Vows in a Time of Quarantine

I’ve never been too invested in TV weddings. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good story arch that culminates with characters’ “happily ever after.” But the wedding hullabaloo itself? Meh, not so much. I find myself overly critical of the wedding — only to remind myself that it’s not mine. But my real sticking point for not investing? The vows.

I’ve been married for five years, and while the event itself feels like it happened eons ago, the planning process memories feel more within reach. I was hell-bent on writing our own vows. I never let myself buy into formulaic vows that I watched be exchanged on the big screen. Weddings in TV and film tend to have vows that are either super sappy, quote-heavy pseudo-personalized prose or matrimonial lorem ipsum a la “until death do us part.”

Our rabbi was a seasoned pro for which my control issues were no match. He cautioned us to create a set of questions vs. something more drawn out. I now recognize — and appreciate — that he was trying to steer us clear of a simcha turned shonde — ie: a ceremony that lasts longer than 20 minutes.

Our vows were simple.

  1. Do you promise to be a loving friend and partner in marriage?
  2. Do you promise to treat Adam/Alexandra with kindness, respect and appreciation?
  3. Do you promise to make laughter an integral part of your family?
  4. Do you promise to listen and learn from Adam/Alexandra, support him/her, and accept his/her support?
  5. Do you promise to bear together whatever trouble and sorrow life may lay upon you both, and share together whatever good and joyful things life may bring you?

Noticeably absent? Quarantine. I can’t count on two hands how many friends and relatives have had to postpone or radically adjust their wedding plans to course-correct for Coronavirus. And it had me wondering, after quarantining with your loved one before you’re legally bound to them, is it worth considering some sort of force majeure clause, or is that antithetical to romance?

 

 

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