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Letter to America: Love and Marriage... On:2023-01-24 05:37:53

My Dear Americans,
    [Sings] "Love and Marriage. Love and Marriage...
...go together like malign and disparage" Oh! I don't think I got the words of that song quite right, but I do think I got the timing just right.

Yes, this is the time of syrupy cards and syrupy verses and syrupy sentiments: as Chaucer put it
For this was on Seynt Valentynes day,
Whan every foul cometh ther to chese his make¹
Though Valentine's day was strictly for the birds and that sounds decidedly un-syrupy.
Yes the birdies were choosing their mates long before we got round to it, but we eventually caught up with them, hence the seasonal syrup.
Did you know that Georgia and I met a bit before Valentine's day and we married shortly after it—not the same year of course, in fact there were several years in between, but it does still mean that this is the time for us to commemorate such events, as well as the mediæval birds and the creators of syrupy cards.
Now it seems to me that G always forgets the anniversary of our first meeting, and I admit that this is possibly because of my annual joke that on that day she goes and shoots out Diana's porch light, Diana being the person responsible for that first meeting. On the other hand she does usually remember the wedding anniversary, in spite of me also making an annular joke: the one about the court of the judge who spliced us having a big stop sign with the slogan "think before you speak. there are no good excuses" and us ignoring it and going through with the ceremony anyway, so I've always been a bit suspicious of her mnemonic inconsistency.
This led us, the other day, to have a serious discussion as to which was the more important date to anniversary-ize, the meeting or the marrying. I was for the former, she for the latter. And once I got out of hospital—no, I exaggerate, well just a bit, mean there were no broken bones and not too many contusions or gashes, and most of those were to my self-esteem.
So, not daring to revisit the debate and risk ending up with third anniversary to add to the mix (that of our divorce, or more likely my murder) I thought I'd broach the subject here on the air and with a good deal of water between me and any possible counter arguments.
So here goes...
Admittedly, I’ve met a lot of people, so meeting qua meeting, which we may call 'the Meeting Simplex', is not of itself necessarily of memorial value.
Indeed these meetings have included a number of women and girls, some of whom I have even dated, this being 'the Meeting Duplex'.
Almost all of the above persons I've met, I haven’t married for various reasons.
But, but, and here we come the crux, the crucial datum, the fact that turns all that has gone before on to its head: I have never married any person I haven’t met!
That final meeting category we shall call 'the Meeting Complex'.
Thus the Meeting Complex absolutely MUST be the sine qua non, the determining step, the reason for us to be celebrating anything at all, especially celebrating it together.
If we hadn't met that first time, we in all likelihood would not have met a second time, nor indeed a third... and so forth down to the one in front of the judge.

This seems irrefutable evidence for the primacy of that prime meeting, and the fact that I finally made an honest woman of her (or rather and probably more accurately that she made an honest man out of me) seems merely formalistic and legalistic and other things ending in '-istic'.
Surely you agree with me...
And so, to sort of end as we sort of began: [Sings] "Love and Marriage. Love and Marriage. go together like a sale and garage."...
Kindest regards,
Richard Howland-Bolton
and, of course,
Cheerio for now
from me!





Notes:

1 "Parlement of Foules": ll, 301, 310




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