Marriage, as a word, practically exudes conventionality; even those who wish to extend its reach by expanding its definition beyond its original intention do so largely because they're wanting something, well, conventional to define themselves. My not-entirely-buried Sixties self finds this most curious: conformity, apparently, is the new non-conformity. And I don't think it has much to do with Paul's dictum about marriage being an improvement over the fires of Gehenna, necessarily, but something is motivating people to tie the knot.

I mention this because out of the blue this week, my daughter served notice that her wedding will be some time in February 2005. Truth be told, I didn't think she'd ever do it, even with her son approaching his fifth birthday. It's not like he is going to notice: both parents are living together, and have been for some time. And in the past, she's always made it clear that establishing herself, her own identity, her own credit rating, was more important than going through some perfunctory ceremony.

Did I say "perfunctory"? She's going all out: dress the price of a mortgage payment or two, humongous facility for the reception, black tie for the guys fercrissake. For a woman who has seemingly always defined herself as lower-middle-class, this would seem an odd attempt at upward mobility.

But maybe not. She's not some starry-eyed romantic. Most of her decisions are hard-nosed. While she says that the conversation which led to the setting of the date was offhand and unplanned, I suspect she's been thinking about this for a long time, and somewhere in the back of her mind is the notion that it's about time there was something other than an understanding between them: it's time there was an actual commitment. And let the record show that when she wants something, she generally gets it.

So there's a wedding. I will, of course, ease myself into Father of the Bride mode as best I can. But one question still nags at me: "Where the hell am I gonna find a tux my size?"

The Vent

7 July 2004

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 Copyright © 2004 by Charles G. Hill