People are pitching tents and camping outside Westminster Abbey. In the hope they may catch a glimpse. People on the news, in coffee shops, in family gatherings, in schools and universities, on the streets...everybody, not in the UK alone but around the world is discussing the wedding's guest list or who Kate's wedding dress designer might be or how they have chosen to celebrate this most auspicious of marriages that certainly has a profound impact on each of our lives. In Dubai, for example, a city over 5000 kilometers away from London, belonging to a country with no common culture or religion, prices of halls, wedding dresses and suits have been pushed up. Yes. There are going to be celebrations around a big, gigantic screen, the audience all dressed up, playing play-pretend that they are there, as they watch Kate and William walk down the aisle. Two people who don't know we exist, and don't care if we do.
But this epidemic doesn't only make its appearances during royal weddings.
A psychology professor of mine said something once that I'll never forget. The lecture was about relationships and how they fail. And how divorce rates are rising globally to new extremes. She gave us five minutes to think and tell her why. There might have been around fifty different opinions by each of us in that lecture hall. She shut us all up with one sentence.
"The reason you see so many divorces is because nobody thinks beyond the wedding day."
Isn't that so true?
There was a time when weddings were just a day to celebrate a new beginning. An opportunity for family and friends to get together and give the couple their good wishes. But the word "Wedding" has changed meaning now. People are starting to give it so much more weight that it's getting heavier than the word "marriage" even. There's no time for a couple to find out if they're right for each other and how to work out their differences. Why waste time thinking about the reason we're doing this, and thinking about the rest of our lives, when we have such a big DAY to plan?
That's what it is. A day. In fact, less than that. A few hours. But those hours need months and sometimes years of planning. Talk and fusses and arguments and hell loads of money. To spend on a dress that will be worn once and stored away, and on flowers and food and details that make a difference to no one. And when that day's over, the photographs taken and everyone gone back home with full tummies and juicy stories, that's when the couple will stand there feeling empty, not knowing what's next, wondering why that went by too fast and why they never thought beyond that day.