Last night’s dream

A wedding was going on downstairs in my house. I went to see what was happening and snuck in between the bridesmaids. They were wearing a lot of lace. I decided to hide in the basement. I overheard them discussing their fears of an intruder who was going to attack them, and I realized that was what I was going to do…

Back to reality:

I’m getting a wedding invitation almost every week now that we have legalized marriage here in California. I wonder if this dream is reflective of my mixed feelings about that!  I’ve never really liked weddings and several years ago I swore off them.  It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  I have one brother who was already married at that point, so I figured I didn’t have any more weddings I really had to go to. 

I even wrote Minal’s Wedding Manifesto And Moratorium which went like this:

–Whereas: Since I was old enough to have an opinion, I have always hated weddings;

–Whereas: I have attended enough weddings over the past 30+years (including some lovely ceremonies both straight and queer) to know;

–Whereas: The kind of relationships I have and believe in are always marginalized by the marriage mentality/machinery;

–Whereas: I can think of a million better ways to spend $500, $5000, or $50000;

–Whereas: Most weddings create extravagant amounts of stress, waste, hollow sentimentality, hypocrisy, princess behavior, demands, expectations, and work;

–Whereas: I have no interest in either orgies of heterosexual self-congralution or desperate imitations thereof, nor picket fences nor the desire to be ‘normal’;

–Whereas: I do not believe in forever but in the appropriate time for all things;

–Whereas: Brides wear white and so do sheep going to the slaughter;

–Whereas: I believe the time and money and hours campaigning for gay marriage would be far better spent procuring health care and other basic human needs for all whether married or not;

Therefore be it resolved that I shall attend no Weddings nor their Peripheral Functions, not for food or friendship, nor mehndhi, nor cultural or intercultural experience, nor networking, nor entertainment, nor to avoid disappointing anyone.

I shall CONSIDER attending weddings and wedding-related events that:

Are acts of political activism or subversion to such a great extent that no traditional Wedding-Ist would recognize them as weddings; or

Are directly part of my writing work, related to a specific character or project; or

Are radically queer bachelorette parties; or

George asks me to; or

For any reason I wholeheartedly want to, without ambivalence or resentment or strong likelhood of later regret or drain on my energy and/or my current constitution of self.

Signed:  Minal Hajratwala, June 18, 2004


Ha!   I haven’t read it again since I wrote it, and I obviously was kinda mad at the time.  🙂   I do feel genuinely happy for my friends and loved ones who find happiness and security in marriage.  But I find that it’s much easier to feel thrilled and excited for them and to convey my genuine congratulations now that I’m no longer making myself suffer through wedding ceremonies, receptions, gift-buying, showers, and whatnot. 

3 thoughts on “Last night’s dream

  1. I love that you two, the most radical relationship reinventers I know, are in on this conversation! *muah* Yes, it’s true — I do love seeing people happy, I’m not a total grinch.
    Upon reflection, my wedding grumpiness could also be an outcome of the fact that most of the weddings I encountered growing up were old-school Hindu weddings that went on for DAYS… It was never just a ceremony and then a big ol party. Instead, a wedding meant almost a week of rituals, dressing up in stuffy uncomfortable clothes, lots of unfamiliar relatives who were basically strangers to me, being told to fetch this or that all the time, etc! And most of the time they were arranged marriages so I didn’t even feel the warm fuzzy romantic thing.
    But hey, the food was always good! 🙂

  2. Great post, and I am so glad to get my RSS feed all set up for your blog.
    I too have been angry about the gay dollars feeding this marriage campaign–dollars that could feed hungry kids or desperate healthcare situations.
    And yet, I always cry at weddings, the same tears I shed when I am faced with heartbreaking beauty. I’ve married my lady twice and intend to do it a third time sometime before November, mostly because Margaret Cho told me to.
    But I totally love your manifesto and support your choice to avoid the big sappy things. And still, I will entertain a fantasy that MY various wedding-like events would qualify as YOUR, “acts of political activism or subversion to such a great extent that no traditional Wedding-Ist would recognize them as weddings.”
    But what’s really important here, I think, is this one:
    “The kind of relationships I have and believe in are always marginalized by the marriage mentality/machinery;” This is the part that always kills me. It’s so so true. Why can’t us humans find some way to bring all the beautiful validation and celebration of love we pile onto marriage and weddings and pile it onto ALL kinds of love and connection and relationships and arrangements and families. Why? Why??

  3. Whereas I just love weddings, even though Kevin and I choose not to marry for all the reasons you say and more.
    I think at other peoples’ weddings I fixate on the ‘people expressing their love’ aspect and get all mushy and happy — and my brain just ignores all the political issues while I’m there.
    Yes, I’m aware that this is just feeding the problem. So it goes.

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