Shifting Focus

wild-dancingThis past weekend was my bachelorette party. We went down to Atlantic City, and stayed at Harrah’s. At night, the hotel pool area is given a sort of pseudo club vibe…

I could practically smell the pheromones.

Naturally, I’d never been more grateful for my soon-to-be husband, or quite frankly, my age.

If I’ve ever wished I was twenty-two again, I don’t after this weekend…

At one point in the evening I found myself talking to a twenty-three year old guy who seemed flabbergasted at the thought of my getting married.

“That’s such a long time!” he kept saying.

“You’re twenty-three,” I responded, “For tonight, just focus on finding a dance partner.”

The Intrinsic Writer (“How the Club Scene Gave Me Insight on Characterization“)

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Medieval Miasma

josephineHe’s coming home.

It was a long war.

He’ll be amorous…starved for your womanhood.

You have 14 days to prepare your body for his pleasure…

You begin by summoning your maid of the wardrobe. You instruct her to prepare your most alluring evening gown for presentation. She is to cleanse, repair, and otherwise make perfect this welcoming garment you shall wear on the night of your husband’s return. Matching slippers must be constructed, decorated, and the bottoms covered with suede so that you glide silently as an angel into his arms.

Next, you send for your ladies in waiting. You instruct them to prepare the most lovely of your hair adornments. Combs must be checked for splintering or broken teeth, loose pearls & gems must be reattached and made to gleam. Clips must be freshly gilded in gold, and silk ribbons must be cleansed, velvet ones, steamed and brushed.

You then summon your maid of the bath. You grant her the next 2 weeks off. She won’t be needed. For, your body must begin its miasmal descent, per the usual letters your husband sends to you before returning home from his travels:

“I will return to Paris in [14] days time. Stop washing.”

And so you do.

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Income Gender Role Reversal

marriage-breadwinnerLove or money?

Historically, a question posed only about women marrying male breadwinners.

But now, this same question applies to men, as well.

Why?

 

Because, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40% of American women are now the breadwinners of the family. And this, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, creates a new strain of marital tension between “an alpha woman and a beta man.”

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Saying “I Do” to Diversity

interracial_coupleThere was a time in our very near past when it was against the law to marry outside of your own race.

Whites were not permitted to marry non-whites, and all other minorities were restricted to marrying within each of their individual racial groups.

But the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1967 anti-miscegenation laws changed all this in 16 states. Today, according to a Pew Research report entitled The Rise of Intermarriage, “about 15% of all new marriages in the United States in 2010 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another.”

How do Americans feel about this?

That depends on whom you ask. And which part of the country you’re in.

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5 Medieval Facts of Marriage

 “To marry for love without land or chattels could assure nothing but a life of penury.”

medieval-wedding

1.   In medieval times, more than half the population of any given area was generally under 20 years old. Life expectancy back then was only about 42 years, and so girls were married at the ripe old age of 12 to boys as young as 15.

Women were rarely allowed to choose who they wanted to marry, but men were free to choose their wives.

There was one exception to this rule: if the girl was from a poor family who could not afford a dowry, she was free to marry whomever she wanted because her family had nothing to bargain with in the typical monetary marriage arrangement.

2.  Medieval marriages had nothing to do with love. It was all about who had how much to give. Continue reading

Yemeni Wedding

A peek into Yemen Times

yemeni-bride

What if weddings were not solely for the bride and groom?

What if they were also official hunting grounds for women seeking potential brides for sons, brothers, and cousins who had reached marriageable age?

Once a girl is chosen, she will be investigated without her knowledge, while her background and that of her family will come under scrutiny…”

“The would-be groom’s closest kin will pay a surprise visit to her home. They will even examine the cleanness of the house, including the bathroom…

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