01 March 2008

Love And Marriage

When I was in grammar school, there was a taunt that was used whenever a guy was caught talking to a girl: "First comes love, than comes marriage, then comes Robert with a baby carriage."

In my day, we understood the proper sequence. Anything other than that would result in an illegitimate child, that is, a bastard, or one born "out of wedlock”, which brought shame to the family. Usually, the parents would try to find a place out of town where the child could be born, to be adopted out, thereby avoiding the stigma of a bastard child in the family. Or an abortion could be arranged, again out of town. The girl would attempt to resume a normal life, despite the fact that practically everyone knew of her “predicament”, especially her classmates; after all, guys did like to brag about their conquests.

Somewhere down the line, things got turned around and now it appears that it's just fine and dandy if baby comes before either love or marriage. Of course, problems come right along with that change. In a one-parent house, the child suffers from the lack of two-parent guidance; one of the parents becomes a part-timer, regardless of the good intention to "be there" for her/him. As the child grows up and faces schoolmates, the inevitable questions arise about parents: “Where is your father/mother?”; “Why don’t you have a father/mother?”; “Why doesn’t your father/mother live with you?”; etc. Children can be cruel.

No comments: