As traditions go in the UK, couples have invited family and friends to their weddings to celebrate their special day.
I have attended many weddings and I have noticed a theme that arises in most if not all of the invitations.
The couple ask you to attend on a certain day at a certain time at a certain place and then just as you are thinking I better buy myself a new dress, how much is that going to cost?
The sentence that follows frequently goes something a little like this.....
"We have all the household appliances that we need so please don't purchase a toaster, kettle, sandwich maker or cutlery, we would love to just to have your company to celebrate our wedding together"
I think that's kind and how very sweet and thoughtful. But out of nowhere the next part of the sentence cripples me and says something like "If you would like to contribute to the honeymoon/campervan/the new car/conservatory we would be eternally grateful." (eyes roll)!
At that point I spit my coffee out and start to worry about how much to contribute. I mean I am not exactly flush. So the thoughts run through my mind "Does it look better to give nothing? or to give twenty quid?" Then I go into a state of panic and think "Twenty quid, maybe that is not enough, if they are wanting some kind of luxurious car or holiday maybe fifty or a hundred?" Panic!
So years ago, it was far easier, couples didn't seem to live together prior to the wedding day, so it was easy to purchase some kind of household appliance. In America or the fairly wealthy British, some couples provide you with a wedding list of appliances that they like. So not to get repeat presents. No one wants 20 toasters. I am sure people battle to purchase the cheapest option on said list!
I am no scrooge and of course it is a nice thing to do, to buy the newly weds a gift or contribute to the honeymoon/campervan /new car/conservatory! But some people get married once, twice even three times in a life time. And then some of us, never get married at all! So tell me, why do these people get financial help with the holiday of a lifetime and other "new" materialistic things that I would also like but can't have because I have never been married! How is that fair?!
This too applies to baby showers, not that I am a great fan of these parties because I think gifts and celebrations should happen post birth. However it does seem to be the latest craze once expecting. So again, a party is thrown, gifts are bought and everyone has a wonderful time. The child to be is the love of the mothers life and it hasn't even been born yet and already gifts come flying in to help save the pennies of the prospective parent/s.
Again, some people have more than one child. That is a lot of gifts and parties held especially for them!
So I ask again, is this fair? Their passion is their child/ren and mine is my dog, drumming, travel, tropical fish, the gym to name but a few. Do I get parties and gifts to help me towards enjoying my passions....ermmmmm....nope!
Which brings me onto my final gripe. If you have a child and are working you are entitled to time off work and to be paid for the privilege of pursuing your dream, your passion which is bringing a child into the world.
The only time I get off work is if I am sick or on annual leave, but pregnant women are also entitled to that. Some women have many children. If I toted up the amount of time they have had off for having three children (lets say 6 months per pregnancy, and some have even longer) and had that time paid for to pursue the dream of motherhood. Then why can't I have 18 months off work fully paid and the security of my job still being available to me upon my return to pursue my dream of travelling the world? Which I could use my "wedding fund for!"