Tuesday, September 16, 2014

AWPATT XI: September 5-16 (Thoughts 97-108)

97 I remember reading somewhere in one of the online medical websites that it’s dangerous to blow into a vagina, because of how vascular it is (lots of small blood vessels and thin skin), since bubbles of air can enter the bloodstream and cause a heart attack if they travel to the heart. Duly noted. So that’s something I’ll never do. Making farting noises with your mouth to be silly, for example, is off the table.

98 After an encounter with a young lady who had done missionary work, I realized that I like getting stared at intensely—in a certain way, of course. When she revealed her professing faith, she was smiling and acting naturally, but her eyes, I could tell, were looking me over keenly to gauge my reaction. Why should she care? I can only imagine she was evaluating me based on whatever she could glean about my faith from my response to her. This is the thought that made me like it. Because whether she’d conclude that I’m partner material or not, the great thing is that she’s judging me to see what she’ll decide! So go ahead and judge me! :D It’s a far better feeling than not being scrutinized because I’m not even considered for the possibility of being relationship material.

99 I have an eerie sense, not a superstition but a feeling similar to it, that I won’t be married until I am finished with everything I want to write first. I have a long list of unwritten-about subjects, both for my private Journal and for the blog, and then there are these AWPATTs. It could perhaps be psychological, that I wouldn’t give myself the freedom to search for a wife until I ‘feel’ that I am ready. It would certainly be satisfying to get through all of my projects before I meet her, since one of the major goals of my writing is for her to be able to get to know me very fully, very quickly, by reading what I’ve written and so coming to be acquainted with my mind.

100 It’s a lofty goal, trying to capture the essence of who I am, my past, and what I believe, in writing. Can a person be contained in a book? Or, can everything you need to know about a person be contained in a book? My mind travels to the Bible. If God can be content that we have everything we need to know about Him in the Bible, then surely it must be possible for me to find that same contentment in an extended love letter to my spouse. I am a far lesser person, after all, so there shouldn’t be very much more remaining to document.

1/10th of the way!

101 I recently found myself flipping through bridal magazines out of passive curiosity. I wondered if there would be anything educational therein, or if I would find new things to hate. Well, both of those were satisfied by the same things, for the most part. One example was the assumption that you had to hire a band. Since when? This is my knee-jerk response to a plethora of modern wedding traditions. Why should I do what a wedding magazine tells me I have to do, and pay for a band? It’s clear that the publishers have a vested interest in increasing the consumerism of couples-to-be, since the various caterers etc paid then advertise in the magazines. In other words, it’s not primarily associated with meaning and significance, but money money money.

102 One thing that I will not have in my wedding will be a veil. The veil has one of two meanings: in either case, it refers to the idea that the groom will never have seen the bride’s face prior to that very moment. This could only be the case if the marriage is an arranged marriage and he’s never spoken to his bride personally. Or it could be the case if he is marrying a muslim woman, who is religiously required to cover her face. Is my marriage going to be an arranged one or to a muslim woman, such that I would never have met her in person or seen her face? No. So there is no place for a veil.

103 To have a veil present would be to subtly promote the practice of covering women up as sex objects, or restricting them from making male friendships because they can’t be trusted to remain pure if not supervised. Either way, horridly sexist and simply a denial of the equal moral agency of women to men. Why would I want to promote sexism at my wedding? Maybe now you can see why a simple article of clothing like a veil can be so wrong. It’s more than a piece of cloth. It’s a statement.

104 The fundamental thing, after consumerism, that bridal magazines take for granted in promoting, is the idea that the wedding is all about the bride. All about making her feel special, glamorizing her beauty, and putting the focus on her. From a Christian theological perspective, it’s not about the bride at all, nor is it solely about the groom. The reason for that is that both are servants of God and therefore find purpose in redirecting attention from themselves to Him. It is their union that is symbolic of God’s redemption of His children. It represents the bliss of being united in perfect harmony with Love Himself. To put the focus on the bride would be to symbolically state that the redeemed should have the focus on them. But Christians have their eyes fixed on God. To be told that “this is about you,” to any learned believer, is unnatural and uncomfortable. It simply is NOT about us. And consequently, if marriage is a picture of God’s union with believers, then it can’t be about the bride.

105 A side note to this is that, departing from the symbolism and getting to the individual aspect, having the focus be completely on you is pride-forming. What good can possibly come from the indulgence into a fantasy that you ought to be the center of attention for your own sake, so that you can…what? Feel pretty? Be given the worship you deserve? Experience heaping accolades and revel in your own greatness? One bridal mag said something to the tune of “there’s nothing wrong with showing a bit of skin/being sexy on your special day,” and showing pictures implying that provoking people to lust over you is perfectly fine, because after all, it’s not about purity and dignity and joy, it’s about you feeling good about yourself, and having people desire you sexually is a tried-and-true way to feel good about yourself. This is nothing strange when you consider that it comes from the central lie that it’s about making the bride feel good. If that’s all there is to it, there is no limit to how much skin can be revealed. The ceremony isn’t sacred. Her feelings are. And that’s all geared to feed into a sin of arrogance and self-worship, feeding into greed and further consumerism, driving profit for companies with no incentive to ensure the dignity of marriage but only to capitalize off of marketing ploys manipulating foolish women’s selfish desires.

106 The dozens of pages in a single magazine devoted to telling you what you had to have in terms of flowers stoked my ire. It was assumed that not only would there be flowers at everyone’s wedding, but every bride, without exception, would assuredly want to have them, and need the bridal mag’s advice on what color, etc, to have. Why do there need to be flowers at a wedding at all? Who says? When did this fashion, for that is what it is, begin? If having the focus be on your own emotions is off-base, what point is there to having a focus on gimmicks like flowers? I think flowers look fine, in nature. But as a part of anything not connected to growing fruit trees, they are functionally useless. Whenever I see obnoxious baskets of flowers inside, I wonder, what are they there to distract attention away from? There’s no need to be any flowers at a wedding, certainly not for them to be bought at revolting sums of money just to sit around for a few hours, getting in people’s way.

107 And what is this nonsense about cakes? And cakes you can’t eat, at that! And obnoxiously large and baroque monstrosities that cost you severely for the decoration, which will be ruined the moment it’s actually eaten. How about we bake a cake, or a couple dozen cakes, in our own oven, together as a couple with our families over a weekend? Major bonding experience, quality time, and huge savings. Question the traditions: why should we have to do what everyone else does? Who says? What purpose is there to it? I see no Biblical symbolism, let alone a mandate, for bizzarely concocted half-cake, half-plastic creations. Cake is for dessert. It’s not good for anything else. It’s like gold toilets. In the end, it does the same thing the cheaper variety does, and why then was there a drive to pay more for it?

108 Why should dresses cost so much? What material is it made out of that skyrockets its value? The silk of the last living 1,000-year old silkworm? Gold thread? It just needs to be tasteful in its proportions, and of a color we settle on choosing. I am so offended by the idea of $10,000 wedding dresses that I might bring up very early that I want my future wife to find a nice looking prom dress to wear. I’m all about being practical and when I encounter a tradition that doesn’t have any apparent purpose except extravagance, I am against it. It will not endure. I will throw it down from the high places, dash its image asunder, and cleanse it from the temple. That’s to say, I feel pretty confident this is a righteous anger. Let the savage worldly women keep their pomp; my bride to be need only be dressed simply. Her beauty cannot be improved upon by the dollar amount of the clothes we hang on her. Let her simplicity be its own allure, and her wardrobe be one less distraction from the real centerpiece of the wedding: our vows.

~ Rak Chazak

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