Adele Elliott: Marriage bans

September 12, 2010 12:53:00 AM

Adele Elliott - [email protected]


I love weddings -- and almost anything about them. Television shows about bridal gowns or elaborate cakes, or most especially about brides behaving badly, mesmerize me. I never tire of the angst of brides deciding between the $10,000 designer dress or the nicer one for $20,000. 


Sometimes I want to scream at the TV, "My gawd, girl, your centerpieces alone cost more that my first house!" But, most of the time I really want to reach into the screen and grab the groom. If only I could reach him, I would say, "Don''t marry that lunatic. You still have time to back out." It''s apparent they cannot hear me, because they always do say, "I do." 


This week, my home page featured a story about weird wedding laws. Of course, that got my attention. One in particular grabbed me, because it was set in Truro, Miss. According to MSN, in Truro, a groom must prove himself "manly" by killing six blackbirds, or three crows. 


This opened the door to so many questions left unanswered by MSN. Why is killing birds considered "manly?" What happens if he fails this test? Will the bride refuse him? Can he try again, with a different girl, or a different gun? What, exactly, is the difference between a blackbird and a crow? 


I decided to do more research. What I found is that there does not seem to be a Truro in Mississippi. There is a Truro, Mass., and a Truro, Nova Scotia. I even checked a list of "extinct" towns in this state. No luck. 


So, now I know that even "prestigious" organizations can print stories that are only loosely based on fact. I have decided to suggest a few wedding laws of my own. 


1. In Hollywood, it should be illegal to marry if you have had more than three facelifts. Imagine the wedding night, when all the makeup is washed away. The less-lifted spouse may die of fright. 


2. Thirty should be the minimum age to get married. Most marriages end in the first few years, anyway. By the time we are over 30, many people realize it''s easier to make it work than to try another partner. 


3. Sometimes, vacations should be taken separately. Married people often run out of things to say to each other. Think about the sparkling conversations if one goes to Paris and one to Milan. OK, what if one goes fishing and one goes shopping and to chick flicks? This idea works any way you split it. 


4. Although we vow to share all our worldly goods, a few things should be kept separate. For some couples, it may be separate bathrooms, or separate beds. Strong marriages can be built with separate houses. For Chris and me, it is "his and her" computers. Start with toothbrushes and see what else works. 


5. Gay marriage is fine. Marrying out of species is more problematic. That only leads to "My Monkey Baby" or "I Married a Doll" (yes, they mean that literally). 


I doubt if any starry-eyed lovers will embrace my suggestions. They are intended for those older and a bit more jaded. But, please remember, most people get worse after the three-tiered cake is eaten. A princess dress does not a lady make. The realization that we cannot wear that rhinestone tiara every day is an ugly truth to grasp. And, a "bridezilla''s" breathe is even more fiery when there are no more "maids" to dominate. 


Every marriage should make its own laws, even if they are too quirky for everyone else.

Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.