Friday, March 23, 2012, 16:56 by
The bride wore a long, peacock blue dress and carried a bouquet of white roses. Her matron of honour was her best friend. The groom was nowhere to be seen; perhaps a better was of putting it is “inexistent”.
And yet, Nadine Schweigert insists that her wedding ceremony, at Ecce Gallery in Fargo, North Dakota, was beyond awesome. As she describes herself (now), she’s “…just a unique, awesome person who doesn’t fit anyone’s mould or ideal, and I hope you’re OK with that, and if you’re not, that’s OK, too.”
A few weeks ago the press reported Babylonia Aivaz’s “union” (she called it a wedding) with a building, specifically the 10th and Union warehouse in Seattle. Aivaz’s friends sang of love and against displacement – the building is being torn down to be replaced by residential units.
Unfortunately, although the building indicated “I do”, and Aivaz
Promised to “love and cherish and protect this warehouse”, the demolition proceeded anyway… and the woman lost her fight against ‘gentrification’.
The wedding reception included a potluck picnic, and vegan cake. There were no confetti – these were replaced by soap bubbles blown by the children present.
In the case of Schweigert, however, the cake was covered in icing to match her gown. Let’s look on the bride (!) side of things; she had no arguments with her partner about whether the bills for the do were escalating too much, and too fast, or about the choice of venue, and whether great-uncle Jim, who is known to be partial to the ladies and the bourbon in equal measures, was to be invited.
Aivaz was not the first person to marry a building – who the partner of Erika La Tour Eiffel of San Francisco is, is obvious; so is that of Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer.
Schweigert did not have to worry about whether her mate would refuse to accept tweaking to the wedding vows, such as the removal of the phrase “to obey”.
This farce of an event simply required that she be present – having remembered to purchase her ring – on the date and time she asked her guests to “be there”, and say, I, Nadine, promise to enjoy inhabiting my own life and to relish a lifelong love affair with my beautiful self.
Alas, she may not even realise that she is not the first person to get hitched to herself. Visitors to Madame Tussaud’s who would have asked why “Sue” Sylvester, portrayed by actress Jane Lynch, from Glee, is wearing a red tracksuit already know to what I am referring. Sue announces her intention to marry herself to deflect attention from Rod and Andrea, two characters who had become engaged – and wears the said tracksuit to the event.
But even before that, in 2003, artist Jennifer Hoes married herself in Haarlem, The Netherlands, 2003, on her 30th birthday. “…
I was prepared to embrace my own life and agree on the responsibilities that come with that. I married myself at the age my father died; I decided not to stay in the shade of his death at thirty.”
In 2007, Liu Ye married a foam-board cut-out of himself, in a lovely red dress, because he was “dissatisfied with reality”. Schweigert only had her own dress to think of. Three years later, 30-year-old Chen Wei Yih married herself in Taiwan. Her idea was to stop people from pressuring her to get married, without the hassle of actually sharing her life with a male of the species, since none met her specifications.
There are records of people arbitrarily assuming that a dolphin, a cat, a dog, and a snake have agreed to marry them; and another instance where a man was made to marry a goat because of the circumstances in which he was surprised with it.
Occasionally, the “odd news” bulletins give us news of people who have preferred blow-up dolls or pillows, roller-coasters, trees, or other objects, for partners, to humans.
As it happens, Schweigert’s beautiful self is already a mother of three. She is divorced, so it’s not as if she never liked men. But it is a woman’s prerogative to change her mind. And this of course begs the question – if at any point in the future she meets a man she would actually like to be with, would that make her ‘unfaithful’?
We have all witnessed celebrities’ weddings where it was obvious that the whole caboodle was all about money. Statements such as “I was in love with love and I did the wrong thing” do not really impress me – especially of the marriage is over before the wedding expenses have been paid.
I asked some single (by choice) friends if they would ever consider marrying themselves – and some of the replies and the reasons for them would have been edited out of this blog anyway, so I am not even attempting to repeat them.
The consensus was that they are happy with their status quo, but although some of them do have ‘friends with benefits’, they consider Schweigert’s type of behaviour quite over the top – although of course they would not sneeze at a solo holiday in New Orleans, which was Schweigert so-called “honeymoon”. A couple of wits among them actually indicated that at least in this case, “till death doth us part” is for real. One male friend called her a “milksop Bridezilla, escaping reality”.
Be that as it may, Schweigert says that this ceremony is solid proof that she has finally accepted herself as she is… Those of us in a monogamous relationship, according to her, have “somehow failed” because we are “co-dependent”.
She is wrong when she thinks she is breaking new ground – just as she is wrong about her evaluation of relationships.