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[Comments] (13) Lazy Sunday: John had some mission buddies over last night... They stayed until 3 AM. I went to bed this time and left John to get them to leave. Other than that, it was fun. We had pizza and played Scattergories.

I am learning how to crochet baby hats and I have finally gotten one that I think wll fit an actual baby. Although since I don't have one, I'm not positive. Booties to match! 6 weeks or less until Shiela's baby comes.


Posted by John at Sun Feb 08 2004 20:05

Staying up until 3 am against my will reminded me why I am happy to no longer be playing the single game. Boo to marriage--preposterous. It's worth it just to go to sleep at a normal hour. A pox on all who poo poo to marriage.

Posted by Kristen at Mon Feb 09 2004 13:31

Deep down inside if they had someone to marry- they would be just like the rest of us. You just have to find the right one.

Posted by anonymous at Tue Feb 10 2004 08:56

I sleep at a normal hour, and am not married. thankyouverymuch. And neither would I be married even if I *did* have someone to marry, because I am TOO YOUNG (a concept some people have the most amazing difficulty understanding).

Posted by Susie at Tue Feb 10 2004 09:11

I wonder who posted that comment...

Posted by Kristen at Tue Feb 10 2004 10:22

I think it was Rachel. And no one said you had to get married, I just said if you knew a wonderful person to marry you wouldn't think it was a terrible thing. I guess I misunderstood what "boo to marriage" means to you.
Besides if marriage is bad, why are you trying to get marriage rights for gays?

Posted by Sumana at Tue Feb 10 2004 17:30

John: bah to forced awakedness. Bah in general to "friends" making you do things you shouldn't do. I hope you're now sleeping well and long.

I'm not married, and I usually go to bed around 11pm, which I consider decent. How does marriage uniquely enable you to go to bed at a decent hour? Do other people, such as dates, stop pressuring you to stay up? Does Susie pressure you to go to bed?

Kristen: You may be conflating two different questions. One is: "is marriage, as an institution, bad?" And another related but separate question is: "should I be married?" In short, it's reasonable to want to wait to get married, and possibly also reasonable to not want to be married at all. A short discussion of a huge subject follows.

I think the institution of marriage, as practiced in this country, has flaws. There is a tiny minority that thinks "marriage is bad and no one should do it." I don't belong to that minority, but if you'd like I'll explain which of their arguments I find valid.

I do think the idea that "if you find the right person then of course you should marry him/her immediately" is pernicious. People think there is one and only one person they could marry, and that is usually wrong. Some people shouldn't marry anyone; some people could do well with one of several possible spouses. And short courtships and engagements usually don't give enough time to consider long-term compatibility.

I have heard of good marriages and bad marriages and haven't seen that many good ones. I know possibilities for wonderful partnerships exist through marriage, but even chemistry between the partners does not guarantee that goodness. As Howard Dean said recently, too many people get married just because they're in love (the same reason, I might add, that some people use to justify premarital sex; also, people do these things to "prove" said love).

One problem with marriage is the thorny relationship between church and state. The government can give you a marriage (go to the justice of the peace), church and government can do it together (the preacher says, "by the power vested in me by the state of Wyoming"), but if the government isn't involved at all, then is it a real marriage? If marriage is a sacrament, then it is a matter of the spirit, and if it is a legal contract, then it is a matter of government. I am not comfortable with the government giving me a sacrament.

Taxes and health benefits and next-of-kin arrangements (and so on) give spouses special powers and responsibilities that girlfriends and boyfriends do not have. So marriage always has something to do with the government. Those special benefits and responsibilities are one reason (I'd say the most reasonable reason) to make the government let gays marry.

On to "should I be married." The anonymous commenter implies: maybe someday. There is a reason we don't let people get married as children: children are not old enough to have sex, to have kids, or to consent to long-term contracts. They don't have the judgment. Some 25-year-olds still don't. (Man, Frances has seen a lot of these; I'd love to hear her perspective!)

While I am young and unencumbered by a spouse or children, I want to travel, study, and take risks. Being and having a spouse is a responsibility, and I will wait and make myself ready for that responsibility.

Also, Kristen: you said, "And no one said you had to get married". I think Anonymous is implying that he/she has been told that by others, or has been told that he/she should find someone to marry and marry them ASAP.

Anyway, it is reasonable to meet someone who would be a good life partner and yet want to not marry immediately. There is a bunch of stuff that I've only touched on and I'd be happy to discuss this more over email or blogs.

Posted by Susie at Tue Feb 10 2004 19:06

When you're single (in Provo), one invariably has roommates, friends etc who end up keeping you up until all hours of the night.

Posted by John at Tue Feb 10 2004 19:22

I was only trying to give a pro for my situation. Honestly, having roommates at a social school such as BYU is much like your first sleepover. The problem is, it's EVERY night. And for someone like me to takes school seriously, the noise made it hard to ever feel rested, having risen at 6 am everyday to prepare myself for each and every school day (the noise normally subsided by 3 or 4 if I was lucky). Thus, getting married, for me, has stopped the late nights.

Susie's and my courtship seemed like light years for some, and yet extremely short for others. In some circles we were almost too old, and in other's eyes entirely too young. But what I do know is that marriage is a personal choice for each person as to whom, when, or if they choose to get wed.

I married Susie when it was right for me, and have had no regrets. My beforementioned comment was simply an attempt to thank my wife for our marriage (and the sleepful nights). I am very happy, and thus felt sad to hear others boo marriage. But I was not trying in any way, shape, or form to state that all readers of this site should get married asap. Like I said, it's a personal choice, and therefore, will be different for everybody.

I digress (and am stalling studying for a partnership tax exam; no pun intended, it means legal business partnerships), but want to publicly apologize for unknowingly offending the masses with my unique, often Republican, viewpoints.

Posted by Sumana at Tue Feb 10 2004 22:29

John, I think we're mostly in agreement. Personal choice: absolutely. I'm all for freedom of action with informed consent between loving adults, yada yada. If your marriage is good, then I am sincerely happy for you and Susie and all who are touched by your marriage (which I suppose includes me!).

I had no idea it was so tough to get to sleep at a decent hour for you in college. I lived in a dorm my first year but didn't have that problem. My condolences and indeed it's a shame that marriage is the only way out of that particular situation!

And I, for one, am always interested in hearing reasonable arguments for viewpoints I don't share.

Good luck on your test!

Posted by Susie at Wed Feb 11 2004 08:59

Despite all this argument about marriage and sleeping, I have slept horribly since that late night. Bleh.

Posted by Kristen at Wed Feb 11 2004 13:48

I'm sorry to anonymous for saying "No one is saying you have to get married". I was responding to the "And neither would I be married even if I *did* have someone to marry,". What I meant to say is that in my comment *I* am not saying you have to get married even if you had someone. When to get married is obviously between only you and the other person. I am sorry that people might have told you to get married and right this instant b/c I did not say that. Get married when you are ready, but when you are it can be a wonderful thing.
Sumana: I never said that you have to get married "immediately". That would be absurd. What I said is that when you find the right one then you want to get married. I don't care what timeline it is on 1-50 years, whatever. And this doesn't include the time it takes to *know* that they are the one you want to marry, i.e. courtship/dating. For some it takes 2 weeks and others 10 years. If and when you decide you love a person and *want* to spend the restofyourlife together, marriage will happen maybe in 1-infinite amount of years. Unless you are like Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn and don't believe in marriage- that is a different ball game. The fact is you have to have *someone* in mind to want to get married, whether it is in your dreams or reality. A person dreams about it when they are ready, and others become ready when they decide on the right person.

As a side note, you can actually get more benefits if you are a single mom/dad with kids, rather than being married *if* you are poor anyway. If you have $ and actually pay taxes, then marriage gives you more relief. That is why some people decide not to get married, b/c you don't get as much free stuff in their income bracket. It all boils down to not if you are married but how much you make.

I don't care if gays want civil unions for the benefits, and for them to have the same ones as married people. I don't believe that marriage should be a sacrament though.

Posted by Sumana at Fri Feb 13 2004 19:05

Thanks for clearing up what you were saying, Kristen; sorry for the misunderstanding. Certainly "readiness" differs from person to person and from couple to couple, and takes time to grow. And you're right that marriage sometimes helps and sometimes hurts at tax time.

I do wonder what you mean when you say marriage should not be a sacrament - do you mean that you consider your marriage only a legal contract and not a spiritual covenant with God? - but I won't press the matter if you don't care to.

Posted by Kristen at Wed Feb 18 2004 13:48

Oh yeah, that doesn't make sense what I said. What I meant to say is that I don't think that gay marriage (sacrament) should be made before God for obvious religious reasons. I don't mind any questions of disagreements anyone has with me by the way. I might come off sounding the wrong way, but I am not offended by differing points of view for the record.

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