I recently read about a new trend in marriage which is catching on like wildfire these days. Sologamy it is called. And as the name suggests, it is all about people marrying themselves. By people, I would say primarily women. Since, all the instances of sologamy the generosity of the world-wide web thrown up at me have been of women deciding to enter this new found institution of sologamy.
What on earth, you would ask, and rightly so, is sologamy?
Wikipedia, the font of all definitions, tells me “Self-marriage or sologamy is marriage by a person to oneself. It is known as a commitment that values self-love, and self-compassion. Supporters of the practice argue that it leads to a happier life.”
I’m not arguing against the happier life, no more ear drum drilling snores to deal with before one falls asleep. No more wet towel on the bed or toilet seat battles. Let’s not even get started on how the toothpaste tube is squeezed, a conflict that has the potential to escalate to demand a temporary insanity plea if it leads to murder. In that context, sologamy does seem rather tempting.
The only ‘gamy ‘I am intimately familiar with is Monogamy, but the internet tells me that Monogamy is long outdated.
But do we really need yet another ‘gamy’ in the sea of infinite ‘gamy’s floating around in this, the post millennial universe, where relationships are all in a state of constant flux. The only ‘gamy ‘I am intimately familiar with is Monogamy, but the internet tells me that Monogamy is long outdated. I would plead an Erma Bombeck on this one though, being as she wisely put it, too old for a paper route, too young for social security and too tired for an affair. I shall stick to Monogamy, it is a known devil. And of course, it is convenient to have another person to yell at and plaster the blame on for all one’s angst. Angst divided within oneself doesn’t have quite the same impact.
Sologamy does away with the two sets of awkward strangers brought together by circumstance, and that makes for a calmer wedding ceremony and festivities.
Coming back to sologamy, this new trend is quite the rage abroad. It might take some time to catch on here in India. After all here, what’s a wedding without the pomp and pageantry, pitched battles between the bridegroom and the bride’s side of the festivities. Sologamy does away with the two sets of awkward strangers brought together by circumstance, and that makes for a calmer wedding ceremony and festivities.
What attracts women to sologamy?
Some might say it fulfills a childhood dream of the fairy tale wedding, with or without the groom in attendance. Others might say, and this is the reason I really back, it celebrates self-love and self compassion. Something we must direly get back into fashion given it has almost become extinct in the battle between the sexes and the even more dire battle of surviving the day-to-day.
According to reports, women in the UK, Australia, Japan, Taiwan and the US are choosing to walk down the aisle all by themselves. In these countries you can hire a self marrying agency to conduct the nuptials. You can buy a self marrying kit (hell, marrying yourself halves costs instantly)! Some travel companies even offer a solo honeymoon, albeit the gazing happily into the sunset hand in hand stock shot might be a trifle troublesome to click.
Sologamy is grabbing not just attention but also advocates along the way.
Perhaps we have Carrie Bradshaw to blame for this, after all she was the first to toy with the idea of marrying herself, and broadcast it on a hit series reaching out to the millions of women some of whom might have just followed it. Kareena Kapoor gave us a taste of what sologamy celebrates in Jab We Met, when her character Geet declared “Main Apni Favourite Hoon.” But in fact, over four decades ago, a woman in the USA decided to marry herself, being the true pioneer of sologamy, which then took all these years to move into the periphery of the many life choices we make, waiting patiently on the fringe for its turn to enter the mainstream. And given how swiftly it is moving from the fringe to mainstream, sologamy is grabbing not just attention but also advocates along the way.
Is it a decision to celebrate oneself as the most important person in one’s life. In turn raises disturbing questions about the silos we’re building around ourselves in this increasingly fragmented and socially isolated world where social media is probably the most social a majority of us get.
Is Sologamy, as some suggest, a tongue in cheek mocking of the importance of the fairy tale wedding? Given most women grow up sold on the imagery of ‘the wedding’ being the most important day of their lives? Or is it a decision to celebrate oneself as the most important person in one’s life? This in turn raises disturbing questions about the silos we’re building around ourselves in this increasingly fragmented and socially isolated world where social media is probably the most social a majority of us get. Or perhaps, given the fraught with issues minefield traditional marriage comes with, given the patriarchy is still firmly lined up on the other side of the ‘I do,’ safety catch off on their weapons, is sologamy just simply feminism cocking a well deserved snook at the increasingly outdated institution of matrimony.
The idea that perhaps the soulmate we hanker for, it would seem, is right here, right within us.
Marrying oneself comes fraught with a host of issues. For one, whom does one argue with. Whom does one cuddle up with? Who can one have an extended cold war with? And where does this leave that concept of soulmates? The finding of, the living with, two halves of a complete whole torn asunder. And then brought back by fate and happenstance. I would celebrate this about sologamy, that perhaps the soulmate we hanker for, is right here, right within us. The two halves of the whole. And that in itself is enough, and complete. It is perhaps, the ultimate statement, declaring to the world that we are enough for ourselves. And that we deserve our love and should celebrate ourselves. However narcissistic that might seem.