As part of the broadening of my popular culture viewing I decided to pay attention to an episode of Friends that was on today. It certainly was inspiring.
In one of the scenes a leading male character (that is also the guidance counselor in Apt Pupil) is seeking advice about dating a girl younger than he is. The response? Can you see yourself marrying her?
I never quite noticed until recently that marriage is pushed so hard in this country. As a young liberal, I'm quite in favor of broad definitions of marriage (or abolishing marriage), and have always framed my view of marriage as something that is denied.
What changed? I'm getting married (long story). I now notice every little nudge in the direction of marriage. This episode of Friends happened to be a great example. It begins with the idea that the guide for relationships is simple: marriage is the goal.
Later in the episode, two of the male characters are sitting in a lounge. One is about to propose to one of the female characters, but wants it to be a surprise. So his plan is to pretend as though marriage is not at all something he wants. He makes a comment to the woman he's dating, wondering why anyone would want to get married.
Her response is something along the lines of "celebrate relationship, declare love to the world." And I have to wonder why there aren't other ways to celebrate love. I know the male character was not being subversive, but in a different context his question could be. Why is marriage the appropriate result of love? Does this mean that gays and lesbians denied the right to marry are unable to declare their love for each other or celebrate their relationship?