Why do Girls Want to Get Married


Why do girls want to get married?

Unlike most of my projects, this painting series developed over many years. It began when our 21-year-old daughter introduced us to a new boyfriend. We had not heard her talk about him before so we assumed their relationship was recent. Much to our surprise, they said they planned to marry.

We didn’t get too excited, although I did play a recording of the “handbag dialog” from Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest * for them. We thought “early days.” But in a very short time we watched them wed. I asked about her thinking and heard only that she wanted “someone to help her carry the load.” Oh my!

I was sufficiently disturbed that I asked myself why I had thought marrying was a good idea. But I had hindsight, they did not. I asked my friends and heard the worry in their voices about their own daughter’s thinking.

Over the following years, when I had the opportunity to talk with a hopeful bride, I asked, “Why him? Why now?” I heard answers such as, “Lawyers make lots of money”, and “Because I finally found the dress.” Not one girl wanted to talk about anything beyond the wedding day. Some girls responded with, “We’ve fallen in love.” Others explained their religious tradition, or how many children they wanted. For some, the rationale could be found in Cinderella. Happily ever after.

• Lady Bracknell says, “You can hardly imagine that I and Lord Bucknell would dream of allowing our only daughter – a girl brought up with the utmost care – to marry into a cloak-room, and form an alliance with a parcel?”