Sunday, July 31, 2005

The marriage wrecker

My husband has many nicknames for Cedra, not among my favorites is "the home-wrecker." She earned this one after several of our couplefriends experienced relationship-shaking fights in the wake of a visit from us. The source of the battles was babylust. Michael likes to think it's because Cedra is just so cute.

I think the truth is that many, many of our friends are at the lifestage when cultural pressure and biological desire to reproduce start to clash with years of being told that parenthood is to be avoided at all costs until you're good and "ready." Financially ready? Chronologically ready? Until you've read all the classics and visited Bali? Until you've forgiven your own parents? Whatever, just "ready."

We've gone to two weddings this summer and have two more to go. There were also two to attend last year, and three the year before. We're all 28 to 35, and it's evidently time for the hedonism to stop and the family-forging to begin. In most cases the female involved is dealing with some impending birthday before which she absolutely must be a mother. It's usually 35, although 30 and 32 are also commonly cited. The women are ready, the guys just don't see how a pregnancy is a practical possibility. There are problems with insurance, housing, jobs, the relationships themselves. The only solution seems to be throwing the voice of reason toward hoo-ha and just jumping in. Appropriately, I'd say. Once they're parents they'll be doing it constantly.

There was another wedding yesterday. The groom wore a kilt, the bride is Brazilian but ethnically Yoruban and wore a long red tunic. There was a lot of chanting, a lot of Portuguese spoken, and a lot of wishes for many healthy children from the bride, the grandparents and the two Yoruban officiators. The groom looked uneasy each time procreation came up, and there was a lot of nervous laughter from the attendees as well. There was also some shrieking, clapping, ululating and Apache war-calling, all from Cedra and always during the most poignant and hushed moments of the ceremony. I could have died. Instead I prematurely opened the complimentary bottle of bubbles intended for the reception and tried to inconspicuously blow them at knee-level. She quieted down and the whole thing was much less mortifying than when she morphed into a banshee during a tearful reading of a Pablo Neruda poem at one of last year's weddings. I'm changing her nickname from "The Homewrecker" to "The Marriage Ceremony Wrecker."

The conversations at the reception yesterday ran a wide gamut and included baby names, pregnancy, just how drunk on champagne you're allowed to get when you have a young child on your hip, and the fact that only two of those present (both single) went to Burning Man last year. No one's going this year.


At 10:47 PM, Anonymous L. said...

You are not allowed to drink champagne to the point where you might drop the child on your hip. But as long as you`re not driving, you can drink champagne right to the brink of that point -- if you are strong enough to withstand the icy glares of people who think you shouldn`t be drinking at all.

Babies are homewreckers, for so many reasons!

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