Americans have made a mess of marriage. Divorce rates show that clearly enough. But the problem is not simply our propensity to divorce. The problem lies in the fact that we have become a bunch of shallow twits.
When did buying a diamond, beautiful as they are, constitute love? It boggles the mind that when entering a new life together, we would pay $5400, on average, for a ring. With the average American bringing in near $28000 per year, that amount of money is utterly insane. I haven’t, and won’t, even delved into the mind-melting cost of the average American wedding (around $28000 for the curious).
Don’t you think that money would be better spent towards a home? Or perhaps to pay off the huge amount of student loan debt that most people incur around the time they get engaged? Anything else seems to make more sense.
Might I add that is to say nothing of what that money could mean to the needy? I personally can not justify spending that kind of money on a ring when people sleep under bridges not far from here. Apparently that makes me crazy.
Then again, that is all just logic outside the realm of love and marriage itself. Really, the greater problem is that the exorbitant rings are representative of what the marriage itself has become. Marriage has become two self-centered individuals selfishly trying to get the most for themselves from each other within a relationship together.
Marriage should have nothing to do with a ring. A ring is merely a physical representation of commitment, but if that be necessary for commitment, then no love exists. Love does not, and should not, need such a symbol. Our hearts bear the weight the ring embodies.
There is a scene from the most recent Count of Monte Cristo movie (one I am loath to mention I must add though) at the beginning where Edmond Dantes proposes to Mercedes. Being poor, he ties a string around her ring finger. This so wonderfully illustrates what love ought to focus on.
Marriage is about love. It isn’t about financial stability. It isn’t about appearances. It isn’t about throwing a better wedding than your friend. It is about committing to spend the rest of your life with your beloved. About falling in love with the same person every day, evermore.