There comes a time in a man’s life when he has to hold a steady job, settle down with a nice girl, buy a house and do other things that will finally make his mother back the hell off.
And so I am getting married next week.
Before anyone starts jumping off buildings, I want to reassure my female fans and strong gay following that one in three marriages ends in divorce. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics there is every chance I will be single again in 14 years’ time — and given my blessed genetic heritage I think it’s fair to say that I’ll still be looking pretty good.
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It sounds like a trick. The latest research from Australian Unity’s Wellbeing Index claims the first year of marriage is the absolute worst, but stick it out for the next 40 and you’ll be the happiest person in the world.
Got to say the story made me laugh a bit - December marks my 18th month of marriage. And while I have to say the ups and downs have been equal for us, they’ve definitely felt different than before we got married.
Talking about these experiences has been different too. Normally a bit of an open book when it comes to matters of the heart, I’ve definitely felt a reluctance to share - even with the closest friends - for fear of letting the new team down. (National opinion websites aside, of course.)
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I’m getting married in two weeks. Which is to say, I’m a stressed-out Bridezilla with serious cash-flow problems.
A dear friend tried to warn me I couldn’t escape without paying around $40,000 for a wedding. I refused to believe her. “I’m an economist,” I insisted. “I’m not going to spend the equivalent of a 10 per cent deposit on a first home on just one day!”
Well, mea culpa. Our big day is shaping up to set us back about $37,500. Yes, it’s ridiculous. But no, I’m not alone.
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Viral sensation Psy says dress classy dance cheesy. But what about those who just can’t dance?
Having a social life can be pretty awkward for people born without a dancing gene. Specifically at weddings, (especially your own), parties celebrating milestone birthdays and any kind of drinking social event from your late teens right through until your mid thirties. Or longer depending on how much of a life you have.
You will know the person without the dancing gene because they are the ones clinging to the edges of the party. When the music starts, they suddenly disappear to the bathroom, or to have a cigarette or to catch up with “so and so” who they haven’t seen for ages.
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Well, the obesity epidemic has struck again, ruining a small pier and soaking a wedding party.
And in other news, our lives have turned into an episode of America’s/Australia’s Funniest Home Videos. Discuss.
It’s Thursday at The Punch. Actually it’s probably Thursday where you are too. ‘Scuse the pun, but what’s got you en-thursed today?
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Welcome to the ninth edition of Dr Tinman’s Ignorant Remedies for the Aching Soul. I am Dr Tinman, life-doctor and former submarine captain with a terrible secret. And now, without any delay - except, of course, the time it takes for these words to penetrate your eyeballs and enrich your feeble brain - we move onto this week’s question!
Dear Dr Tinman, I have a friend’s wedding coming up and she hasn’t set up one of those registry things. I have no idea what to get her! What should I do?
Dearest Gifted, How delightful that your friend has such trust in her friends! Unfortunately, that trust appears sorely misplaced.
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You’ve got to hand it to Michael Clarke. His reinvention is complete. He is now Michael Clarke 4.0. He wins, the haters lose.
Let’s go back to 2004. The first version of Michael Clarke is the young, likeable kid with blond tips and ugly reflective sunnies who makes a Test century for Australia on debut in India, then later snares 6-9 in the same series. Six for Nine! Not even Warney ever boasted figures like that.
And if you think the young Pup can do mean things with a cricket ball, you should see him bowl the ladies over. They love him! Australia loves him! Everybody loves him! And then they hate him.
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Welcome to our regular Friday moral dilemma. This week: How much power do brides have over their bridesmaids? Is it OK to boot someone out of the wedding party because they rudely got preggo?
We all know the Bridezilla stereotype… and that it exists because there really are women who turn into heavy-breathing tantrum-throwing monsters in the lead up to the happiest day of their lives.
Brides obviously deserve some sort of say. The good Christian bride might say ‘no’ to her sister’s Antichrist-themed ra-ra skirt, for example. There may be a colour theme, or the bride could be afraid of the colour purple. These things happen.
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Around this time last year my soon-to-be wife and I were finalising the preparations for our wedding. There are many questions that will be endlessly asked of newly-wed (or soon-to-be-wed) couples: How did you meet? How long have you known each other? Do the parents approve? But for me the worst question was “What do you want as a wedding present?” - and for two reasons.
Firstly, my wife and I had managed to inherit or buy most of the crockery, cutlery, cookware and linen that we needed to run our house in the early days of living together and by the time our wedding was drawing close we couldn’t think of anything else that we really needed.
The only suggestion I could make was for a new can-opener (ours had broken a few days after the wedding invites had gone out) and it was quite a challenge to convince people I was being serious.
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Who in their right mind would want to be a Princess? In the last week, the royal bride lark has well and truly lost its fairytale sparkle.
Charlene Wittstock’s real-life Princess story came close to coming off the rails when, in the days leading up to her and Prince Albert of Monaco’s $75 million three-day wedding, she reportedly tried to do a runner.
At the eleventh hour, the bride was caught at the airport in Nice, trying to flee to her native South Africa, on a one-way ticket in order to escape her royal fate.
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There are some very odd bedfellows in the anti-gay-marriage camp. Like, for example, conservative Christians and gay libertarians. The former think that gays will wreck marriage, the latter that marriage will wreck gays.
The first argument goes like this: marriage was made by God to unite men and women. Gay marriage will debase that institution, stripping it of its sacred meaning.
The same argument, couched in more secular terms, is offered just as often by people who say they are against discrimination, except when it comes to marriage because… and then insert whatever spurious, depressingly legalistic, horribly thin argument you choose…
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Yesterday, a private email from British woman Carolyn Bourne to her prospective daughter-in-law went viral. The father of the bride-to-be has since replied, mouthing off big time at Carolyn Bourne. The aggrieved bride-to-be has not yet made a statement or sent a reply email. But if she did, we imagine it might go a little like this…
My Dear Lady Snootybuttocks III. Oh wait, you’re actually a commoner like me, innit ya stuck up bitch? Let me start again. “Dear Carolyn”. Actually, “Dear Mum” Yes, that will do nicely. Because make no mistake, I am marrying that hot stepson of yours.
Here’s the thing, Mum. You think I’m trashy, like one of those “brash” celebrities whose lives you breathlessly consume through all those trashy mags in the conservatory. That’s right, I’ve seen the pile of OK magazines hidden underneath the Horse & Hounds.
So perhaps you’d be good enough to tell me why celebrities, whose lives are full of glitz and glamour, can get married in castles, but the rest of us can’t dare to dream? It wouldn’t be because you dreamed and failed, would it? Or is it simply because your knickers are tighter than a Scotsman’s fist?
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Labels are the problem. Male or female, black or white, comedy or drama, PG-13 or R? In which section of the DVD store will this film end up? How do we market it? To whom should the product placement and the trailers before the film be skewed?
It is for these reasons that a gem like Bridesmaids receives qualified approval like “the funniest R-rated female driven comedy of all time”. There’s a glaring missed opportunity, given the ethnicity of one of the film’s leads – surely an enterprising reviewer will dub it “the funniest mixed-race buddy film R-rated female-driven romantic comedy of all time”. Perhaps with an exclamation mark or two for good measure.
Bridesmaids stars Kristen Wiig, who co-wrote the film with Annie Mumolo, and a host of other Saturday Night Live alumni. At the time of writing, it has made almost US$125 million in the US alone and is one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year.
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Some of you have wondered where Lucy is, and why we’re doing the open thread as a team this week. Does the image below give you any hints?
That’s right. Lucy gets married this weekend. She was away this week and will be away for two weeks more, on her honeymoon in a top secret location.
So feel free to use today’s open thread to share all your best wishes for Luce. She’d hate that we’re doing this by the way, but we can’t resist!
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Well may we say a wedding saved the monarchy, but would another one save the Prime Minister?
The recent post-Budget polls are dismal. A weekend Newspoll found Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s standing is worse than Kevin Rudd’s was before he got axed, and a Galaxy Poll suggests that it doesn’t matter what Labor does, people still hate them.
So is there anything that could turn this inexorable tide around? Australians have shown they have a soft and gooey spot for a ‘fairytale’ wedding, turning off a republic and back on to the monarchy with the marriage of Wills and Kate. And then First Bloke Tim Mathieson has hinted that he’d quite like to pop the question. What do you think? Could a garter belt be a lifesaver for Ms Gillard?
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Love makes a marriage, even a Royal one. This is the simple and powerful message of the upcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, one that’s relevant to Australia’s same-sex marriage debate.
Once royal weddings were about dynastic alliances. That began to change in the twentieth century, but still there were limits on who a royal married, famously illustrated by the abdication of Edward VIII to marry a divorcee.
As recently as the marriage of William’s father, Charles, to Lady Di, it was inconceivable that an heir to the throne would marry outside the aristocracy or have a relationship with his fiancé prior to the wedding.
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Many years ago, when I was living in London, the fabulous Nigella Lawson and her then-husband John Diamond held a party to celebrate their 10 years as a couple. It was also a goodbye of sorts, because John had terminal throat cancer, which left him unable to speak and – most cruelly – unable to eat his wife’s delicious food.
Yet even without his voice, John was a gifted communicator and, that night – friends later told me – he used a pen and overhead projector to convey his feelings for his wife. “How proud I am of you and what you have become,” he scribbled, in front of family and friends. “The great thing about us is that we’ve made us who we are.”
For me, a girl in her late 20s, bruised by a failed marriage and calloused by career over-commitment, those words evoked a great longing: One day, I would have an enduring relationship to rejoice in.
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People are doing it under the Golden Arches, underwater, in the nude and in Nazi uniforms.
They get hitched in all manner of ways and the water-cooler conversations this week have been dominated by nuptials of all sorts.
There’s the couple renewing their vows at McDonalds. Would you like a Happily Ever After meal with that?
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One of my best friends is getting married. This is a joyous occasion but one that has caused much stress and fear, mostly from me because along with the other bridesmaids, I’ve been given the task of organising the hen’s party.
We know what we don’t want, and that’s some aging male stripper with an orange tan waving his willy in our faces.
We’ve also ruled out phallic drinking straws, drunken cruise parties and any games where vegetables masquerade as genitals, but we’ve also been warned by other hens not to go overboard on the penis-policing, at the risk of the turning the whole thing into a big nana’s tea party.
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I’ve just accepted my first ever invitation to be a bridesmaid for some very good friends.
Being a fairly low-key and relaxed kind of couple I’m not concerned about any freak outs or “Bridezilla” moments. Nor, knowing my friend’s simple and elegant tastes do I expect to find myself locked into a series of Saturday morning shopping trips to look at ghastly creations made from taffeta.
But I am wondering - in light of all the things I know my friend doesn’t want at her wedding – what exactly does a bridesmaid to the off-beat bride do? And what types of behaviours should be avoided at all costs?
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I’ve been labouring under the false assumption that it’s the fundamentalists, the right wing conservatives standing in the way of gay marriage. Not so. Or not completely.
I now know that there’s a vast spread of middle-of-the-road Australians scared shitless by anything even slightly unconventional when it comes to weddings. They’re everywhere, they’re clinging to tradition with every fibre of their morally indignant being, and they cross into every population group.
There’s enough of them out there who get their full-sized briefs in a knot over non-church weddings to make it clear they’ll never tolerate same-sex unions.
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