The Jakarta Post
This writer was asked to give inspirational words of wisdom to newly married woman. I said: 'Now you can eat anything you like. Go get them donuts, girl.' Doing some deep thinking about marriage reminded me of the fights that all couples have in the early years of a relationship. Arguments are like Paul McCartney concerts: five minutes of new stuff and then out come all the classics.
The good news: eventually you and your partner spend a whole day arguing about whether or not you are having an argument. After that peak, the male goes quiet, and a miraculously dispute-free relationship ensues for the rest of your lives. My wife and I have definitely reached that stage, unless she says we haven't, in which case we definitely haven't.
These thoughts coincided with the arrival of a report from a reader about a man in Java who recently married a fairy. Kodok, aged 63, wedded Roro Setyowati, ageless, who is described as a peri, or invisible female spirit. 'Kodok and Roro Setyowati had decided to tie the knot after first meeting five years ago,' The Jakarta Post reported. (Not sure if drink was involved).
The Javanese media was 'awash with pictures' of the couple, the report said, which I assume means images of Kodok with a cheesy smile. He should smile: think of the cash saved on bridal-wear.
'What's the point of having a wife who is invisible?' said the reader who sent me the cutting. 'Surely the great thing about women is that they are scenic?' After further exchanges, he started to see the advantages of having an invisible, inaudible wife, causing me to edit his name out of this column.
Westerners think Asians are backwards because we don't allow same-sex marriages, but we're actually more advanced in many ways. We allow people to marry fairies, statues, paintings and trees, although they must be opposite sex trees. Registrar: 'Are you sure this oak tree is female? Looks kinda hunky to me.' Bridegroom: 'She's been comfort-eating.'
Why would you want to marry a tree? I can answer that with a true story from a reader. An Indian woman was told by a fortune teller that her first wedding would fail and her second would work.
So she married a tree first, divorced him and then went for the human option. I heard this from the woman's daughter, a reader named Shrynne, whose parents have now been married for almost 50 years. (Her mum probably still thinks wistfully about the tree from time to time.)
People in the West are starting to copy us. A woman called Erika LaBrie married the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 2007 and changed her name to Erika Eiffel. A couple of years ago, CNN did a special feature on a guy 'who was in a romantic relationship with his car'. Have idiot TV anchors never met a male before? All motor-owning guys are in romantic relationships with their cars. That's why Top Gear is the world's most popular documentary series. It's the guy equivalent of a love story.
Whatever. Still, no one can deny that marriage is an enormously important stage in life. After marriage, you can eat donuts.
The writer is a columnist and journalist.
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