Published July 23, 2004


This seemed to wake up the man at the grill who jumped up, spun round and wrestled both men to the ground. There he held them until both had agreed to take it easy. All three stood up, the two fighters looked apologetically at each other and they moved on to chew their way through the unrecognisable remains of the burnt chicken.
At this point, the groom-to-be emerged, still wearing nothing but his underwear, and attempted to walk home. The three men dropped the burned chicken and ran after him. They felt he was looking a bit tired, so to raise his spirits they decided to give him some vodka. This put him back to sleep, and the mood of the party seemed to drop noticeably.
The groom taken care of, the chicken was picked up from the ground and the chewing was commenced with. I went into the living room and had a beer. The floor was littered with empty beer cans and remains of food. One look in there, and even I wanted to get married. As it soon appeared the groom-to-be would not be waking up again in the foreseeable future, the guests scattered into small groups and headed downtown. Someone called a taxi and then, just as it arrived, decided to drive downtown anyway. The car sped away, and I wondered if I would ever see them again. I considered calling the cops since their lives, along with anyone who might cross their path, might be in mortal danger. But I decided not to, as they probably wouldn´t be grateful for my concern. Not even the day after.
Everyone´s getting married this summer. Everyone I know´s been putting it off for as long as possible, not wanting to get tied down. Two kids and a mortgage later, they decide to let go of the illusion of freedom and get on with it. I haven´t been to a wedding since my parents got married. I was five at the time, still a single child but that was about to change. Now I find myself drinking with a younger crowd as my old friends drop out of the scene, waiting until they get divorced and drop back into circulation.
Getting married is an expensive business for all concerned. There´s the stag party, where you not only have to shell out to get yourself drunk but the stag as well. Then there´s the wedding itself. Expensive gifts must be bought but this time, at least, the booze is on the groom.
Still, sometimes you wonder whether getting married might make sense from a financial perspective. Sure, you need to shell out for the party but after that you can get laid for free whenever you want. No more taxis, no more 600 krónur beer. No more late night bars or early morning visits to the clinic. No more two-day hangovers. Hangovers get worse with age, I´m finding out. At the point when they become intolerable is the point when you start to think about marriage. But me, I can still take it. For now.
…Next: The ceremony

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