dad that tears up when he gives his daughter’s hand to this infidel? He’s bleary-eyed cause he just forked over his last tax deduction! And what they don’t tell you is that the groom’s cup of Welch’s is apparently carbonated with eternal bubbles because this here Prince Charming didn’t fart in the years leading up to this ceremony.

And this is the fun of the first go ‘round! Why in the heck would you want to do it again? I recently discovered the answer:  we want to rewrite the vows.

To be continued...

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