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Wedding Rings (Magic Powers Not Included)

English: Sandra Looking through Wil's wedding ...

“One ring to rule them all, one ri… What do you mean “it doesn’t fire lasers” ?!”

It’s fairly safe to say that I’ve gone on record before as having about as much desire to produce offspring as I have desire to be used as Satan’s colostomy bag, it just aint going to happen. What also tends to cause that non-comprehending head cock in others, is when I inform well-meaning acquaintances that I am also rather disinclined to get hitched. Not that I have anything particularly against marriage, I just don’t feel the urge to parade down an aisle dressed like a scrunched up ball of loo roll and pay a year’s salary for 200 hundred of my nearest-and-vaguely-dearest to enjoy a free chicken dinner.

This little revelation has caused the well-meaning fans-of-the-free-chicken-dinner to emit horrified gasps, and when they’ve finished performing dramatic intakes of air and foppish swoons, they all trot out one predictable question – “Aren’t you afraid of ending up alone?”. The answer I give them is a heart-felt no. A wedding ring is no more guarantee against loneliness than a marshmallow is.

It seems to me that the majority of people out there spend most of their lives in the pursuit of a wedding ring, in the mistaken belief that this will guarantee them lifelong happiness, companionship and loyalty. This results in a booming wedding industry and an almost bigger divorce one, as couples up and down the land throw themselves hastily into a legally binding (expensive) illusion of coupliness, and for what? All so they don’t have to worry about being lonely as they sit throwing another cat on the fire and chewing Werther’s Originals with each other’s false teeth, on a cold dark evening in their winter years. Well, I have to break it to you people, that little band of gold holds no mystical powers and guarantees you not one thing.

I hate to be the harbinger of doom (actually I don’t, it’s one of my favourite party pieces) but you’re going to die. There are but two things in life that we can rely on – one is that you are born and the other is that at some point you will pop your clogs and turn into a meaty maggot farm. I don’t think I spoiled the ending for anyone, did I? Well, tough, there it is. And here’s another spoiler for you; your husband/wife is also going to die.

Now, there are many of you out there, picturing yourself as a doddery old dear, smelling of walking sticks and charity shops, standing at the grave of your doddery other half, just about remembering their name, content in the knowledge that it’s merely a matter of minutes until you fall off your respective perch and join them in the ever after. Ahh, bless. Another spoiler alert; people die young. Wedding rings, no matter how expensive or how pretty, do not give you both eternal life and nor do they synchronise your time of departure from this coil-so-mortal.

There are people who have argued with me that having children is their way to avoid the dreaded old age lonelies. Well, that only works if you’re one of The Fritzls. There are retirement homes the world over, stuffed full of curmudgeonly codgers who have been abandoned like incontinent dogs at the roadside, by the very children they spawned to care for them in their dribbling years. At least in retirement homes they can dribble in the company of other parental flotsam – just think of the years you might end up spending at home, with nothing for company but the cats you didn’t throw on the fire last winter, because your kids hate you. Probably because you throw cats on fires. There’s no guarantee that just because you genetically spawned something, you will like it in 30-40 years’ time, or that it will want to visit you when you smell of wee, produce fluff covered mints from every pocket/furniture item and prefix everyone’s name with a systematic run through of all family members, including the hamster; “Margaret -Barbara-Jane-Lucy-Carol-Mr Fluff-Richard,  that’s it, Richard! Have a mint Richard”.

It could be argued that marriage is just the first step in divorce proceedings. That’s terribly cynical of me but hey, I’m the product of what is lovingly referred to in the British media as “a broken home”, so I’m allowed to be. Regardless of my parents’ marital status, it can’t be ignored that saying “I do” doesn’t mean that further down the line, you won’t be saying “I really don’t”, that just because you signed upon the dotted line and cut a big cake, your “till death do us part” won’t turn out to be a “till death, the philandering wife-stealer from down the road or a mid-life crisis do us part”. Let’s face it, marriage, in this day and age, is pretty much just a promise to have a whacking great party and share household bills for as long as you can stand the sight of each other.

There are those of you who are deeply happy in your choice of spouse and I’m very glad to know it, but your commitment, dedication and on-going love for each other have absolutely nothing to do with the piece of paper on which you both scribbled in front of the vicar and even less to do with little round bits of finger jewellery. At any point since you tied your imaginary knot, one or both of you could have gone out for a pint of milk and never returned (unless you’re vegan, in which case, a pint of celery) but you didn’t, you chose to be together and you choose it still. Every day that you wake up and do what you can to make your relationship work, you’re saying “I do” all over again and you don’t need a ring or a big white dress for that, you need only the continuing desire to be together and a huge amount of compatibility, or wine. Your choice.

So, while I think it’s great if you find someone you want to spend the rest of your/their life choosing not to go out and buy milk every day with, I don’t think I want to put all my eggs in that one proverbial basket (again, unless you’re vegan in which case it’s a proverbial basket of tofu) and take the risk that I may or may not find someone who may or may not love me forever and who may or may not die before me (most likely before me – I’m going to live for a reeeally long time as my internal organs have been painstakingly preserved in alcohol). Instead, I have found a much safer plan, one that involves no wedding rings and that guarantees me a number of people who will choose to be there for me when I’m old enough to enjoy queuing at the Post Office, who will still love me when I fart in public without knowing it (ok, that one’s pretty much current) and who will help me retrieve my dentures after I attempt to wolf-whistle inappropriately at the 20-something bus conductor. These people? Not husbands, not wives, not children – friends.

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About prettyfeetpoptoe

I live in London and have both my own legs so I am fortunate enough to get out and about on occasion. I form many views on the things that I see and do and love nothing better than a session of linguistic gymnastics in order to share these views.

59 responses »

  1. After our conversation yesterday, I have absolute faith in my evidently fated decision 🙂

    Reply
    • It’s about time you got hitched – you’re owed a LOT of stag do’s, engagement presents, wedding gifts etc and I hope you make everyone you’ve been happy for extreeemely sorry they went first!

      Reply
  2. Loved your post. Couldn’t agree more than 200%. Also, I loved the line “It could be argued that marriage is just the first step in divorce proceedings.” LOL!

    Reply
  3. I love you – will you marry me?

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  4. Its so much easier to be a hippie 🙂

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  5. I love the way you make your point. I am in complete agreement with your position on all of this, despite the fact that my sweetie and I have been happily married for nearly fifty two years. I don’t see any magic in GETTING MARRIED. I think the decision to get married should only be made when the thought of BEING MARRIED TO A PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL is absoluely irresistable. Then, and only then, should anyone proceed to the next step. When the thought of living life without the other is totally out of the question should anyone consider taking that step. I don’t believe in making personal decisions based upon the opinions of others, especially relative strangers. If anyone is totally out of sync with my personal preferences, they can’t possibly be considered friends, and I would take appropriate action.

    Thanks for separating the chaff from the wheat. You have that way about you.

    Reply
    • You’re right, there is no magic in marriage. The reson you and your sweetie are together is because you work hard at making each other happy and you still want to be together because your decision to pair up was a wise one.

      Or you just haven’t found a way to chew through the bars on the windows. 😉

      Reply
  6. I totally agree. I have seen my friends make terrible, terrible decisions and be completely miserable in order to avoid ‘ending up alone’. I’m not afraid of it and I never have been. I’m perfectly content alone with the exception of a animal friend or two, maybe even a plant. I don’t get what the big deal is about not being married or being alone. I am however dreading the time when I can’t take care of myself. But I’m smart enough not to be miserable my whole life because I’ll probably end up in a nursing home, with or without kids. Good points.

    Reply
    • People are far too scared of being alone. perhaps it’s because they’re terribly insecure or perhaps they’re just really, really scared of learning how to work the washing machine.

      By the time i can’t take care of myself, I’m pretty sure I’ll be beyond the point of caring! Bring on the intravenous vodka!

      Reply
  7. Marriage is so over rated! A lesson I learned too late. I haven’t worn my wedding ring in over 20 years. It’s the worse decision I ever made! Once I’m free of this noose, I’m NEVER going that route ever again!
    You’re still my hero!

    Reply
    • Recycled wedding rings make wonderful mini-napkin ring holders for teeny tiny dinner parties. Top tip!

      You’re on your way to a full dinner service – keep going!

      Reply
  8. Oh, fantastic! You’ve put in words exactly what I’ve been carrying around in my head every time someone at the grocery store eyes my left hand, my boobs and the cat food in my cart. I’d like to get married some day. But having grandparents did demonstrate that one will kick it first, and piss off/make sad the other one for as many years as it takes that one to go. And then, if you’re like my maternal grandfather, you’re the survivor until age 93, and at about age 91 your ability to drink all day will go the way of the dodo when you suffer a very bizarre “episode” that does nothing but paralyze your epiglottis, rendering you unable to ingest any food or drink without aspirating it into your lungs and thus breathing through mashed potatoes and whiskey for the rest of your (decidedly shorter) life. Alternative: feeding tube in the gut, two years of nothing going in your mouth but the occasional medicinally treated moistening sponge, and an increased desire to just get it overwith already. Oh, I’ve rambled. Point is: hear, hear!

    Reply
    • Such a jolly thought, isn’t it? Death, divorce and plain old incompatibility – one of em’s bound to get ya!

      Someone asked me the other day if my stance means I’m a “confirmed spinster”. Yes, if by confirmed spinster you mean female with modern views and no wedding buffet-debt!

      Reply
  9. Awesome blog as per usual. I do agree with your sentiments but I will eventually get married… A) because I like gold B) because I like presents C) because I hate my surname and D) because you get a better tax allowance! My mum celebrates her annual divorceaversary, mind you, so would I if I was married to as big a dick head as my sperm donor.

    Reply
    • You’re welcome to get hitched and I shall be very happy for you. But only because you’ve promised to kindly not invite me so i don’t have to fork out for an expensive gift and new outfit. Much appreciated.

      Reply
  10. I love this! I’m 20 and me and my housemate were discussing this yesterday … whenever I tell people I don’t want to get married they look at me like I’ve just told them I don’t want to shower ever again (or tell me someone will come along and change my mind… I think that’s my favourite). It’s so annoying! Promising someone you’ll love them forever is like promising yourself you’ll never feel sad again – you can’t reasonably do it. Plus the cost. I really hope marriage is just a concept that we’ll all outgrow by the next century. You get the same tax breaks if you live with them for 5 years… and there are plenty of people who are married and aren’t in love and plenty of people in love who aren’t married… so why pay about 30k to bet someone half your stuff you’ll love them forever? You can just prove it by doing it. Or not. Whichever. Rant over.
    Thanks for an awesome blog post!

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    • It’s so charming when people tell you that you’ll change your entire outlook on life when you meet the “right” person. I get this with the no kids thing too and the only answer I can give (other than a kick in the shins and a poke in the eye) is that the “right” person for me won’t need to get married or have babies!

      Far better to use the money you both would have spent on a single-use dress on a deposit for a house so even if one of you does die alone, you don’t die in the gutter.

      Reply
      • Yeah I’m the same with kids as well! I’d rather spend the money on a year or so travelling. Seems ridiculous to spend on all on one day when you could get yourself round the world and back over the course of an awesome year 🙂

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  11. Brilliant, PFPT. But you’re slipping dangerously into philosophical depth here!

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  12. Diego Serrano

    Yeah PFPT, I hafta agree with Sandy Sue…you seem to be in a dark place the last few weeks. Snarkier than I’ve seen you in a long while.
    Best to you dear.

    Reply
    • “Dark place” – That’s no way to refer to East London! 😉

      Blame the snark on The Olympics. It’s what I’m blaming everything on these days. Oh, and if you’re not careful, I shall blog about pretty flowers and holding hands. That’ll teach you!

      Reply
      • Diego Serrano

        You’re right. That WILL teach me….how to throw-up a little in my mouth.
        I take it back.
        Please keep on with the snark. It’s who you are and what I love about you.

        Reply
  13. I am with you 100% on the not having kids thing – just imagine if instead of having kids to keep you company when you get old you just take the money it costs to raise and maintain children and put that towards retirement. You would be able to afford a much nicer retirement home than your children would ever put you in. As for marriage I pretty much do just want to have a whacking great party – at least I’m being honest 😉 I’d do that and then go back to life as it is now, I wouldn’t expect anything to change from how it is now. I just want to have a big fun party with dresses and cake and pictures. I like doing stuff like that now just on a smaller scale so really a wedding would be an excuse to invite more people I suppose – is that horrible? Oh well 😉 take opportunities to have big giant dress and cake parties where you can I suppose, we just don’t have fancy parties like we used to any more.

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  14. Friends – well, as long as you want us, we are here!

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  15. I loved this ! You must be hanging out with some tight people for them to tell you that you MUST get married! Thanks, but I’d rather be free and not have to consult anyone about my decisions!
    Keep it up!! 🙂

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  16. “…who will help me retrieve my dentures after I attempt to wolf-whistle inappropriately at the 20-something bus conductor. These people? Not husbands, not wives, not children – friends.”
    -This I am looking forward to as well. The wolf-whistling inappropriately at 20-something lads mostly.

    Reply
  17. Really lovely post

    Also I like your spin on drinking alcohol excessively. May have to use that sometime in the near future

    Reply
  18. Pingback: Very Inspiring Blogger Award (& 3 week blogiversary) | Re3ecca

  19. Hey, I just nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger award 🙂 http://re3ecca.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/very-inspiring-blogger-award-3-week-blogiversary/ Happy blogging x

    Reply
  20. You write awesome! No, you really do. You had me in stitches at “hello.”

    Plus this: “Every day that you wake up and do what you can to make your relationship work, you’re saying “I do” all over again and you don’t need a ring or a big white dress for that, you need only the continuing desire to be together and a huge amount of compatibility, or wine. Your choice.”

    I’ll send you a cat for next winter – one can never have too much fuel for the fire. xx

    Reply
    • The last time I had someone in stitches at “hello” was when I answered the door and forgot I hadn’t put my trousers on. Again.

      A girl can never have too many cats on her fire. 😉

      Reply
  21. I just printed this and read it in the office….soooooo funny!! Love your writing!! If you lived closer, I would be stalking you and having drinks with you!!

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  22. (And don’t worry, I’m not a creeper…..I just think you would be awfully amusing to hang out with!!)

    Reply
  23. Aaron Denver

    Ouch–the person who posted this blog has some deeeeep seeded issues. The first paragraph is oozing with frustration, resentment, insecurity…. Please find a good church, start absorbing the Bible, and pray relentlessly. There is light once you get out of these depths in which you’re presently immersed.

    Reply

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