Jackie stands in the aisle as a bridesmaid at her sister's wedding 10 years ago. JACKIE HOFFART PHOTOS
今週のテーマは結婚式。欧米には「６月の結婚は幸せ」ということわざがあり、June bride というおなじみの表現もあります。ジャッキーは結婚式についてどんなイメージを持っているのでしょう？
Even as a child, I was horrified by the idea that a wedding is supposed to be "the happiest day of a woman's life." If that's true, does that mean every day after that is less happy? That it's all downhill from there? Yikes! Count me out, thank you very much.
But I think you can disagree with that horrible cliche and still like the idea of getting married. If I ever get married, I want my wedding day to be "a happy day" in my life, definitely not "the happiest day." I want to have high expectations for my marriage, not for my wedding.
I was never one of those little girls who fantasized about her wedding. There's a chance that even as a little girl I had a hard time imagining myself marrying a man, and that's why I never fantasized about my wedding (I didn't really "understand" that I was a lesbian until I was about 20).
Jackie (right), 10, and her sister as candle girls for a wedding.
Even as an adult, and a lucky one who lives in a country that recognizes my right to marry whomever I choose (same-sex marriage is fully legal in Canada), and even though I can easily picture myself being married to someone, it's still a little hard to picture what my wedding would be like.
And to me, that points to why weddings are such funny — and slightly ridiculous — occasions. Traditionally, (and I'm speaking from an Anglo-American perspective here) the bride wears white on her wedding day. This symbolizes her assumed virginity, and all the qualities associated with that: virtue, purity, honor. But in all honesty, I get worried when people get married without living together first. (If they did live together first, they wouldn't be virgins either.)
Getting married without living together first seems like buying a house without setting foot inside. What if you have less in common than you thought? What if you can't find a way to live harmoniously? What if you aren't sexually compatible? These are all really important things to understand, I think, before getting married. So this whole symbol of the "pure, white virgin bride" is not only old-fashioned, but in my opinion, not even something to be desired.
And the white-wedding tradition is rendered even more absurd when it's two women getting married. I mean, do we both wear white? Do we both wear dresses? Does one wear a suit? If so, which one? And what about the part where the father of the bride "gives her away" to the husband? Who gets given away to whom? It's so silly to try to shoehorn lesbians (and the rest of the queers) into the traditional wedding.
I think the answer to all of those questions is that couples nowadays (straight or queer) just make up their own ceremony style, select their own traditions to follow and ignore the rest. And I'm all for that. I'm a big fan of DIY/collage culture, or just having the right and freedom to celebrate your love in whatever way you see fit — whether it's more (or less) traditional.
One of the best weddings I've ever been to wasn't a wedding at all. The couple (my cousin and her now-husband) eloped on a holiday and then several months later had a big reception to celebrate. The reception was not a big ceremony, just a party with food and drinks and cake — and dancing.
I think if I ever got married, my wedding would be something like that. My future wife and I would probably already have taken care of the legal part, and we'd just throw a big party for our family and friends to celebrate. It would be selfish in the way all weddings are. Maybe we'd have everyone dress in silly costumes, or do arts and crafts, or stomp grapes — something!
Anything to undercut the heaviness that comes with the idea of marriage.
Next time: My topic is ... living/working abroad