I recently came across an article titled “Marriage is made in Hell” by Laura Kipnis, a Media Studies professor at the NorthWestern University. She presents marriage as an outdated and in some respect constrictive institution. I hate to think that I am as cynical as Kipnis, but I found myself agreeing with her observations. I came to the conclusion that marriage must experience a major overhaul to remain relevant in our ever changing society. A report by the Globe and Mail showed that in 2008, more than 40% of marriages ended in divorce, a 2% increase from the previous year. Marriage has its advantages, some of which are highlighted by Kipnis, but it has also proven to be a prison of broken dreams and desires for many people.
Kipnis suggest that a successful marriage requires the denial of personal desires and goals for the union. She identifies some of the sacrifices that marriage demands, and I know many women and men who have endured discomfort to honour their wedding vows. My parents are an example, as they struggled for many years to keep their union together. Being leaders in the church, they felt they had a duty to set an example and fight for their marriage. Their stubborn attempt to stay together made home a living hell, and my sisters and I had to endure many fights between our parents. When they finally separated, we experienced a side of our parents we never saw before; they morphed into real people who loved every day of their new lives. Dad bought a red car, a colour my mother hated and mom travelled to Haiti, a destination my father forbade. It was clear that being single allowed them to fulfill desires they were denied when married. I would go even further and say that the separation had released them from a match made in a personal hell.
The comedian Chris Rock jokes that the wedding reception is a set up, as couples will never again experience “the high” felt at this ceremony; it is all downhill after this point. However the ceremony is not alone in creating a false sense of reality. Women who grew up with images of Disney princesses riding happily ever after into the sunset with Prince Charming, are given a rude awakening when the glass slipper does not fit. Men who are caught up in the world of sitcoms, where every problem is solved within 20 minutes, will also find reality to be bitter. The very idea of being husband and wife harbours unrealistic expectations. There are many instances of couples who have lived together for many years separating soon after they get married. This is an indictment on marriage, as the couple proved that they had the ability to stay together outside of wedlock, but having made it “official”, heightened expectations and ruined the union. These couples can be accused of bringing damnation upon themselves by getting married.
With marriage rates on a steady decline and divorce rising, it is safe to say that many people have opted out of this institution. Its benefits are easily duplicated, making marriage redundant. The society is changing along with our values, and marriage still holds true to its core which fits perfectly in the Victorian era. The celebration of individualism, education, capitalism and “singledom” has allowed people to aspire for more than the title afforded to them in wedlock. Is it hell? I wouldn’t go as far as saying that, but I know that unless you are masochistic, discomfort and sacrifice are not appealing…and it R the truth.
I’ve never lost a close friend, until today. Whitney is dead.
She died and it felt like a friend I grew up with was taken away from me and tears leaped from my eyes.
U don’t have to know me on an intimate level to know I love Whitney; pre and post Bobby. Give me Whitney, she can do no wrong no matter how wrong she seems. She for me is music.
The genesis of this love-sick fascination with Whitney was her vocals. The raw grit that exist in her tone. The ability to hit notes that some people only dream about and can only perfect while taking a shower. Most importantly, the fact that she can do it live trumps everything and makes her the greatest in my eyes.
I became conscious of Whitney around age 6, the video for “Greatest Love of All” was the trigger and man was I shot. Not only was she gorgeous, but she had the type of voice that made your hair stand on end when she hit that “love of aaaallllll” note. My mother had similar earrings to those she wore in the final scene, u know the big ass ones with diamonds all over it? Yes, I must confess I would often pin these earrings to my ears and pretend to be Whitney with a towel wrapped around my head and hair brush in hand. This is the hold she HAS on me. I would act as both adult Whitney and child Whitney as they walked unto the Apollo stage to merge into one in that classic video.
Whitney continued to blossom as a mega star and my love and devotion grew deeper. I use to look forward to award shows to see if Whitney would perform. If u think she is good on record, u have not heard her live. This woman sang with her entire being, from the glue of her wig to the sole of her feet she delivered while looking impeccable. Oh for the Bodyguard years when her voice had fully matured and was at its peak. How many singers u know can stand before a microphone, orchestra in the background, spotlight on them and they rip the concert hall to shreds? This art died in the early 90’s and we may never see it again in our lifetime. I‘ve seen every movie, every tv show, watched thousands of interviews on youtube which Whitney did and say this without reservation that she is my friend, she is a major part of my life.
I really did love this woman, saw past her imperfections and accepted her with all her flaws because they made her beautiful. I carried this love for Whitney and am never afraid to defend her. I read once that God repairs the broken wings of angels, well, he had to call in Whitney for a tuning of her voice. No matter what she did, how she died, NOTHING can erase the impact she had on music and that r the truth.