Hey gang! I’m so very sorry for not having posted here for so long - my tiny excuse is that I’ve been finishing The Baby Diaries and battling the stomach bug that’s been sweeping the nation like Pattinson Fever [dated reference no. 1]. Some people have had the 48-hour version - like my kids, thank Christ - others get the month-long, weakening, sickening version. Guess which one I had! Hurray! Anyway, now that I’m able to crawl towards my keyboard for something other than book-writing, here we are.
I was talking to one of my excellent sisters-in-law at a wedding recently, as we examined the bunting around the room, the floral birdcage decorations on each table, and the fabric letters spelling out messages on each wall. We were discussing when wedding trends will make any major shifts, and whether they’ll ever swing round to minimalism - I argued that the industry’s hold is now so strong, that there’s little chance of Bridal Monthly (oh god I hope that’s not a real mag or I’m in trouble) ever advocating just hiring a hall and filling it with booze and decks. Later, with other friends, we marvelled at how normally sane people suddenly feel this all this wedding jazz is something they HAVE to do - a toast-master, canapes, etc.
I got to thinking [hahahaha dated reference no. 2] about brides taking their husband’s name. Besides a few people saying that they changed it for SEO purposes or to escape their own family name which they hated for horrible childhood reasons, I’ve yet to hear a convincing argument about it. It’s something I feel so strongly about (unlike most things in the world) and have never been able to fathom why strong, educated, independent, creative women would want to take a man’s name, just because it’s traditional. And my hackles are slightly raised when the explanation is ‘I love my husband and want to show him how committed I am’; I meanwhile, keeping my own name, am obviously just a bit meh about my marriage, always nominally keeping one foot out the door.
Of course, the real point is that I don’t need to be convinced. I’m not sitting here with a rubber stamp while nervous new brides file past me, desperate for my approval for their new names. I don’t imagine anyone who’s changed their name gives a shit about my inability to comprehend their decision. And she shouldn’t have to (yay feminism, etc.), but I would genuinely like someone to be able to educate me into understanding why so many women make this choice. Plus, who am I to talk - I’m just fighting to cling onto my great-great-great-great grandfather’s name (paternal side).
Either way, the sooner brides stop being encouraged to buy vintage birdcages and yes I know I’m one to talk, the better off we’ll all be.