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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Planetary (E)Motions

I suppose that most people would agree that there is no prettier a sight than that of a soon-to-be-wedded woman wearing her gauzy white bridal veil. I, on the other hand, have come to think that actually there is no more deceptive a sight, and it usually starts turning my stomach instead.

The reason for this is my feeling that this hopeful bride -- and her equally optimistic and soon-to-be husband, too -- are actually making a desperate bet on the worst kind of horse race, a years-long gallop gradually degrading down to a limp around the broken oval, for which no kind of a tip sheet can ever be available to shed enough reliable information on their choice for the winner or even a respectable runner-up. No sooner is the last rice grain and rose blossom thrown than things start changing and shifting in one or another of the countless other directions that offer themselves away from the ideal, and that process keeps going on ever afterward. No amount of careful investigation beforehand, no close knowledge of prospective mates all the way back to kindergarten and even farther back, to all that is knowable of the person's family and friends, suffices enough to be any kind of a guarantee.

Meanwhile, through doing stained glass, I have become acquainted with an impressive young lady who has been wary enough of marriage to have steered clear of it so far, and she is now 33, yet she is amazingly quick to say that she does know and therefore can report with complete authority on one long and enduring and deliriously happy marriage, and that is the one of her own parents, and for her that is evidence enough of the essential validity of the institution.

At that point sheer prudence instantly immobilizes my vocal cords -- though that of course has no effect on the operations in my brain, and all the data stored away in there during well over double her number of years keeps showing me again the picture that I have seen everywhere, and that is of how marriage, much more often than not, takes the form of two heavenly bodies that, at the moment of the wedding, are in reasonably close confluence with each other, but then the never interrupted swings of their orbits take them farther and farther away from each other, until finally they have drifted so far apart that the one can scarcely be glimpsed anymore by the other.

This ever increasing separation by planetary motion has always struck me as being one of the ineluctable, immutable laws of human nature, and so I can never help being deeply suspicious of all such reports of "happy" marriages. Instead, since no two persons are exactly alike when it comes to the intro-extro garbage, it follows all too easily that one person, usually the man, always ends up being the leader of sorts, while the other, just to keep the peace, docilely but resentfully follows along. And for things to be any other way, that is, of a "happy" marriage, it's because one partner, usually the woman, will go to unbelievable lengths to keep up appearances, and that becomes all that matters, keeping up appearances.

After all, a second immutable Law of Human Nature is the one that causes people always to want to think the best of themselves, regardless, and that involves drawing others into that deception as well -- such as all the near swooning at the sight of a bride in her ethereally white wedding veil.


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