It is the season to be married.There are soon-to-be-married couples spilling out of every wedding planner’s diary. Young women are wearing bright outfits and a glow to match, while men are wearing that ‘deer caught in the headlights’ expression. Not to be cynical, not all of them, just some of them. The rest are blissfully oblivious of what lies ahead.
They’ve conquered the dragons and saved the damsels, but most of them have no idea what to do with the damsel once she has been rescued. All their energy spent in heroic battle, they haven’t yet worked out the mechanics beyond the bachelor party.
I’ve long believed that marriage counselling should actually start before marriage. It’s just too late after. While the girls are still enthusiastically going for cooking classes and the boys are still going out for beer, why not throw in a few therapy sessions?
The first year is crucial. Like a new sapling, it is weak, sways in the slightest wind and no one has a clue exactly how much sunshine and how much water it will need. They just plan the honeymoon and hope that if the beach doesn’t work its magic, the cruise will.
Slowly, these two people who have been sticking to each other, stopping just short of morphing into one huge non-gender mass, come un-stuck.
The damsel goes back to being distressed, post marital depression creeping in along with that sickening feeling that she is done with fine clothes and jewelry and being the centre of attention. Now its all going to be about cleaning, cooking and groceries.
The gallant knight is thinking if it would not be better to let dear, old mother handle the rest from here on. Little anticipating there’s dear, old, mother in the other camp too. Dear, old mothers can mean different things depending on who is the dear-er.
There is a silent power struggle on, and its only now dawning on the knight why the father of the bride gives the bride away. It was one last card the old man had up his sleeve and now he’s smiling.
Knight is not so gallant anymore and damsel is causing more distress than the dragon she was rescued from. Together, they are both realising why fairy tales end when the knight and damsel marry with an abrupt “and they lived happily ever after”. Who did?
The fun and games continue for a bit until a baby is born. Almost as if it were a white flag, both parties surrender to endless days of potty training. Months of bickering are given up in pursuit of the perfect birthday party. Makeup sex, all night parties and let’s-see-who-gets-squeamish-first-and-does-the-dishes are substituted by school admissions, homework and ‘swimming with baby’.
For the first time in five years the damsel stops complaining the knight is a mama’s boy and starts work on ensuring her little prince turns out the same way.
The knight stops pretending he’s got to work all night and willingly goes shopping for little pink hairclips that match little pink dresses.
And in the meantime, many wedding seasons come and go, until…