Not really what i had planned but...

So stuff's not going according to plan anymore, but who cares, it still works.

My idea of making a cartoon blog was an utter failure, mostly because i don't have real talent in the drawing department, and because when i started drawing by hand i realized how much work it actually is, and now i hold a great deal of respect for all the world's cartoonists.

So i don't know if i've discussed this at length, my GF and i are going to get married. In. Two. Weeks.

In this country, if people want to be married through the church they have to go through a civil wedding first. I don't really want to marry through the church, mostly because the GF is catholic, and i'm nothing, i'm a non-believer (agnostic? meh, who cares). I'm such a non-believer that i question science on a daily basis. To top it all off, i was raised in the german lutheran church style. Not that my family is really faithful to their religion or anything, hell, they go to church once a year at christmas to see and be seen. I haven't stepped foor in a church since i was 14, participated in making religious people question their belief system (with this novell thing called LOGIC) and have dissed people of almost every belief out there, when provoked. I'm not one of them aggressive atheists, it's just like i'm dynamite, doesn't take much to set me off when pushed.

So anyway, i made it fairly clear to my girlfriend that i'm non-believer to the extreme, but that if she respected my shit, i'd respect hers, as i've always done. So she has, but i've been a bad boy sometimes, but she's no good at debating, she ends up crying which is really stupid. In any case she can't make a decent argument in favour of her religion or customs to save her own life.

Thing's not the religion, thing is the customs. I'm fairly unconventional and i like to wing it, it's more fun that way. She on the other hand is fairly conservative and likes her traditions. But, and i'm sorry, catholic traditions (or religious for that matter) are RETARDED. Top it all off, her family is syrian catholic, which means they have all sorts of weird arabic traditions to trump the catholic traditions.

So here goes my rant.

When we decided to get married and i "proposed", we agreed on a bunch of stuff about the wedding and about life. So far i can only comment on the wedding stuff, because life with her hasn't occurred yet but if the trend keeps, i'm fucked, mostly because i can't seem to get my way. I've been inches away from cancelling the whole show several times, but the nature of love is stronger than my anger at how the whole thing's managed.

What we agreed: For starters we decided on a small wedding, to reduce costs and because we're not really all that big on partying until 6am and stuff.

The reality: My family's not having the best economic situation right now so her father took over the show, as he is a man of wealth. From a small wedding with few immediate family and friends in a restaurant it went to a (and i shit you not) 200 guest, $20,000 USD wedding. Professional catering, waiters, 18 year old whisky, bar, snaks, fingerfoods, coffee station the whole shebang, all in one of caracas' most luxurious banquet halls. My side's 22 people. Her side is 170.

And to think i dared to suggest that a small wedding be made for, say, 10000 and the other 10 given to us to get a fucking mortgage to get our own apartment instead of renting... what was i thinking...

What we agreed: everybody wears what they feel like wearing, no need to go out and buy new dresses or ties or shirts, my dad, her dad, her brothers, my best man, nobody has to dress alike (which apparently is the tradition).

The reality: thousands of dollars being spent on bridesmaids', kids, bride's entourage dresses and suits. Fucking hell. Apparently the males on her side also have to dress up in fancy suits and shit. And so does my side... but that's really no problem because it'll just be my dad and whomever is my best man (i'll get into that later) I wanted to rent a simple tuxedo, james bond style, but every single person in her family have me such a fucking hard time for that bit that i said fuck it and went for something a little different, which i absolutely hate, but they love. I'm actually considering going to the place and actually switching to the tuxedo just to be comfortable, and mostly piss them off.

What we agreed: the civil wedding should be small, 25 people at most, little alcohol, some snacks, a general good time, ending at 12 or 1am. My parents pay for it as that's as much as they can afford, but since they have NO experience organizing events like these, they handed it over to her dad, which i think was the biggest mistake they've made so far.

The reality, and mind you that this is happenind march 17th, two weeks from now: the guestlist for that is 50 people and growing, fully fledged dinner, 18 year old whisky, waiter, music, almost like the church thing. What bugs me the most about this is the outmost disrespect from her family about the organization of this event. My parents will pay for this, and yet my side has 9 people, and hers is 40 something, after it was agreed that it'd be small and that we'd have roughly the same amount of people. The second i speak up about it i get a "don't you want to make her happy?" Of course i do you manipulative assholes, but this is not what she wanted, not what i wanted. Furthermore this is ridiculous, all to sign some papers...

What we agreed: traditionally, bride arrives in a fancy vintage car to the church and subsequently the party. As we agreed that fuck tradition would be the theme of our thing, we said she arrives with friends or something, no fancy car.

The reality: *sigh* $500 for 1 hour's rental of a 1950 rolls.

What we agreed: black ink on classic oyster invite cards.

The reality, that has been sent to print and should be done by tomorrow: they have cartoon versions of ourselves, it's baby blue and it looks like a fucking baby shower invite. I was so pissed about that from the beggining, but she was designing them and whenever i'd bring it up she'd end up crying because of all the work that went into making the cards. All i could say is that i complained from the start, when the idea came up, before they were designed.

And the list keeps going, nothing's going according to plan or at least my vision. If i had 1 thing that could go my way i'd be so happy, but so far the only thing i could flip is my suit.

As i've probably mentioned, i don't dance. Not because i suck, not because i'm shy, but because i don't enjoy it. It's like drinking coffee when you don't like it. You can do it, yet not enjoy it. So as part of the weird syrian customs, apparently there's a waltz of sorts that the groom and the bride dance upon their arrival at the party. It's not conventional waltz, it's something with the bride doing weird shit with her arms, hip moving and the groom jumping back and forth with arms open. It looks retarded to me, and as this is something i could control, i mean, i decide whether my body dances or not, i said NO, I WILL NOT DANCE.

Bring forth the massive fight and subsequent communications breakdown.

After thinking about it, i said i'd negotiate it. I've sacrificed so much in this deal, had control over so little (if anything), i want something in return. I mean, outside of the arrangements of the party, i'm getting married through the church, something i could very well say no to and be done with the relationship, much to my discontent, but this is something i do for her thus violating entirely my personal ethic, values, morals, belief system. That's a huge sacrifice for me too.

But anyway, back to the fight. I figured i could manipulate the situation a little bit so that in the end i wouldn't have to dance, in return for not complaining to her family about the mismanagement of everything. She ends up crying, saying this is "her lifetime dream". How the fuck does that work out? Have women no other aspirations but to have a spectacular wedding? I mean, holy shit people, THINK ABOUT WHAT COMES AFTER THE DAMN WEDDING, IT'S A LONG AND HOPEFULLY HEALTHY MARRIAGE!

What pisses me off the most is that when i ask her to explain why, she cannot give me an explanation. She is unable to make a coherent argument about why i should dance. I told her that if she gave me one single argument, no matter how weak, about why i should dance other than pleasing her or because it's her life's dream (creepy), i'd dance, but for something in return.

So i'm still negotiating that one, but one way or another, i'm not dancing like an idiot, and if i am i'm getting something else my way. I'm tired of being the pawn here.

Then there's the paperwork. For the civil wedding there's a huge amount of paperwork that needs to be filled out, certified, taxed...

First we needed a notarized certification that we're single, which needs to be written by a lawyer. A friend's mom, who is a lawyer, offered to do it as a wedding gift. Thankies! So when we go get it notarized, we find out that we need two witnesses to certify that we're single, and they can't be family. So i call my trusty best friend Daniella and she comes right away, she's always there for me, i'm always there for her, she's my sister in all respects. So who else to call? Nobody answers their phones at 7am, and those few who did were in class or busy. My uncle works just up the block from the notary so i called him, and he came through for me, he brought his secretary. Done deal.

Then we had to book THE appointment with the judge that was to marry us. Every time we went to city hall to do that, we were missing another paper. 4 times was the charm and we booked, then we had to pay the taxes required.

So i go to the bank and nothing worked, couldn't pay because i was out of cheques, didn't have ID and the stupid bank couldn't do direct deposit from my account, that was yesterday. I'm trying again tomorrow with cash.

Then on friday we need to publish in the paper and in the entrance of city hall "signs" announcing that we're to get married so that if anybody knows that we're married already, were that the case, could speak up and prevent it. Utter bullshit in my opinion, they could just computerize records and check in a registry if we're married or not, idiots i tell you. But once that's done we should be able to marry no problem, but knowing this country as i do, there's going to be one problem or another.

The church wedding is something entirely different. A monsenior is going to officiate that. I had to be my most hypocritical self in years. The guy interviewed privately and asked me if i believe in god, if i'm religious, what religion i'm in, if i go to church, why i want to get married, if i'd consider being baptized a catholic, if i'm going to have kids and if my kids would be catholic.

Do you believe in god?
Said: yes
Shouldve said: laughed insanely, looking at him straight in the eyes with an evil look

Are you religious:
Said: sure
Shouldve: no such thing as an omnipotent, interventionist being controlling the world, thus no reason to believe in anything

What is your religion:
Said: lutheran (technically)
Shoulve said: the religion of what the fuck do you care

Do you go to church:
Said, didnt lie right out there: only in december, for christmas eve mass (something i actually did until i was 14)
Shoulve said: haven't stepped foot in a church for 12 years and would like to keep it like that.

Why do you want to get married through the church:
Said: because i love her.
Shoulve: because i love her and i'll do anything for her, including risking getting dissolved by the images of crosses, jesus or holy water because church is bullshit.

Would you consider being baptized a catholic:
Said: i'm happy with my religion (the priest guy didn't make a fuzz over my being "lutheran", he was quite happy about it actually)
Shouldve: fuck no, even if i don't remember getting baptized a lutheran once, i wouldn't do it for a million bucks again. Well for money perhaps and maybe for the DEVIL, but no deal otherwise.

Do you want to have kids:
Said: absolutely, my gf and i often discuss baby names.
Shoulve said: yeah, i do, but after i have 2 i'm getting a vasectomy. Screw you guys with your idiot rules about contraception, i'm taking it to the ultimate step, all thanks to SCIENCE. (And whatever my wife tells you, my son (if i have one) will not be Alan as well. Fuck my name, i hate my name.)

Will your kids be raised in the catholic tradition:
Said: sure, gf is catholic, it's their right
Shoulve said: (the truth) my wife will try her best to pass on her fear of god, but as dad's a scientist, and sadly logic makes sense, i shall show them the ways of rationality and analysis. I highly doubt they'll buy into church bullshit. They'll know that they're owners of their destiny, that nothing controls them and that there's no such thing as supernatural power, luck, or holy punishment. Shit happens because it does, and "miracles" are either 1. bullshit or 2. coincidences.

Oh and they require a premarital course to be allowed to marry through the church. This was done by church people at a different church, so i expected nothing less than indoctrination, but i promised i would behave. It started ok, a priest told us that this wasn't an indoctrination thing, just a series of discussions from speakers and experienced professionals (a couple married for 33 years, a psychologist that specializes in conflict resolution, the priest, a couple married for 5 years, and a laywer), something for us to ponder about, to think, no indoctrination.

Hello 7 hours of indoctrination indeed.

First couple wasn't too bad, they spoke about being married for 3 decades and such. Of course they threw in that without god, there's no marriage. But i expected that. What i didn't expect is for them to have said something about gay people. I'm not gay, but i do believe that if you're going to speak about equal rights for all human beings, you have to include the GLTBQ (Gay, Lesbian, Transexual, Bisexual and Questioning). The guy starts talking about his kids, which he can do as nobody can take that experience away from him. He mentioned one of his sons is getting divorced, and that its a real bitch to do that. Somehow he hovers over equal rights for all humsna and a little while later jumps over to how the marriage of gay people is an abomination, which leads him to talk about what it'd be like to have a gay kid.

I felt like saying: sir, what in the fuck gives you the right to say what it's like to have a gay kid if you aint got one? I have gay in my family, and i love them no less than the rest of my family. And also, what gives you the right to talk about equal rights for all humans, and then say marriage should not be for gay people? Aren't you contradicting yourself? Fucking asshole.

Then the psychologist spoke. He was alright. Gave us some good conflict resolution tips and explained once and for all to my wife that freaking out about tradition kills relationships.

Then the priest spoke again, can't remember what about, some impression eh?

So lunchtime! and when we came back from lunch, time with the couple that's been married for 5 years. He's an administrator, she's a doctor. He said that church is good and blah blah blah, youre going to hell if you don't pray, blah blah blayh i expected no less. But her, a doctor, holy crap. She claimed a bunch of stuff that were untrue, misguided or inaccurate. She manipulated medical fact to favour the church. Where she has the moral to do that, or how she can live with having violated medical ethic like that is beyond me. Conveniently enough, she asked if there were any doctors in the room, and seeing that there weren't i can only infer that she unleashed the bullshit shamelessly

She said, and i don't know these numbers, but come on, logic dictates she's bullshitting her way through:

80% of adult women have HPV. So essentially every non-virgin woman in the world has HPV.

10% of the country's population has HIV/AIDS. So over one million men an women in this country are infected? where are we, africa? hmmmm... fishy.

Condoms are not a barrier against viruses. Sure, if they break, but she claimed that latex is not effective against viruses of any kind.

Methods such as those of menstrual rythm, temperature, cervical secretion are as effective as contraceptive pills or condoms. And if used properly are even more effective. Right, and if my wife drinks 16 glasses of water every day at the same time and place our baby will be a boy eh?

Being unfaithful will get you an STD, always.

the HPV vaccine is not very effective (this i know to be untrue)

HIV mutates at the same rate of influenza (this i also know for a fact is not true)

and i wondered when it would stop.

But whatever, we got the certificate that said we went, i warned my gf not to believe the doctor, and i'm tempted to find out where she works and reporting her lack of ethics to her boss.

*sigh* there's more, but i'm out of time for writing. Don't worry, you'll hear all about it.