Order in the Courtship
If you like it should you go Dutch to put a ring on it? Beyoncé, feel free to weigh in.
Oh, sure. We’re pretty fond of each other, but the truth is you all are our favorite contributors to The Man Repeller. Really! We’ve formalized that fact with “Let’s Talk About It.” This weekly column is a forum for conversation, communication, and complete distraction from the jobs you’re supposed to be doing right now. So get involved. We promise we won’t tell your bosses.
We’re all friends here, so I’m going to take this opportunity to admit something vaguely mortifying. I’ve given a lot of thought to my future wedding.
I’ve debated flower arrangements, centerpieces, and the merits of formal photography. I’ve considered color schemes and where I’ll seat my less-liked relatives. Also, I hate Barry Manilow, love peonies, and have spent too many hours watching Say Yes to the Dress.
Surprised? I don’t blame you.
According to a friend whom I’ve since forgiven for her honesty, I am “about as romantic as Soviet Russia.” Returning readers might remember my railing against earnest, starry-eyed boys on this very website. In true Man Repellent fashion, I’ve denounced matchmaking, decried misogyny, and advocated that we all stay out of Jennifer Aniston’s uterus. Still, despite my voluble pronouncements and the fact that, no, I am not a figment of Jennifer Weiner’s imagination, I really am looking forward to my one-day wedding. (You are all, of course, warmly invited.)
Let me assure you: this eventual fete is going to be a thoroughly 21st-century affair! There will be no matching bridesmaids’ dresses. Or fondant. Or tulle. I am going to be an aggressively modern bride! At least, that’s what I’d always thought.
Last week, The Knot revealed that young couples are increasingly willing to split the cost of their engagement rings. Given today’s financial climate and, you know, the entire movement pioneered by Gloria Steinem, the practice seems logical enough. After all, many women make as much if not more money than their significant others. Besides, isn’t there something undeniably distasteful about promising eternal devotion— or 300 sandwiches — in exchange for a shiny material good?
Perhaps. Then again, when Amelia and I debated the survey’s findings in a series of rapid-fire emails, we each arrived at the same, shamefully backwards conclusion: But…no!
For the record, my name is not Charlotte York or Bridget Jones. I am neither a Southern Belle nor a weak-kneed extra in Kate Hudson’s latest movie. In fact, I am the mostly proud heir to my mother’s deeply feminist legacy. And yet, I cannot imagine going halfsies on “happily ever after.” When it comes to matters of romance, it seems, I’m not just old fashioned. Apparently, I’m very nearly prehistoric.
The question is: are you? Practically speaking, would you go Dutch on a diamond? Would you even go Dutch on date? Can women continue to claim equality in our professional lives if we aren’t willing to pony up in our personal ones?
Finally, have the conventions of courtship and the demands of feminism become “irreconcilably different”?
Before you point (ring) fingers, let’s talk about it.
And while we’re on the subject, does the existence of 300sandwiches.com make your blood boil? Or is Stephanie Smith’s epicurean experiment somehow empowering? Yeah. Probably not.