Commentary by Tom Henihan
One of the first casualties of ludicrous, self-indulgent trends is language. To announce the latest asinine attempt at defying propriety and commonsense, a new linguistic mutation must be imposed on an already overburdened and desecrated English language.
In a recent Calgary Herald article, I encountered for the first time the term sologamy. Sologamy is a linguistic amalgam representing the practice of marrying one’s self, also described as self-uniting marriage.
Self and selfishness are central to the concept and those who support the practice say self-love and self-compassion lead to a happier life.
Valuing one’s self is important; self-love is obnoxious. Regardless of culture or religious affiliation, the universal tenets for a happier life used to be selflessness and compassion for others.
The article on sologamy profiled a 38-year-old woman in England who just celebrated the second anniversary of her self-unity, when she vowed to cherish herself for eternity on the steps of Brighton’s Unitarian Church. For now, the steps of the church are as far as this nonsense can proceed.
The woman said that while she initially saw her wedding as a light-hearted undertaking, the day before she married herself she got the pre-wedding jitters and realized she was taking a very serious step.
“I got really nervous the day before. It felt like a really important thing to be doing, especially as it was one of the first sologamy marriages many people had seen.”
Evidently, being one of the first to do something is always important as it lends an historical grandeur to an otherwise gratuitous endeavour.
Besides, a woman from Toronto self-married back in 2006 and was still so smitten with herself ten years later, she happily renewed her vows in 2016.
According to the Toronto woman, “Self-marriage is an opportunity to celebrate our personal independence, self-reliance and freedom from the chains of convention.”
Apparently, the self-cherishing Toronto woman does not understand that marriage is the ultimate convention and if she wished to be unconventional, she should have quietly run away with herself and lived in sin.
Of course, attention seeking and cause célèbre are now established social conventions and predictably, as with many other ridiculous trends, people have recognized the commercial potential of sologamy.
There are entities with names such as Marry Yourself Vancouver, I Married Me and I MarriedMyself.com that offer wedding planning services, and “self-marrying kits” with rings, vows and ceremony instructions and to ensure continuing marital bliss, one comes with daily affirmation cards.
There is also a service offering gowns, hairstyling, limousine service, a hotel stay, and a photo album. I am confident that they also help with wedding invitations and resolving inevitable conflicts about inviting in-laws and mutual friends.
The term narcissist has gained currency recently and with good reason. Narcissism is however, a malaise, and it might be helpful in countering that malaise if more people did a close reading of the cautionary tale of Narcissus, whose morbid obsession with his own likeness deprived him of the joy of life and ultimately proved to be fatal.