This Ruthless World

Adventures in absurdity

Archive for the category “relationships”

Quit Squawking About Valentine’s Day: A Postcard to the Outraged

Bitching about Valentine's day:  an art form since 1849.There was a time (back in the early fourteenth century) when I used to “protest” Valentine’s Day by wearing the most funereal black I could find in my mom’s closet. Most of my teenage years were embarrassingly boyfriendless, so naturally, I spent the day annoying the hell out of countless people with an umpteen-millionth account of who the real, historical St. Valentine was, and condescending banter about how stupid Valentine’s Day is. I thought it was very clever, edgy and original of me. But there came a point when I stopped doing that. You know why? Because I grew the hell up. Read more…

On Child-Free Weddings

Over at Feministe, there is a discussion on whether banning children from weddings — which is becoming a trend, apparently — should be perceived as offensive to parents who are invited. Lots of virtual ink is spilled detailing children’s propensity for undecorous behavior, the poor parenting skills of people who reproduce (as oppose to the child-free, who frequently emerge in these discussions as the experts on proper parenting), and why whole classes of adults are not excluded from such events based on unacceptable behavior of certain of their members, while excluding children is okay. Read more…

Arranged Marriage: It’s Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

It is my experience that Americans are very romantic. And yet it is Americans, and to a somewhat lesser extent the rest of the Western cultures, who like to extol the supposed virtues of arranged marriages and poo-poo love matches. If you are a news and blog junkie, like me, you have probably read countless entries talking about how the institution of arranged marriage is a cure for divorce, unhappiness or the so-called “hook-up” culture, extolling it as the epitome of sensibility and the pinnacle of a stable, responsible lifestyle. Cherry-picked accounts by people (women especially) from patriarchal cultures swearing up and down how happy they are in a marriage to someone they did not even know before the wedding, someone picked by their parents, abound. And people lap it up. In fact, O Gentle Reader, you probably found this entry by Googling romantic stories about arranged marriages or happy arranged marriage accounts, or some other such nonsense — didn’t you? But clearly, this fascination with arranged marriage stems from the fact that most Westerners have absolutely no experience with this phenomenon and come from families where people have followed their hearts for so many generations, they retain no memory of what your garden-variety arranged marriage is really like.

So let me tell you a story about an arranged marriage in my family, which will, hopefully, introduce a dose of sober reality into this rosy picture. Read more…

Some thoughts on marriage, regrets and mediocrity

A few days ago, I was at a business lunch where one of the participants was a freshly divorced man in his forties. So it’s not a surprise that the conversation inevitably, and irretrievably, turned to the subject of marriage and what a soul-crushing burden it is. Not the divorce, mind you — that was a liberation — but marriage. The man had no specific grievances against his wife, whom he described as a normal enough human being and a good mother, nor against his kids, whom he professed to love — he just wished he hadn’t married her or had them. Instead, he disparaged marriage in very general and metaphoric terms, pretty much as Bill Maher once had, when he described a married man as a broken horse “shitting in a bucket”. Read more…

Friday Ramblings: Shorts

This just in: history is polluted by facts!!

Actually, this isn’t just in. In fact, this juicy tidbit is about a year old, but it’s just too good to pass up: The Tennessee Tea Party has demanded that school history textbooks do not mention any TRUE FACTS that reflect negatively on the Founding Fathers, including “intrusions” on the Native Americans and ownership of slaves. (Sorry for being redundant.) Lest anyone think that the TTP has taken a page out of the Holocaust Denier’s Handbook, it must be emphasized that they went beyond classic historical revisionism, by implicitly acknowledging that bad things have happened to certain groups of people in the course of the American history. The draft reads: Read more…

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: