Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Marriage: One Big Publicity Stunt?

On August 20, I had the honor of coordinating a wedding for my friend and former co-worker Kim, who married her high school sweetheart of 12 years in a beautiful and heartfelt ceremony.

You may recall that the very same day, another woman named Kim was also busy tying the knot – this one much more famous but apparently not nearly as sincere in her love for and commitment to her partner. As you can imagine, I’m dumbfounded along with everyone else to hear that Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries have called it quits after just 72 days of marriage. But am I honestly all that surprised? Sadly, no, and here’s why. 

First of all, even from the very beginning, it seemed obvious to me that the wedding and marriage were nothing more than publicity stunts designed to generate media interest and rake in piles of cash. But even if they weren't, the alternative really isn’t much better in my eyes. After all, marrying someone you met less than a year earlier and then divorcing because marriage “wasn’t what you thought it would be,” flies in the face of everything this type of commitment stands for – a lifelong partnership that will at times require a great deal of hard work, sacrifice and support.  

Of course, Kim’s not the first to cash in on wedding-related publicity or to divorce so quickly, and it makes me sad and angry to know that there are so many people, celebrity or not, who obviously consider their wedding vows to be nothing more than empty words. Whatever happened to the sacredness of pledges to love one another “in good times and in bad, all the days of our lives”? Are these merely symbolic statements? Do couples still consider the true meaning behind what they are about to say and do before standing up in front of family members, friends, TV audiences and the world to make such intimate promises?

In the end, while I certainly do believe that there are legitimate reasons for divorce, including such horrible acts as infidelity and abuse, I also believe that we as a society have too often come to view weddings as nothing more than heavily staged parties. Furthermore, with so many divorces and splits, it saddens me to think that there are many loving and committed gay and lesbian couples who would faithfully honor their vows and take them seriously, but who aren’t given the chance, because somehow, couples like Kim and Kris have more of a right to marriage in our society.

What do you think? Do people like Kim and Kris make a mockery of marriage, and what does this say about our cultural attitudes?  

(Photo Credit: People)