Social media is a charming, charming place. For most people. I end up clicking on articles about how my relation to hedgehogs defines my personality. Then, I look up exes and hope their wives have become fat. No, I don’t do that.
Social media is also a place where you must wear your status like a badge. This is so that people can comfortably slot you in a category and not get hassled with your need to explore or choose other options.
So if you are single, you are required (I think, by law) to declare this by sharing memes about the single life. You are also required to share articles about things you hear all the time that make you roll your eyes. Another joke about aunties nudging you to get married? Hilarious. And so new.
Travelling Solo Without Hubby? The Horror!
But the married lot need not feel left out. There are also some people with little access to grammar and too much to computers, that pen down articles about ‘Things you could do instead of getting married’. These are deeply researched articles backed by scientific data. So a 23-year-old gives you detailed options about what to do with your life.
This subtle way of telling you marriage is no good is called marriage shaming.
You are told that you could lead such a rich, fulfilling life if you didn’t give into this silly institution called marriage. Like, you could take off on holidays with your DSLR. Or, explore yourself. Pun intended. Now I have a problem with that as a married person and as a person in general.
People who get married early (early 20s) face the severest form of this marriage shaming. Everyone questions their need to settle down for married bliss when they could be gallivanting around town, waking up with random strangers and struggling to pay rent. In these lists that strongly suggest not getting hitched, one of the things they often mention is taking a solo trip. Because once married, the spouse is attached to your hip. And you cannot shake them off. The spouse goes with you everywhere, like a shadow. Apparently.
These lists often mention how, instead of getting hitched, you could be double dating. Because infidelity is a great value and deserving of experience. I loved this idea so much I am going to promote it to everyone. Why have one job when you can experience two? Or one cupcake? Or one mom? Double everything.
The articles also insist you try to live alone. Off your parents’ money. If at 23, you can afford to live alone on your salary, I want to know what you do and how you managed it. At 33, with the money I make, I can barely afford clean underwear.
Of Burps and Farts
But it’s not all bad. These articles do mention how you should experiment with hairstyles and professions. It’s funny about the hairstyle bit because I have been doing that for years. I oscillate between looking like I have a mop on my head to a 7-year-old boy, so I am going to put a ‘check’ on that one.
Now, this might be worrying but lots of people are living their dreams, achieving success and enjoying the limelight despite being married. Yes, shocking, really. Some of them are even travelling solo. The gall, you think.
Let’s stop with this marriage shaming business, shall we? Your commentary on someone else’s commitment is not required. Thank you. Marriage is just two people helping each other out and having each other’s back.
But mostly, it’s listening to your spouse’s burps and farts and gradually getting immune to those.