Recently I watched The Princess Bride. It had been many years since I’d heard those unforgettable lines such as, “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” and “Inconceivable.” But the line that still takes the cake for me comes from the beginning of the wedding scene when Princess Buttercup and Prince Humperdinck are standing before the priest: “Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday.” This one evokes a great belly laugh, and it also reminds me how deeply the institution of marriage is embedded in my psyche.
The ceremony, the vows, the witnesses. These elements of a wedding are essential to the beginning of marriage. They signify the union of the 2 people and their commitment to protecting their everlasting bond. However, why are there so many people who aren’t interested in getting married? There are many, right? Is it because they don’t see most marriages as a happily-ever-after experience? For some it’s because they don’t want to ruin what they have, which is a long-term relationship minus the looming threat of enmity and divorce.
I don’t write this with any judgement or criticism. We all know that fairytales are meant to be magical myths for children. And rarely in films and TV do we see what happens after the wedding ceremony and reception, especially because they typically take place at the end. What I’m after here is investigating the reality of marriage and its current status in society. I also aim to explore the institute of marriage and its history.
Now with a few recent, personal, transitions behind me, I’m eager to focus on interviews again. I’ll be speaking to more couples—married and unmarried—to learn about their views on marriage as an institution. Also, I’ll probe further to find out if my perception that more and more people would rather not get married is accurate.
Photo credit: mensatic via Morguefile