A friend of mine recently got married at City Hall–he and a longtime girlfriend, along with a gay couple, exercising their only five-year old right to be miserable together in un-Holy matrimony. The clerical environment matched perfectly with the lack of seriousness with which the ceremony was accorded. We waited for a ticket number, like the DMV. My friend wiped the remains of a Big Mac from his face as he rambled on about the televisual excellence of Mr. Robot.”No show has a greater grasp on what it means to be, like, living in our times,” he remarked. The rest of his groom party, all single men, made Barber-shop remarks about the members of the bridal party, a jocular rap-cipher of masculine posturing, defanged by their less-than-impressive physiques. The bridal party spoke about weddings. Yet there was a sense if something lugubrious beneath the bravado. Despite the security screeners, the ticket administrators and LED screens flashing random call numbers, something important was happening to all of us. Time was passing. Here are four things you feel when your friend is getting married, as told by a dude.
You’re Getting Old
No ways getting around it. We’re grown ups now. Northface’s are replaced with messenger bags, Adidas with wing-tips and oxfords, juvenile humor with talk of the best train route to work. Everybody is drinking a lot less. The days of binge-drinking PBR’s and mixing OJ into your forty bottle while you group-watch It’s Always Sunny are probably coming to a close (or getting farther and fewer in between, anyway). Hard to say you yes to going to the park to launch a couple deep, Steph Curry-threes when you’ve got to get up to go to work at seven in the morning.
You need to get your money up
Many a man has to wonder about where he’s going to be financially in the next few years, where the idea of marriage looms far but impending. We can talk all you want about marrying for love, and love being the point of marriage, but history tells a different story. The word economics derives from the Ancient Greek word oikinomika, taken from the name of the Aristotelian treatise about the inter-relatedness of household management, governmental finance, and marital happiness. The word oikos meant household, or home. Marriage was not instituted around love: it’s focus was on providing a stable societal unit upon which the rest of society and its economic institutions could be based. And if you didn’t know marriage was all about the economics, you probably already know that weddings, or at least it’s gawdy contemporary manifestations, definitely are. Unless you’re getting married around city hall: then all you need to know is where to find the cheapest street food in a two-block perimeter.
Why Not Elope? Weddings shouldn’t matter anyway
My opinions on marriage are less than optimistic, and research would show that, when it comes to our fellow millennials, I am not alone. Yet, sitting there, watching various, huddled circles of giddy people of all stripes, private citizens come to show deference for the most revered of our public institutions, the romantic in me turned over. The nonchalance of the event, the unadornment–perhaps this is how one could make it work, a couple committed to being as basic and genuine as possible, their union unencumbered by economic reality or politics or social norms…
Fuck it, Where’s the open bar at?
Aristotle? What the fuck am I talking about? I’m fucking 24! I ain’t got time to be thinking about weddings now! And how long are these two going to last? Probably not long. I don’t need be thinking ’bout no weddings until I’m at least 34. What I need is to find me some goddamn alcohol.