• Jack Martindale

Getting officially older and feeling ready for marriage!


The 16th of this month marked my officially ageing; 33, so certainly no milestone in itself. I was with my fiancé Sarah in Brooklyn’s aptly names Cheese Boat, to mark my entry into the world at 11 p.m. on that lightly snow covered evening on Wednesday the 16th of November 1988.


An age that I should never have hailed as particularly significant; I’ve certainly never sought for any spiritual type of meaning in the master numbers of 11, 22, 33, 44 etc. The inspiration for formalising the commitment for Sarah and me to get married on this day was founded on a combination of factors.


That of me wanting to even-out the fact that it was my birthday and to try to maximise the chances of the ring that had ordered (in reducing its carbon footprint so that it shouldn’t have to fly twice across the Atlantic as it was being shipped through Etsy from Pennsylvania) arriving on time!


It still feels current and strange to be using the perfect tense for this stage in a relationship, as commitment opens a gateway that is all about the future. It’s tremendously exciting and I’d also be lying if I were to ever deny the fact that it also something that I find at least a tad daunting. Not sure that I’d ever trust any sane person to think otherwise. Signing yourself up for anything for life is not something that I’d ever be able to much trust anybody doing lightly.


To be frank, I’ll also have to disclose, that instinctively I’ve never been a fan of marriage in itself. This has got nothing to do with monogamy – or polygamy for that matter; whatever floats you boat – but rather, the superficiality that I see that marriage is as good as superfluous in the modern world. I mean, unless you are of religious conviction, if a relationship is truly trusting in the way that nuptials are supposed to represent, then why bother that feeding into capitalism and the privatised nuclear family by cementing this contract? Surely commitments such as buying a property together should be sufficient milestones to make lucid your sense of commitment towards one another…


It was never that I was against marriage as an institution. I grew-up under the dynamic 2.4 children and I think that I always liked the fact that we were all interrelated, though I can’t be so definitive, as I can never accurately know if I’d be that bothered f we were not. I can evidence that being part of one another’s clan on paper is irrelevant when it comes to determining bonds between people; you click or you don’t with people and thankfully I’d say that I have a healthy level of closeness with my family. That is in that we all respect one another and can all have a proper laugh together. Though with this being said, there are quite a few members of this institution who are not technically related to any of us, though that doesn’t at all signify that they have any less of a bond with any of us. There are always going to be people that you click with better than others and I think that familial relationships between people universally provide testament to being related to one another does not guarantee any harmony in itself!


There are two sides to every argument. On the negative side, I can see the concept of being bode to another as almost anachronistic. This is in relation that if we are to respect it in terms of the traditional religious – in every society to the best of my knowledge – principles that founded the concept of imposing a contract for people to be exclusive. This is all so dated. I mean, if I was a driver, I’d certainly want to test drive before I purchased anything and I can’t see anything less than sensible in wanting to compare and contrast as many different models as you may be attracted, should you be so inclined; provided that you’re careful.


But, I’m an atheist and still love Christmas. Hopefully this allegorises the relationship that I have with marriage. Going with the old cliché, provided that it is done for the right reasons, it can be something for us all to unite in collectively celebrating. Yes, there is the commercialisation and undue pressure that it can put upon people, but when extracting the positive, it’s a joyous thing.


In truth, defeating bureaucracy is the fundamental reason that has hastened Sarah and me in making the decision to tie the knot. This does cheapens or undermines any of our commitment. Border controls may have catalysed our decision, but so what? We’re determined to make a success of the rather unsavoury situation of not automatically having freedom of movement on one another’s home turf. When you have trust and devotion to somebody, marriage can feasibly be done in relation to the fact that it shouldn’t make anything between us any different. That is what I believe has to be the only way to enter marriage, with full trust, as opposed to any belief that it will act to instil any changes in a relationship in itself. We are getting married to be allowed to continue being as we are and where we want to be in peace!

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