Before making this post, I was debating whether to make this an opinion piece or a blog entry. Given the material I have, I would believe that this would be better off as a blog piece. At the same time, I can have fun musing about many different things. This is would of the times I would like to muse on a subject.
Recently, I have been posting articles on California's "Proposition 8." Under Proposition 8, a ban on same-sex marriage would be put into the California State Constitution. The topic has been a very heated one in California. Interestingly enough, Proposition 8 is considered to be the most expensive campaign in California.
So far, of all of my recent articles, the ones I did on Proposition 8 received the most comments. Apparently, one person was talking about how marriage is between man and a woman. That is true in the "traditional" sense. But, it all depends on the traditions and so forth.
A few times, this person posted that "marriage is for the children." Again, I must express my opinion that marriage should be about love. The thought of children come something. I do strongly feel that the first and sole reason of marriage should be about love. Still, the concept of marrying for love is about a few centuries old.
Back in the past, marriages were for a number of reasons such as wealth, power, procreation (having children), and social status. While there are a number of other reasons for marriage, these were usually the main reasons. Still as a result, those types of marriage weren't full of joy.
So far, the person that was voicing her support of Proposition 8 gave a black and white cookie-cutter view and interpretation of marriage.
The thought about marriage, let alone same-sex marriage made me think about the whole dynamic. Unfortunately, the explanation the person gave me on marriage, let alone "traditional" marriage, lacked explanation about the dynamic of it all. The dynamic of marriage is pretty much an ever-shifting one.
From what I learned, if one marries solely to have children, the marriage turns out to be very miserable. The children will usually end up having a very crappy childhood.
To me, I do feel the dynamic is pretty much an X-Factor of it all. Anything can and will happen in a marriage, either for the good or for the worse. The ideal the person gave me on what she thought marriage should be was pretty warped and deluded, from what I feel and think.
Anyway, I strongly feel that the person doesn't comprehend the complexities of marriage at all.
It's pretty much made me think about the marriages in my family.
I myself am the son of a single parent. My mom never remarried. For the most part, I am glad. Plus, my mom was never in the mood to get a new husband. At the same time, I was never warm to the idea of having a new father. Though, I never met my father before.
My mom was technically adopted as the daughter of this wealthy businessman back in Ohio during the 70s. For some reason, my dad found out about her. He married my mom in hopes of getting into that guy's fortune. When my dad found out my mom didn't have any money, he threw her to the curb. It was a few months after I was born.
My dad acted like a "Don Juan." He would marry women for their money. I do know that my mom wasn't his first wife. And she wouldn't be his last wife. The guy had a whole bunch of marriages before meeting my mom.
On a funny note, he was an ex-Catholic priest.
Back in 2003-2004, my only aunt on my mom's side got divorced from her second husband. I don't really know the details of it all. But, I do know this. He refinanced the house, took the money, and fled to California. Interestingly enough, they renewed their vows back in 1998. I was about 16 at the time. That now makes me 26.
And I don't know the details on what happened with her first husband.
That's pretty much the fourth divorce from the family. Then again, the marriage was pretty screwed up. She got looked down upon by the mother-in-law of her second husband.
Around 2004-2005, one of my uncles got divorced from his wife. The story behind that divorce was pretty interesting. Actually, that's a story within itself. They were married around in 1993.
Around 1999, the friend of another uncle of mine got married. The two of them met back in 1998. My family went up north to attend the renewing of my aunt's vows. I chose not to go because I took Driver's Ed and Health II in summer school to get those credits out of the way.
The woman seemed cool at first. Then, they got divorced around 2003. I heard so many things about her.
Apparently they were true, such as she being a psychotic gold digger. The woman had one too many issues.
Anyway, these are examples that marriage is not what it is really cracked up to be. There is more to marriage than meets the eye. I do find it interesting, though. I have seen plenty of couples that get married without ever seriously thinking about the commitment. And no, the commitment is not having kids. There's all sorts of legalities associated with the marriage. If and when a couple gets divorced, there's even more legalities to deal with.
The whole Proposition 8 thing has made me question the concept of marriage all over again. I'm not talking about same-sex marriage; but, marriage in general.
I strongly feel that people should get married out of love. Something kind of like a bond. At the same time, I do feel that love does not need to be validated by marriage. With all the legalities present, there is more to getting married than loving each other. Because there are many other things to deal with.
The one biggest thing to deal with would be money and then the expenses that the money pays for.
I guess the money issue is one of the factors that ended the marriages of my aunt and my uncle.
While I strongly support same-sex marriage, I do find the concept of marriage itself to be amusing. There are so many factors that can affect the dynamic of a person's marriage.
This applies to both same-sex and heterosexual marriages.
The main reason for this muse is that my mom called my aunt for something. And then all of a sudden my aunt is ranting to my mom about her son's wedding. Yeah, my jack@$$ cousin is supposed to get married sometime around this year. I would have to say one of the most important factors to the dynamic of marriage would be the beginning. For the most part, it is not usually a start without the wedding ceremony.
Anyway, my aunt is ranting to my mom about the preparation of Nick's wedding. It was pretty coincidental. Here my aunt is on the phone ranting about her son trying to blackmail her into paying for certain things for the wedding.
It doesn't matter if you're gay or straight, the ceremonies tend to usually be one of the most important parts to starting a marriage. Without a ceremony, that marriage kind of lacks that "soul."
As I mentioned, I am Vietnamese and I come from a Vietnamese family. My family immigrated from Vietnam after the Vietnam War.
Back to the subject, for a whole hour, I can hear my mom from the other room as she is trying to make sense of things. My mom was telling my aunt that she needs to stand up for herself and that she shouldn't let Nick blackmail her like that. I wouldn't put it past Nick to blackmail people for something, let alone he feels "entitled" to.
His fiance is American. They're going to have an American-style wedding. One of my other uncles got married back in 1998. His wife is American. They had an American style wedding.
It was actually the first American-style wedding I went to. All the other weddings I went to were Asian-style. But, they weren't traditional Asian-style weddings.
In the Asian traditional wedding:
The groom pays for just about everything.
The bride pays for the engagement dinner/party. That is all the bride and possibly her family pays for. Everything else relating to the wedding is paid for by the groom and his family.
Lodging, food, transportation, etc, all paid for by the groom.
The bride gets a dowry from her family.
In the modern Asian wedding:
The expenses are split between the families of the groom and bride.
Keep in mind, depending on the type of wedding you're having, it can be expensive. Asian style weddings, guests give presents in the form of cash and other valuable goodies.
In an American wedding:
Bride's family pays for just about everything.
Groom only has to pay for the rehearsal dinner, the rings, and possibly the honeymoon.
The situation I'm about to explain kind of reinforces that marriage and marriage planning isn't fun and games. Also, it shows that there are people in the world that should never get married and that there are people in the world that should never have any children.
Nick is a person that believes he is entitled to things.
Apparently, Nick is trying to blackmail his mom for wedding-related things that she should not have to pay for in the first place. Instead of asking nicely, he think he is entitled to all these goodies.
So far, he expects his mom to pay the engagement ring, wedding rings, flowers, flower arrangements, and the rehearsal dinner. I have the strong suspicion that he was being a total @$$ about it.
He also hinted that he wanted her to also pay for the gifts for the groomsmen, bridesmaids, maid of honor, and the best man. Judging from the conversation between her and my mom, my cousin made it like he was demanding it and that she was in no position to negotiate or to make demands of her own.
In addition, he wanted her to rent out this mansion. Yes, he wanted her to rent out a massive for the day for the out of town guests. And those rooms cost at least $100-$200 a night. Depending on the number of out of town guests, that's going to cost quite a few thousand dollars.
Here's the kicker, my aunt doesn't have that much. She recently went back to school and got her degree in computer engineering. Now, she is pursuing her master's degree. Apparently, Nick doesn't appreciate the fact that she's going back to school. Yet, he expects her to pay for all these things.
To top that off, Nick said that she can only bring one guest. He didn't want any of her friends to attend the wedding. Due to the circumstances, it does come off as very ungrateful on his part.
For the most part, some of them were with his mom through thick and thin.
Those are the same people that gave him money and presents for his birthdays, Christmases, high school graduation, and college graduation. Nick accepted the presents and the cash. Yet, he doesn't want them coming to the wedding ceremony.
He's made sure to invite our Vietnamese relatives. This is because he knows they're going to give him money. I wouldn't put it past him to invite them for the sole purpose of receiving cash presents.
Anyway, this is my rant and muse on weddings and marriage. I could say that one of the most interesting dynamics of marriage would be the wedding planning.