On Marriage Redux
The blogs by Sir Isaac and Rim on relationships led me to recall my entry over a year ago on marriage. I said then:
Marriage as a life-long contract is an Utopian concept. Under any other circumstance, if you ask two people to make some kind of open-ended promise to each other, and to keep this commitment for thirty, forty or more years irrespective of changes in personal interests, individual priorities, emotional states, career demands, financial status, household situations, health conditions, family obligations, outside relationships, and external distractions, they would probably say, “Are you kidding?” But that is precisely what an “ideal” marriage demands.
After some time, most marriages are basically held together by family, social or financial constraints. Those occasional couples who remain truly happy together are very fortunate indeed.
We Lead the World
... in locking up people.
Here are the top 10 countries in the number of prisoners per 100,000 people:
- United States, 751
- Russia, 627
- Virgin Islands, 549
- Cuba, 531
- Turkmenistan, 489
- The Bahamas, 462
- Belize, 460
- Georgia, 428
- Belarus, 426
- Kazakhstan, 378
It is obvious that we are in "good" company.
In contrast, these are the figures for the other leading economic powers:
- England, 151
- China, 119
- Canada, 108
- France, 91
- Germany, 88
- Japan, 63
There is something wrong with this picture.
The wedding reception that I attended yesterday was a blatant display of over-indulgence.
The pre-dinner reception featured a large variety of h'orderves, some available at two large buffet stations and others being circulated by an army of servers. The open bar lasted for over 4 hours until the end of the dinner.
The dinner itself was a 5-course formal affair, consisting of all of the following, plus non-stop wine and champaign being poured:
- Seared Atlantic scallop wrapped in smoked salmon, marinated calamari and cannelloni beans, and grilled vegetables
- Herb veal agnolotti, smoked tomato rose sause
- Beef tenderloin, sage balsamic pan jus, dauphinoise potato, artichoke, green and white asparagus, baby carrots
- Grilled shrimp, lobster and scallop, citrus thyme taggiasca olive risotto
- Bittersweet chocolate mousse dacquoise, vanilla bean ice cream, and Bailey's chocolate milkshake shooter
- Coffee and tea
After dinner, there was the wedding cake and, in an adjacent room, a large spread of additional desserts and an expresso-cappuccino-latte station.
The hosts are middle class, but not wealthy. But even if money were no object, no human being can, or should, consume such quantity of food and drinks. A wedding is an important occasion (the 50% failure rate of marriages notwithstanding), but is it necessary to go to such excess?
I'm still running around after coming back from vacation. Today, we have to go to Toronto to attend a wedding reception. The groom is the son of a high-school friend. It's a black-tie affair. We'll stay overnight at the hotel where the reception is held - a venerable former Canadian Pacific (now Fairmount) property.
I have not been to a formal event for a long time. I just tried on my 20-year-old tuxedo. It still fits - barely. The lapel is unfashionably narrow, but I don't care. The waist is kind of tight. I will have to be careful not to eat too much!
After another short business trip in mid-July, I am really looking forward to spending some quiet time at home this summer.