Why would you want to get married? Isn’t it just one of those things that people do to conform to society? How could a piece of jewellery change the nature of a relationship? KTHNXBII :D
Marriage seems to mean different things to different people, so here’s my take on it:
The piece of jewelry doesn’t change the nature of the relationship, and, actually, neither does being married. A couple’s relationship is pretty much exactly the same both 30 seconds before and 30 seconds after they say “I do”.
That said, although marriage is a man-made institution, finding long-term/lifelong partners is not; it’s a product of evolution. You can see this in many other animals on Earth as well, like pigeons, for example. So, if it’s more or less instinctual for us to partner up, why not celebrate such unions, even if just for the fun of it? Humans do stuff like that all the time: Halloween, birthday parties, quinceañeras, etc. If you think about it, none of these celebrations have any logical or practical purpose in life, but they’re fun and they bring people together.
You might think: “People who get married are just conforming to society! I’ll never get married; that’ll show ‘em!” But, like, that’ll show who? How are you making your life better by not “conforming to society” in this instance?
To be clear, choosing not to get married simply because you just don’t want to get married is an entirely valid reason. It’s abstaining from marriage just to spite society that doesn’t make any sense. Society doesn’t care; all you’re doing is missing out on a rad party.
If you like, think about it like this: marriage isn’t some sort of finish line when it comes to romantic relationships, and entering into a marriage isn’t an event that will move a relationship to the next level. Rather, marriage is a (very shiny, platinum-plated) badge to be placed on your relationship once both parties feel that their relationship is important enough to commit to for life. For most people, this is a badge they want on a relationship at some point. For others (I’m looking at you, Oprah) they’re happy without it.
At the 1994 annual awards dinner given by the American Association for Forensic Science, AAFS President Don Harper Mills astounded his audience in San Diego with the legal complications of a strange death. Here is the story:
“On 23 March 1994, the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a shotgun wound of the head. The decedent had jumped from the top of a ten-story building intending to commit suicide (he left a note indicating his dispondency). As he fell past the ninth floor, his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast through a window, which killed him instantly. Neither the shooter not the decedent was aware that a safety net had been erected at the eighth floor level to protect some window washers and that Opus would not have been able to complete his suicide anyway because of this.
“Ordinarily,” Dr Mills continued, “a person who sets out to commit suicide ultimately succeeds, even though the mechanism might not be what he intended. That Opus was shot on the way to certain death nine stories below probably would not have changed his mode of death from suicide to homicide. But the fact that his suicidal intent would not have been successful caused the medical examiner to feel that he had homicide on his hands. “The room on the ninth floor whence the shotgun blast emanated was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. They were arguing and he was threatening her with the shotgun. He was so upset that, when he pulled the trigger, he completely missed the wife and the pellets went through the window striking Opus.
“When one intends to kill subject A but kills subject B in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject B. When confronted with this charge, the old man and his wife were both adamant that neither knew that the shotgun was loaded. The old man said it was his long-standing habit to threaten his wife with the unloaded shotgun. He had no intention to murder her - therefore, the killing of Opus appeared to be an accident. That is, the gun had been accidently loaded.
“The continuing investigation turned up a witness who saw the old couple’s son loading the shotgun approximately six weeks prior to the fatal incident. It transpired that the old lady cut off her son’s financial support and the son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that his father would shoot his mother. The case now, becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus.”
There was an exquisite twist. “Further investigation revealed that the son, Ronald Opus, had become increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to engineer his mother’s murder. This led him to jump off the ten-story building on March 23, only to be killed by a shotgun blast through a ninth story window.
“The medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.”