KAT: Welcome everyone to this week’s Evan and Gordon Talk. This week I will be stepping in for Gordon as he has tirelessly posted a whack of articles all in a row and could probably use a bit of a rest. Even the reds need their sleep.
Today Evan and I will be talking about weddings [and marriage].
And no, I would like to clarify for you all that Evan chose this topic. Not me. And don’t gender stereotype. It’s bad for your health.
EVAN: The reason I found it fitting to discuss this topic is that, contrary to Gordon’s reports, I did not spend this past weekend nakedly wandering the Canadian wilderness. I was actually watching two of my best friends get married.
Gordon’s stepping out not only because he’s been doing overtime on the blog, but because a) he has never before felt a romantic feeling, and b) Kat herself is actually tying the knot in the near future.
KAT: Yes, I will be partaking in the bank-account-draining/ nightmare-inducing tradition at the end of this month.
EVAN: And with those well-chosen adjectives thrown out there, I guess I’m going to kick things off by asking what it’s like being a twenty-something-year-old who’s about to head down the aisle-
By which I mean, I think a fair amount of people would say you’re pretty young.
KAT: Yeah. I’m 24.. and a half. I throw the half in there to make me sound older… but it probably just makes me resemble a two year old bargaining to get on a fair ride.
Honestly though, I’m from a really small town. Here I’m pretty old to get married. My 3 best friends from high school are already married and/or engaged along with most acquaintances. Not to mention a whole whack of people that I still cannot convince myself are not still kids. I mean.. I’m pretty sure I was babysitting them a few years ago.
In Victoria (where I go to school) it’s a different story. The majority of my friends are still single and feeling free to mingle. Many of whom are older than me. Less to do here in the country perhaps.
EVAN: I have a feeling I know what the difference is, but I might be wrong. Is there a . . . religious distinction between your friends at home and the ones who attend your school?
KAT: Well yes, there is. But not as much as you might think.
The majority of my friends who are married are indeed Christians. But in Victoria we are involved with a church that consists primarily of university students (probably due to our fantastic pastors somewhat scandalously liberal beliefs) but many of them are staying single well into their twenties too.
EVAN: As far as where I’m coming from, my graduating class is five years out of high school, and roughly 1/4 of the 45 or so kids are married. Two of those weddings took place a few weeks apart last month.
Three of the kids I lived with in college are wed. I am rapidly becoming one of the few single people I know. Our readers probably assume these young marriages are occurring due to a certain reason, but maybe you, as an engaged person, would like to discuss it?
KAT: Are you trying to hint at sex? Because, hell yes, physical intimacy is a fantastic thing and we all want to have it. It’s a huge motivator for marriage in the Christian community because many Christians want to save that special experience until after the wedding. Plus there is a pretty big chunk of shame that goes along with not having waited until marriage, to put it somewhat pessimistically.
EVAN: I think my main deal when it comes to young marriage is financial concerns. One of my brother’s friends got married at 20, and, well . . . let’s just say that that really worries me.
I’m of the opinion that for a man to get married he should be able to provide for both himself and his spouse.
KAT: Ohhh. You’re one of those.
It’s okay, those people are actually lovely to marry. John is one of those too.
And I think there is definitely women who are looking for a provider. For example, I would love to stay home with our kids whenever we start popping those out (not until I am done school, mom, and NO My biological clock is not ticking!) but I believe first and foremost that a marriage is a partnership between equals. No matter how you slice the ideology behind having a provider you end up with an unequal relationship, the woman ends up as a kind of parasite. We just suck all your money … years of your life away
I think I’ve managed to convince John that it is okay if we aren’t doing fantastic financially. I mean, we are students.
But we are both students and I don’t expect him to carry the weight of my spending or my debt alone. I want to contribute to our house financially. And eventually I feel like that contribution will be to be caring for our children, because quite frankly it’s pretty much cheaper than daycare. And the most awesome job ever.
EVAN: To be more clear, I do think the couple should be more or less financially alright. If it takes both of them working to attain that that is okay. It doesn’t have to be just the guy making all the money and I don’t think it should be.
KAT: So, just to clarify. You feel like the couple should both be financially sound (no debt?) before entering into a marriage? And that whenever they are sound the man should be able to provide for both of them? Is that just in general? Or once they have kids? Cause I get the provider bit when there is kids to be taking care of (by the dad or the mom) but I don’t agree at all if you think we should be able to kick back and relax the moment we achieve wife status.
EVAN: “Financially sound” is pretty difficult to define. I suppose not being thousands of dollars in debt on both parties is a pretty good way of putting it.
I think that if the woman wants to be the primary breadwinner then whatever. It’s not a big deal to me who makes the money before or after the wedding.
As Gordon likes to bring up ad nauseum, being “able to kick back and relax” for anyone, man or woman, husband or wife, is not that doable in today’s economy. I don’t think that’s what “financially sound” means at all.
This all sort of brings me to another point, I guess, which is how much should a wedding cost? If you’re in debt from having to pay for all of those arrangements then I think there is definitely a problem.
KAT: Haha, we aren’t actually. I am a little bit in debt from being in school, but we saved up for the wedding. John would rather die than go in debt for a wedding.
We are also the cheapest people ever. We are having a bit of a potluck picnic. Almost no decorations except the flowers my sister and her mom are growing in their gardens. You know, stuff like that. The main costs are just due to the sheer quantity of people. Not because we are inviting everyone we know, but because my family is big enough to populate a small country.
We will be able to keep our expenses under 4 thousand, hopefully less. The average wedding is closer to 20 grand, if that gives you some context.
EVAN: Do you think that’s reasonable? I feel like guys are always being told that they should be paying more than they might be comfortable with, because it’s their wife’s “special day.”
KAT: Who told you that? Walmart?
EVAN: Western media . . .
KAT: Besides, it should be a special day for both of you. Yes, there are things that you both will have to compromise on, but overall it should be an opportunity for the two of you to celebrate who you are as a couple. And I think it’s downright wrong for people to make it just about the girl.
Also, when there is always this connection between weddings and women it restricts both genders. It makes guys excited about their wedding seem “overly feminine” and restricts women to only being passionate about wedding things, like decorations, and colors, etc.
EVAN: And that’s why Gordon’s not participating tonight.
KAT: Because he thinks weddings are for girls? I expected better from him…
EVAN: Gordon doesn’t think that weddings are for anyone, but again, he doesn’t have a romantic bone in his body.
KAT: Fair enough. I don’t think weddings are really about romance though.
As my friend Kevin pointed out, weddings are one of the few rituals western society still has. It’s about honouring the community you came from.
EVAN: I feel like this has sort of been a Q&A, but then again you’re the one getting married and I haven’t been in a relationship in going on six years, so-
Besides being committed to each other and everything on that sort of emotional spectrum, where do you think two people should be in order for them to get married?
KAT: Where? Financially? Academically? Age range?
EVAN: It was pretty open-ended. Up to you, really.
KAT: Well, I think it’s hugely important to talk about practical stuff, like money. When we were doing long distance we actually asked each other these questions because they prompted some discussion about stuff we hadn’t thought to ask.
But mostly I feel like anybody can make it work as long as they are willing to commit for the long haul. I’m a big believer in love being a choice. You don’t get to fall out of love if you chose it in the first place. And signing up for marriage is more just signing up to be life partners. You are going to help each other adventure though life.
And have lots of sex…
John always says it’s just about having a best friend that you happen to have sex with. Not really any more complicated than that.
KAT: Aw! Evan! Do you want me to do that horribly obnoxious thing that all couples do where I try to set you up with someone? Cause keep in mind I’m a few years older than you and John is ever more.. so we have been through our fair share of awful set ups.
EVAN: . . .
We could probably be having this conversation off of the blog.
EVAN: But, um, yes. Okay. Thank you for reading as we talk about wedding and marriages. We have to go and, um. Definitely not talk about possibly ending my years of solitude.
KAT: But, if you are interested Evan’s number is…
Just kidding. He doesn’t even give his number out to me.
EVAN: That’s because you’re engaged!
KAT: So, I have friends who aren’t…
Thanks for putting up with my wedding rants everyone! And thanks for wanting to talk about weddings, Evan!
EVAN: We will talk about this later.
EVAN: See you all next week, readers. Feel free to comment, as always, if you’d like us to discuss a particular topic. If you really want my number you can always email us [me] at firstname.lastname@example.org.