Marrying Abroad: a Selfish Tradition


A guy told me one time, “Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.” Now, if you’re on me and you gotta move when I move, how do you expect to keep a… a marriage?

-Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro) Heat


In an era where everyone you now is connected to you on Facebook, You can’t openly discuss your thoughts on a blog if you’re then going to show your friends. We all have thoughts that we keep to ourselves because we don’t want to offend the people we’re thinking about. Even if you’re not going to link up that particular post to Facebook, they’ll find it eventually. Spend a bit of time on the internet and you’ll realise that.


My Best Female Friend is getting married. I’m very pleased for her, but I’m not going to be at her wedding. This is mainly because she’s getting married in Cuba.


I’m a part-time admin clerk. I’ve only just recently managed to get on benefits. After being broke as shit for most of my life- particularly after moving into my own flat a year and a half ago- I’m now able to do the things that I’ve never been able to do before. And, as my BFF suggests, I could be able to afford to go to Cuba. If I continue to scrimp and save.


But I won’t.


I’m really pleased for my friend and her fiancé. They’re both great people and they’re really well-matched. But I think they’re being incredibly naïve in assuming that everyone is going to shell out for their big day. Yes, it’s more than just a wedding- it’s a holiday, a week-long excursion. But Cuba is not just ’round the corner. We’re talking THOUSANDS.


She’s been saving up for a while, so I’ve hardly seen her. In fact, everyone in our group I met through her, and we do everything as a team generally, so I’ve hardly seen any of them. People are raising kids, going to uni, working nights, and even turning gay in one case. So for the last few months, the group has been falling apart, and BFF’s wedding is the main cause of this.


There’s another reason I don’t see myself going to Cuba. They’re going for the wedding. Yes, it’s a holiday too, but BFF will be too busy getting everything organised for the big day. Meanwhile, what are the rest of us doing? We’d probably find something to do, but it’d be without BFF. We could lounge on the beach, but I could do that in Majorca for a fraction of the cost.


If I had the money to travel, I wouldn’t particularly choose Cuba. I’d want to see a jungle. The Serengeti. A coral reef. A big US city. And, of course, Ibiza.


I made the error of mentioning on Facebook that I wanted to go to the Balearics, as the Ibiza club scene is what I’ve wanted to visit since I was about 13. BFF commented that I should be saving for Cuba. I didn’t respond. A few moments later, she deleted her post. BFF has asked me a few times. Her fiancé never mentions it. It’s obvious that he understands peoples’ priorities a lot more than she does.


One of the things that I’ve never mentioned to BFF: Marriage is a tradition that, like the rest of the world, is well-practiced. A lot of people do it. However, It’s going out of fashion. It peaked in 1994


There’s been a minor spate of seemingly successful marriages, as The Office of National Statistics show on page 2. But the graph as a whole isn’t that optimistic.


I don’t want to tell BBF that the institution of marriage clearly isn’t working. I don’t believe in it as a tradition, and I don’t understand what real benefit it has other than financial.


I’m happy for her in a sense, but I wish she would realise that I feel like she’s dividing her friendships into two categories, regardless of personal circumstances- those who are willing to save and shell out for her wedding, and those who are not. Or cannot. I can’t and won’t fund a holiday in Cuba for an institution I have no belief in, regardless of my friendship to the bride-to-be.

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