It wasn’t really fair, to put Matthias Schoenaerts forward as the silent, swooning, tortured farmer in Thomas Vinterberg’s lates film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel by the same name, Far from the madding crowd (much recommend!). To stamp such a face upon marriage as an institution would make anyone eager to marry. Well, as long as he looks exactly like the Flemish blue-eyed gem. I’m getting carried away. But really, it did catch me off guard. I went to see the movie yesterday with my boyfriend, and I couldn’t help but being dissapointed with him afterwards. Where Carey Mulligan seemed to have three marriage proposals over the time span of 5 years, I’ve had none whatsoever. “It’s just the era, baby”, he says. I suppose he’s right, but still, I feel myself falling into the hopeless abyss of feminine stupidity, I am a romantic at heart, take it or leave it, and MY GOD MATTHIAS why are you so beautiful!! I feel like a teenager all over again. I’m getting carried away. My goal here was a speech about how marriage is a bad institution and limits us all and really should only be done for practical reasons and whatnot. So I’ll do my best.
About a month ago, I attended a wedding of someone I did not know, a friend of my boyfriend’s who he grew up with. It was rather lovely really. Situated in the North of Amsterdam, by a little church amidst green fields and 20-degree weather. Matthias Schoenaerts. What? Oh yes, well the priest was god-awful. He kept going on about the foundation of the church, and kept telling the audience to clap at unreasonable moments: “Well this deserves a clap doesn’t it!” (Regarding the bride and groom running together). He was doing the best with what he had, but I think someone of his position should have done his homework better. It was rather maddening. Of course, despite the hideous puff of a dress and the rather uncomfortable ceremony, I cried muffled tears and pinched my man a little too hard. We received a glass of champagne by the gazebo out back, which I all too gladly chucked into my mouth in one go, in order to be a little more chatty. All these people I didn’t know. Did they even know each other? Did the happily married couple know what marriage entails? Or where they’d be five years from now? Working to keep up the mortgage and sending their children to school. Every-goddamn-day. Barbeque afterwards. Open bar. Let’s eat!
I talked as much as possible. “Yes, her dress was lovely wasn’t it!” and “Well I wouldn’t know, what do you think darling, is it in the stars for us?” and Matthias Schoenaerts. What? Oh yes, so they had vegetarian hamburgers! That was very un-heteronormative of them. Kudos for that. Reception in the town meeting center. Dutch folk music, Flugel shots, the “polonaise”. The poor bride was so drunk, we pictured her in a little white heap in the corner two hours from then, drowning away her sorrows. I didn’t know these people. I didn’t know this was how one is supposed to celebrate love. Is it? We left at 10.30 PM.
In France, many people sign a PAC. A fairly recent introduction, a contract between two individual, adult people, of different or same sex, with the aim of organising their life together. There we go. Simple. Practical. Have a party at your home, invite only the people you know; the people you love; the people you want witnessing the love you share with your partner. Matthias Schoenaerts. What? Oh yes, just the people you know. Far from the maddening crowd.