As I sit at my local Starbucks with dark glasses on, firmly gripping some triple shot coffee concoction and trying to sip my way out of the hangover of the weekend, I can’t help but look around.
It’s Sunday morning, and it's usually easy to find a good table at this busy location, mostly because Sunday mornings typically find people in one of two places: praying in church or hitting snooze on their sins and sleeping in.
Today, however, the place is buzzing. Unless I’m missing some new trend on socially accepted three-way coupling, I notice a plethora of couples plus one seated around me.
Then it dawns on me: It's wedding season. I am literally at the epicenter of some mass collection of newlyweds-to-be and the wedding planners who love them.
The chatter that surrounds me is all flowers and seating arrangements, centerpieces and entrees; there's even a scintillating debate on when exactly the DJ should bust out “We Are Family."
Matrimonial planning is all around me, and it seems as though no detail is too small.
I suddenly have a vision, a lingering Jack Daniel's-induced daydream, if you will: All of these couples are dressed in white, standing bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at the edge of the doorway to a small engine plane with their Louboutin-clad toes, no doubt curled under in anticipation.
Then there's a sudden, synchronized free fall into the cloudy abyss below and everyone is holding hands on their way down in celebration.
There's then a glimpse back into the plane’s interior, where you can see, neatly folded in a corner, likely never having been seen or spoken of, a pile of parachutes.
What I’m referring to is what undoubtedly is NOT being discussed at any of the happy pre-wedding pow-wow’s happening around me: the prenuptial agreement.
I have been to countless weddings, talked wedding shop with an endless bevy of bride-friends and seen wedding article after wedding article grace the stands over time.
What I haven’t seen is any kind of perspective into the idea that beyond the romance and ruffles, therein lies a very specific contract of marriage, and off to the side, there lies a very useful safety net: a parachute, if you will.
Joining two people together and signing off on FOREVER is so commonplace now, it’s almost a footnote of an announcement at a family dinner.
While it is, at its core, a very romantic idea, it is also one that brings with it several points of consideration beyond bouquets and open bars.
I find myself baffled at the idea that, despite the steady incline in divorces across western cultures, the majority of people headed to the altar would rather do so without a prenuptial agreement in hand.
I’m not entirely sold on the idea that marriage is for me, but I do know that having lived so much of my life as a single person, there are personal things (not to mention, points of sanity) that I would want to secure before merging my life, my assets and my peace of mind with another person.
Sitting down with the love of your life, divvying up the goods and setting terms on the chance of a split may not sound like the most appealing conversation ever, but can’t we agree that it’s a better situation to be had in pre-marital bliss than a forced negotiation between representing legal counsel post-sh*tstorm?
Nobody wants to think about divorce; having so many close friends getting married, I can understand how planning for the worst may seem like an unnecessary wrench tossed amidst the slew of happier items on the to-do list.
There is nothing easy about broaching a subject as nasty as the prospect of separation and “division of the assets,” thereafter. It’s awkward, uncomfortable and yet, necessary.
If you do it right, with some luck and lasting love, it will be the first and last time you need to suffer though that conversation. Isn’t it better to go into something like marriage with your eyes wide open and bases covered?
At the end of the day, no one wants to plan for rain, but it still makes sense to pack an umbrella.