Saturday, January 29, 2011
What is Marriage?
Sometimes I get the impression that marriage is a legally binding agreement that allows individuals to demand that their partners, who have future plans of hiding from obligation in the Swiss Alps, listen to the now classic song “Financial Support” by Kevin Federline. Those who actually have partners who cooperate fully may alternatively use their documents to gain express access to their rights and benefits and to those of their children, financial or otherwise, from legal institutions.
That inaccurate definition is the result of two decades of watching friends and family hit their heads against marriage contracts that have the physical attributes of paper but the internal qualities of concrete. I’m certain that if I said that in one of my six theology classes in college, I would have never been given my diploma.
Quite recently, this simplistic perspective has expanded a bit thanks to Vilma Santos. In one of her movies she complains to her partner that the reason why he is compelled by his parents to provide for their needs first rather than hers is because his parents bank on the fact that they aren’t married. That implies that if they were married, she would have had the right to demand that she and their kids be the first in his list of concerns.
I pretty much put my ear against closed doors or watch quarreling neighbors with a popcorn bucket in one arm. I remember one woman very close to home echo a similar line, “Why do you always go home to your parents when they call for you? Don’t they know we’re married?”
Actually, the couples I know fight in very public places where they prefer to spill their guts and all the gory details of their disastrous unions. What I gather from them pretty much verifies the truth behind Vilma’s lines.
So that means I can now turn to my husband and demand that aside from surrendering his wallet, assets and die cast car collection to me, he is now required to prioritize my demands because we have a marriage contract. Sweet.