‘I do’ in Blue

blue overalls

I am of the opinion that men and women should get married in standard blue ‘worker’ overalls.

Let us have no more of this dolled-up-in-a-trendy-white-gown-with-false-eyelashes-and-makeup-tottering-down-the-aisle-(in-snazzy-heels)-to-a-handsome-groom-dressed-in-an-equally-‘trend’-tux/suit vibe. Nay, nay nay!

Because such outfits imply that this couple will go on to say their ‘I dos’, have their ‘I do’ kiss, party with their friends and families, go on their honeymoon and then head off to their (trend) castle, after it is all over and done with, to stare lovingly into each other’s eyes for the rest of their lives…She will stay fabulous-looking, so will he, they will never be bored with their ‘together’ lives, or (dare I say it) each other, and their love will blossom on and on and on, all on it’s very own…‘al natural’.

Which all sounds quite fabulous, don’t get me wrong, but no married (or previously married persons) will ever tell you that this will be and is true. In fact, they may just prefer to say nothing…

Which is why, you see, I feel to say that blue overalls are by far a more realistic ‘fit’ for  wedding ‘gear’ for both bride and groom. If a wedding day is symbolic of the kind of commitment being made and the journey ahead, then I feel that two people standing at the end of an aisle getting married in blue overalls will most definitely speak the ‘Big Picture’.

Those in the South African context will know quite well that if there is ever a man around in a blue overall, he is most certainly there to work. And his work is often the work that no one else quite likes. But his outfit is ideal for this purpose! Made of hardy material, the overall is used to cover anything less durable that will not withstand the wear and tear of some solid, sweat-on-your-brow, paint-splattered, grit-under-your-nails, heavy machinery graft.

And to maintain a relationship and a friendship day-in and day-out (that is as committed as day one, and more so), well, people, that is graft. Not running when the proverbial paw-paw hits the fan? Well, that means some work needs to be done. Some rooms may need bashing down; some spaces may need to be (repeatedly) redefined for sharing; chosen communication channels need to be properly installed and tested; and friends need to be invited in to point out the sagging ceilings/crooked walls/you name it and to show the best ways to replace/fix these things, especially if the two in overalls are at logger heads, sleeping in different rooms, communicating in short syllables and not quite certain of the way forward.

In the ‘old days’ if you were making a commitment of this kind, all involved would halve an animal and walk between the very bloody pieces in a figure of eight. This symbolized that the promise being made between the two parties was eternally binding (a figure of 8 goes on and on). Your promise, before God was then: “If I don’t honour this promise, then do to me the exact thing I have done to this animal, God. Amen”. They knew how to make promises to (or covenants with) each other back then they did. Because they knew that commitment is hard work and it is easier to be out than in.

These days we just prefer to have a fun bite of our three-tiered (trend) wedding cake!

So, I do not actually mean to put a damper on the excited weddings planned for the future (most girls want the day, the cake and the dress); but I am saying that, as you cruise gorgeously down that aisle girl, bear in mind the mental image of yourself with blue overalls on. As you fix that tie for the Big Day gents, be sure to have your toolbox packed and ready for what comes after. No, I am not talking about the honeymoon.

Hard work, light work, rewarding work, I-just-bashed-my-finger work, this-is-not-working-what-the-hell?! work. Marriage is work. Better get those overalls on.

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