I had to laugh at this article in Cracked magazine this week detailing exotic marriage customs in cultures past and present: Spartan brides who shaved their heads, French wedding guests brewing up swamp-mix to force-feed on the new bride and groom, et cetera.
(Note: since it’s evidently aimed at people born since 1984 or so — those flicker-brained space aliens with whom we’re now sharing a planet — the article actually presents “the cultures with the most WTF wedding rituals.” One wonders WTF civilization is going to do in 80 years’ time when all the literate people are gone, but I digress.)
So here’s the venerable Cracked acting shocked that people outside of 21st century North America have undertaken strange knot-tying rituals. Well, it doesn’t surprise me one bit. What’s funny to me is the thought of anyone assuming there’s anything sane about the here and now.
Let’s imagine the trivia of the future now …
Did you know?
• In early 21st century North America, it was customary for a bride and groom to spend the combined value of their undergraduate degrees for a single-day wedding celebration?
• In early 21st century North America, women were coached by magazines to believe that a wedding should be branded with special “colours” and “themes,” in a direct echo of that society’s consumer culture? Rather than being perceieved as forced and a little weird, as grooms might secretly have believed, branding one’s wedding became so expected that “what are your colours?” became a standard chit-chat question for women.
• In early 21st century North America, virtually every bride and groom wanted money as their principal wedding present, and everyone knew it. And yet it was customary for the couple to pretend they really wanted a bunch of fucking spoons and bowls. Despite knowing the newlyweds’ order of preference was (1) cash, followed by (2) cheques, and finally, distantly, (3) the stuff on the registry, many guests opted to tie a bow on some random knicknacks and vases and junk, which, besides being ugly, were useless for paying catering bills and such.
• In early 21st century North America, bystanders over the age of around 70 typically reminded everyone that their wedding was “no big deal.” They remembered cake and punch in a church basement and everyone having a good time. Oddly, few young couples chose to emulate that kind of modesty.
Image courtesy of TheAlieness GiselaGiardino23 on flickr