Lots of people have been mulling over this business of marriage recently. Okay, not so recently, but I’ve only just got back into the blog-reading thing. So, SternGrad lists 101 reasons to get married, to which CoralCap replies with 101 reasons not to. Harryer says he’s given up on figuring out why to get married, he’s just doing it because he’s pretty sure it’s a good idea, just don’t ask him for details.
Why do you want to get married? Well, I’ve asked that one before, with mixed results. And I really would like to know. To me, inertia seems the most natural course. It’s easier and more convenient to not get married. Especially when you’re an Orthodox Jew and can easily coast through the rest of your life without ever meeting another eligible bachelor of the right background. Which is why I compiled a list of reasons to get married. Because it seemed necessary.
But seriously. Why do I want to get married? The question is harder to answer than at first appears.
aminspiration mentioned a story wherein a bochur, asked why he wanted to get married, gave the pat answer, “To give.” To which he was told, “So give to the whales.” On the one hand, the guy deserved that answer. Life isn’t high school. You can’t live according to the teacher-pleasing textbook answer. On the other hand, the rabbi was being unfair as well. The nature of the giving one anticipates for marriage is quite different than that one heaps upon whales. A spouse is someone to whom you express love and affection – something in which you are severely limited in your real life company, let alone the whales.
It’s like Friendship: Extreme Edition, where you give and accommodate because you think the other person is worth the effort. You’ve thrown your lots in life together, hitched your wagons, tied the knot. You face the world together, united, arm in arm, ready to tackled the tougher challenges of family with a two-person team. When both parties are dedicated to working together, marriage is beautiful.
And don’t forget the family part. Kinfauna are nice, but they’re not yours. Your role is more to spoil them and play with them than to actively raise them. Comparing kinfauna to having your own family is like comparing buying a sports car to personally building your own hot rod. Yeah, Best4’s kids are probably a better make and model, but mine will be mine.
Finally, because there must be something to it. (I guess I’m with Harryer in this one.) For all the jokes about the MMRC, I can’t believe people keep getting married purely out of habit. The family unit is something important, a little community inside community, a cozy circle that roots you and gives you direction.
Or maybe there’s something else to it.
I don’t know, but I’d like to find out.