Posts tagged ‘wedding’

May 9, 2011

Starter marriage

Happy ever after? pic: ruachtova.org

The average American is about 4 years young than the average German when he/she first marries.  In general, Americans marry younger than their Western European counterparts (stats here).   This has led to the phenomenon of the starter marriage – a first marriage that ends in divorce (ideally) before the couple has kids.

The term is a play on the term “starter home” (also very American) describing a often smallish and older house that a young couple, individual, or family can afford to buy.  The starter home gets ditched as soon as the owners can afford something bigger, newer, nicer, or in a better location.  And the same seems to happen to the starter marriage.

Starter marriages last on average eight years.  The divorce rate is highly contested but is somewhere between the lower 40 and 50%.  It doesn’t really matter whether it is 43% or 49% – the chances for a first marriage to last are similar to winning in roulette when better on black or red.

Reasons for starter marriages seem to range from “I have dreamt about my wedding ever since I was a little girl and now I am finally doing it”, to “we’ve ben together 3 years so we better get married” to “we are going to be this great power couple and make it big.”

Not judging here – just glad I skipped the starter marriage and went straight for the grown-up version.

May 1, 2011

Royal Wedding

An American dream story: commoner makes it big, pic: guardian.co.uk

A day and a half late I finally watched the TiVo’ed version of the royal wedding with the girl friends – we had little sandwiches and tea and – of course – something bubbly and alcoholic as well.

The wedding was well covered over here as well – though it is a very British story, with royalty and all which we don’t subscribe to over here, it has a bit of an American dream element to it: the pretty daughter of a commoner, solidly middle class with what seems to be a thriving party supply business – think balloons and confetti – marries the future king, carries herself with dignity and even chooses a nice, albeit unspectacular dress for the occasion.  The Queen is gracious enough to let her wear the heirloom tiara and everybody is guardedly blissful.

This resonates with the American dishwasher to millionaire story.  Only problem, that might have happened in past generations but the has become increasingly rare these days, making that jump from rages to riches seems reserved to people who handle balls of one kind or another extraordinarily well.  So the story of the commoner turned queen-to-be is embraced here in a “uou-go-girl” kind of way.