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The raving thoughts of a misanthropic academic

August 15, 2009

Thoughts on My Wedding Day

In roughly 1.25hrs, I will stand at the alter of Avoca Baptist church and pledge my love, and life to Gwyn Hamrick (soon to be Fodder).

My vantage from the small window in the alcove of the church shows an absolutely perfect day with only wisps of clouds in the sky. A crane of the neck looks out at a field of green behind the church. The warmth of the sun feels a lot like the Father smiling down, and feeling pleased. It's the kind of day made for beginning life anew.

It might seem strange to some, adding my thoughts on marriage, and life here in this space normally devoted to political wranglings, and snarky remarks.Yet in other ways writing here could not be more appropriate. This peculiar hobby of mine has been one of the few things that I have continued throughout my formative years- from college, through my time in Boston, to my days of law school down in Tucson, until now. Why not share some thoughts with an old friend?

The single thought that occupies my mind in these waning hours of my single, adult life is the notion of loyalty, and its implications. I remain convinced, now as much as ever, that love is fundamentally a commitment. We choose whom to love. And love is something borne out in life's great struggles as the commitment to another is tested, time and time again.

I am under no delusions that love, and marriage will be an easy commitment to keep. Any commitment given proper consideration requires some quid pro quo from both parties. But in marriage, the agreement should never terminate. Given this depth and breadth of commitment, deciding whether to marry or not is among the most profound decisions one can make.

And so marriage, in many ways, is not unlike any other major decision that life brings our way. We simply make the best decision we can with the information available to us, and proceed accordingly. I am confident in my decision. I am appreciative of my betrothed for her agreement. And I am joyed at our mutual decision to love each other.

And on this we can build a life.

In sum, I love my bride to be with all of the commitment a life time can afford. My feelings on this auspicious occasion are quite serene. The wedding itself, the reception, the entire production is ancillary to the actual commitment between the two of us that this day is set to commemorate.

But, 'to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3.1). Today is our day to love, and to laugh.

And this is good.
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August 12, 2009

Weight and Marriage

With the big day looming on Saturday, it was unsettling to read today's Daily Beast article on marriage and weight gain.

According to a recent study conducted by the University of North Carolina's School of Public Health, adults entering a long-term cohabiting relationship, particularly those who get married, are prone to higher rates of weight gain and obesity than those who remain single.

The author's solution endorses a heavy-handed government intervention in America's obesity problem:

So where does this leave us? Ultimately, the Obama administration should fully embrace weight control as a societal issue, and realize it is not something that can be left to individual responsibility. There are so many useful things the government could do that would make it easier, from subsidizing the right types of farming to reining in the food industry and funding health-maintenance programs at worksites.

[Link]

The prescription does not square with the ailment. Later in the article, the author notes several tips for keeping the pounds under control even after tying the knot - chief among them eating less, and exercising more. One might be tempted to call such suggestions commonsense, and personal responsibility. Although, in the age of Obama, such notions are quaint.

Even so, the warning is a good wake up call for all Americans as health care reform dominates the Nation's political landscape. In many ways, the health problems we face are ones of our own creation. The choices we make in life, and in marriage have real, long-term consequences.

Here's hoping the future missus and I can learn to adopt healthy habits - lest Big Brother 'make sure' that we do. Ja?
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