In case you were feeling too good about life, or had decided to suspend your cynicism and enjoy the romance and open bars of wedding season, a blitz of today's articles will kill that buzz faster than Spencer's fleshbeard.
First, of course, there's the wedding! Romance, wedding magazines, dress-shopping - why, look! The Wall Street Journal has a June-ready story on it! Oh. "Pre-Altared: More Used Wedding Gowns Go Back on Market." Apparently "the combined forces of the Web and the recession" are compelling a lot of women to sell their old dresses online. Obviously an expedient choice for the unsentimental or the space or cash-strapped, the success of the frankly-named PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com shows that in the new era of Modern Love, you can get your old/new/borrowed (and probably, blue) with minimal muss and fuss. And any sacrifice in sentiment is more than matched by the all-American pragmatism of the exchange.
Ms. Bulow found a dress online, tried on the $1,200 style at a bridal shop, then bought the dress for $450 from a young woman in Alabama whose wedding had been called off. "It's the way the free-market system should work," Ms. Bulow says. "She had something I wanted."
But not everyone's pinching pennies! Some people seem to still be splashing out on Fairy-Tale weddings that are all about love and romance! Oh, wait. "Forget saucepans, the modern bride is sparking controversy by demanding flashy gadgets and plasma TVs," says the Independent's "Wedding lists - self-indulgent or sensible?" It seems insolent newlyweds have no qualms about letting their loved ones upgrade them to the latest Gizmodo has to offer. Forget necessities; in the age of cohabitation and grown-up marriage, people have already got those. But you can get them nicer ones! "It seems the norm today for newlyweds to saunter from the altar into a home fully furnished with mod cons and designer furniture - all charitably paid for by their guests."
But now that you're married - either pragmatically or acquisitively - wedded bliss! Oh, wait. Here's the NY Times on "When Sex Leaves the Marriage."
It's estimated that about 15 percent of married couples have not had sex with their spouse in the last six months to one year, according to Denise A. Donnelly, associate professor of sociology at Georgia State University, who has studied sexless marriage.
Okay, that's worst-case scenario - Donnelly says that on average, couples make whooppee about 58 times per annum - but once the sex is gone? It's all downhill. Reanimating a stagnant sex life is "very hard" due to the many issues of communication, confidence, hurt and trust involved and, while it can be resuscitated, "people in sexless marriages were more likely to have considered divorce than those in sexually active marriages."
Well, those people are in luck, because as the Times of London story "With this website I thee divorce" tells us, online divorce sites are proliferating! Offering legal advice and resources, discussion forums, expert guidance and support, these sites may be teh wave of the future, cutting through some of the messiness of the inevitably painful process.
While online chats about divorce and marriage troubles are multiplying on sites such as mumsnet and iVillage, (as well as ) specialist sites ... appear to be proof that divorcing couples are increasingly seeking friendship and advice anonymously and online through chat rooms and the blogosphere.
And we know from web support in these parts! Or, as one site-user says, "The doctor has given me support but the web community has given me great emotional support, too. You either laugh or cry - but just to talk to someone who has also been married to an alcoholic and gone in search of bottles in the toilet is a big relief."
We'll be in the corner, weeping into our pile of invitations. And, no joke, "Pachelbel Canon" is actually playing on my LastFM "Antonio Vivaldi" radio. Also: who knew that "weeping bride" was a popular position in certain girl-on-girl porn genres? I wish I didn't!
Pre-Altared: More Used Wedding Gowns Go Back On Market [Wall Street Journal]
Wedding Lists - Self-Indulgent Or Sensible?[Independent]
When Sex Leaves The Marriage [NY Times]
With This Website I Thee Divorce [TimesUK]