Our beloved Jane Marie is going to be talking to married couples every week at Cosmo, and her first chat is with Lindsey and Erin:
Can you tell me the main difference between being in a dating relationship and being married?
Lindsey: Married is better. Erin: Dating sucks! Lindsey: I think when you're dating, you're protecting yourself the whole time. Erin: Or less invested in some way… Lindsey: But if you've found someone who can actually commit to you, like, “We're gonna make this work, come hell or high water,” then I don't have to protect myself. I'm not holding back like I did when I was dating. [...]
Let’s start with some statistics.
Cost of the average American wedding in 2012 = $27,000 (not including Honeymoon).
Cost of the average New York wedding = $65,000.
Median U.S. income = $45,000.
Dollars generated by the wedding industry every year = $30 billion.
That includes dresses, elaborate engagement photos, groomsmen gifts, monogrammed handkerchiefs, signature cocktails, bachelorette parties. The soul/love/capital crushing process has been dubbed the “wedding industrial complex,” a cold term that connotes just how effectively capitalism has insinuated itself in an institution supposedly characterized by love and other priceless emotions.
The wedding industrial complex is not without its detractors: Jezebel has entire category devoted to deriding it [...]
Connie became pregnant, but my belly did not grow of child but of wild. And where her baby attached to her and sucked the life source, dormant things grew in me that only fed to feed again. And where her skin smoothed with life, mine grew sallow of contempt. And where she could no longer bring her knees or forehead to the floor in prayer, I made rakat after rakat in empty servitude—bargaining, reasoning, demanding. The single prayer I said was the baby prayer, the fastening prayer, the mooring prayer, the prayer that said I deserved more than what was received.
It reads like a smack-you-in-the-face-beautiful prose [...]