Keiran's going to a big Italian wedding, we talk a little about Italians and commonly heard wedding expressions.
*** Transcript ***
Keiran: So today, I’m really happy to have Melissa back on the podcast. How’s it going Melissa?
Melissa: Good, Keiran. How are you doing?
Keiran: Pretty good, pretty good. I’m a little tired, you know, it’s 10:13 PM, but I’m doing all right. So what’s new with you these days?
Melissa: Not too much. It was a long work day today, so I’m happy to be doing something different.
Keiran: Yeah, right, exactly. It’s good to have a little change of pace.
Melissa: Yeah, exactly.
Keiran: So Melissa, I’m going this weekend to my—it’s not my sister, my cousin’s getting married, and I was wondering, have you gone to any weddings in the recent past? Have you gone to any weddings recently?
Melissa: Yeah. You know, it’s like I’m at the age now where people are starting to get married. It’s almost like the second wave, where people start to get married when they’re in their, I guess, early twenties, and now, the second wave when you’re in sort of early thirties, and so I've had two weddings so far this summer.
Keiran: Oh, wow. Yeah. So these are the planned weddings, the first wave was maybe the
Melissa: The shotgun wedding?
Keiran: Yeah, yeah, the shotgun weddings. What’s a shotgun wedding?
Melissa: A shotgun wedding happens when you have been intimate with somebody, and then you find out you’re pregnant, and the next things that’s left to do is to get married.
Keiran: Yeah. It’s a race for decency, I think.
Melissa: Exactly. Before the baby comes. Hurry up, get it done.
Keiran: Yeah. No one wants to be pregnant on the altar, I guess.
Melissa: Yeah. No, not many people.
Keiran: Okay. So I’m going—this wedding I’m going to, it’s kind of interesting. I mean, my cousin, she’s—we have, I think, a pretty small family. Like, at the wedding, there’s going to be 16 tables, with eight people at each table, and four of the tables are going to be our family, and then, the other 12 tables are going to be Italian people.
Melissa: Yeah, you’re definitely outnumbered.
Keiran: Yeah. And I think the good thing about this is –I’m imagining- the food’s going to be amazing at the wedding.
Melissa: That would be a good guess, yeah.
Keiran: Great. But the thing I’m worried about is, do you remember in high school when we would have like high school dances, or even in our graduation, where all the Italians would gather in a circle and start chanting like, “Italia! Italia!”
Melissa: [Laughs] Well, why did that happen all the time?
Keiran: I don’t know. I don’t know. Italian pride, I guess. I’m just hoping that this doesn’t happen at the wedding.
Melissa: Yeah, you never know.
Keiran: So what’s your funniest or most unusual wedding memory that you can think of?
Melissa: Oh, well, this one is –I think- particularly funny, and it happened maybe—yeah, the last wedding that I went to, and it was in Lloydminster, which is a town that is at the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan, in the middle of the prairies. People in Alberta tend to be more, I would say, traditional when it comes to marriage, and to the culture of marriage, and most people, most couple end up getting married at some point in their life before having children. But the opposite is sort of present in Quebec where you have a lot of couples that are together, that are committed for life, but don’t end up necessarily getting married, and they sometimes have children as well, as part of their committed relationship, but marriage just never ends up happening, or ends up happening after children. And it was a funny conversation to have with Chris’s parents, because it’s inevitable that the conversation of wedding comes and gets applied to your situation, and very casually I say, “You know, people don’t get married in Quebec.” And then have their facial expressions look at me with almost a jaw drop, but not quite, you know, it’s funny. And of course, they appreciate our relationship and I don’t think that it would be a big issue, but it’s definitely something that we’ll need to consider.
Keiran: Right, right. So what’s your opinion on marriages? Are you for marriage, or are you against it? Are you interested in getting married?
Melissa: I think it’s up to people to do what they feel is right, and I think at this point in society, it’s really up to people to make their own rules, and for couples to make their own rules, and it can be really difficult when you have pressures of different families, and different cultures, tradition, religion, but if it was up to me, it’s not that important to me to get married. I’m committed to my relationship, then I know that it’s a forever relationship, and I don’t necessarily need for me to have that consolidated through marriage. But yeah, I like the idea of a big party where everybody gets drunk, that’s super fun. [Laughter]
Keiran: Yeah. That’s definitely fun. Yeah, no, it’s funny though, I married—I mean, I had, I guess it would be what we call half, half of a marriage of convenience, because my wife and I—both our Visas were expiring, so we had to get married to be able to see each other again, and we were in a foreign country. I mean, she has what I would call a shitty passport. Like, Canadian passport, you can go to like a 170 countries with no Visa, but the Mongolian passport, you can go to about 50 countries, and most of those countries, you probably don’t want to go to anyway, and then—but I think I’m adamantly against marriage. I don’t see the benefit anymore to marriage, and in my mind, marriage is kind of like—when you’re in a relationship, both partners can leave at any moment, I think it encourages people to act maybe in a better way, but I think when you get married, there’s kind of a lock on the door, in some way, and a divorce is a very ugly thing. I mean my opinion is I think that the traditional marriage is probably going to deteriorate the relationship.
Melissa: I think so, and what I really appreciate about—
Keiran: Really? I was hoping you’re going to disagree with me.
Melissa: No. No, but what I appreciate from Chris, my boyfriend, is that one of the things he says is that a marriage shouldn’t change your relationship. The nature of your relationship, whether you get married or not, if you’re committed to each other, should effectively stay the same. You shouldn’t behave any differently, but I think that a lot of people do, and I have some friends of mine who have said, “Yes, now that we’re married, then my behavior changes, because now I know I’m committed.” It’s like, “Yeah, but what were you before?”
Keiran: Yeah, yeah. It’s weird.
Melissa: Yeah, exactly. So I don’t really relate to that reason, me personally. But--
Keiran: And I think the foundation of marriage, like how it started, is also very ugly. You know, like in the past, women weren’t—they didn’t have the same privileges as men did. They couldn’t work, they couldn’t make money, and it was essentially a trade. You know, like, “I will give you my daughter for some money, or some cows, and a pig…” and that’s horrible, and I also think that that’s--probably the root of prostitution is marriage. Like if people—prostitutes exist, as long as there’s marriage, I think you’re going to have prostitution.
Melissa: That’s an interesting perspective. I never thought about it, but I do agree that it is part, or in some tradition anyway, the root of marriage was a business transaction, and actually, from different very wealthy families that it made financial sense for them to come together and merge their assets through the bond of marriage. But yeah, now it’s not necessarily applicable anymore, yeah.
Keiran: Right. All right. Well, actually, that’s all the time we have, we’ve got to wrap this up, but let’s go over those three little expressions we said while we were talking about this. You said a shotgun marriage was…?
Melissa: Shotgun marriage. That’s when you have to hurry up and get married because you have a bun in the oven.
Keiran: Yeah, and a bun in the over means what?
Melissa: When you have a baby, when you’ve made a baby that’s growing inside.
Keiran: Right. So if your boyfriend got you pregnant, he could say, “I put a bun in Melissa’s oven.”
Melissa: Yeah. Exactly.
Keiran: Right. Okay, that’s a good and a fun one too. And then, we had a marriage of convenience is when you get married strictly for a passport or some other kind of government-related reasons, right?
Melissa: Yeah. That’s it.
Keiran: And oh my god, we didn’t do the other one we were talking about. The last one was the old ball and chain.
Melissa: Oh yeah, that’s right. That’s not a nice one, and nobody wants to be called a ball, or an old ball and chain.
Keiran: Yeah. And what is the imagery that you come up with when you think about the old ball and chain?
Melissa: Yeah, definitely a prisoner.
Keiran: Right. That big heavy metal ball that they would chain to your ankle, right?
Melissa: Yeah, that’s it.
Keiran: So there is a TV show I showed to my students, and this guy’s talking to his friend about going golfing, and then his friend says they’re going to come golfing on the weekend, and he says, “Well, I’ve got to ask the old ball and chain.” You know, so he says, “I’ve got to ask my wife for permission before we go.”
Melissa: [Laughs] That’s a relationship I wouldn’t want to be in.
Keiran: Yeah. I agree. I definitely agree.