(Things We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About) Marriage


I always wonder whether marriage is really important for someone’s life. I’ve read books about marriage, from its history until the contemporary phenomenon regarding to it in the modern and postmodern society. Hence I know it all too well that the concept of marriage itself has been contested culturally, politically, religiously, economically, morally, and many more. The concept of marriage is contextual. However, the red line is that the concept of marriage, at some point to some extent, has been degrading the concept of love itself. People used to think that marriage is the sacred one. On the other hand, it makes them forget that it is actually love that is the sacred one. Let’s see what happen when people put marriage more sacred than love: extramarital affairs. Why? Because they think that it’s better to cheat rather than to divorce. And that’s just sick. That’s just pathetic. That’s just sad. And that’s the ugly truth of nowadays society we’re living in. People tend to choose to stay in a loveless marriage rather than ending it. Why would you get married to someone and still saying to someone else that you are missing them? Why would you get married to someone when you are still thinking about someone else?
In my humble opinion, we should think again: is marriage really what we need? People need love; to love and to be loved. People need family. People need a partner; a lifetime partner who will always stay beside them through the ups and downs. People need relationship; and a commitment that will keep it together. But do people really need marriage to gain all of that? The answer is: not really. In nowadays practice, marriage is just a system created by the society to gain control towards those things we need. It’s a complex thing to talk about. And yes, it’s inevitable that we have been constructed to think that in order to be accepted in the society, we need marriage. In other words, it’s just a tool. It’s just a status. It’s just an act of survival in order to get ourselves free from social judgment. My bottom line is: the love –the feeling we have towards our partner– is what really matters rather than just the status of marriage. Hence, when we’re not sure about our feeling, it’s better to put aside the idea of marriage. Why? Because it’s time to put a stop towards this sick system in the sick society we’re living in. When we’re sure about our feeling –not just in order to fulfill our social role– that’s when we’re ready to give it a go for marriage.

“If you have already used up those words of comfort, you could just pass me by, don’t criticize me for living without love. Don’t feel bad for me right now, except when I have dinner all alone.” –MoonMoon, Marriage (결혼)

This song is titled “Marriage (결혼)”, performed by Korean singer-songwriter, MoonMoon, for the soundtrack of Korean drama series, “Because This Is My First Life”. It was released as the single “Because This Is My First Life OST Part 4” on October 24th 2017. “Marriage (결혼)” was written, composed, and arranged by MoonMoon. And unlike any other Korean drama soundtrack, I personally love the sound design of this song for it’s quite peculiar for drama soundtrack: a piano ballad that almost sounds like traditional British pop. Besides, the lyrics really hit the spot. It’s not only going well with the drama storyline, but it’s also speaking up for some people in this modern and postmodern society, particularly in regards to marriage and love. Love is used overratedly as the reason why people get married. However, the thing that we don’t talk about when we talk about marriage is: it’s more about social status, social acknowledgement, social recognition, as well as economical and political matters, hence it is sad, for it is degrading the value of love itself.

"Because This Is My First Life OST Part 4" single cover | source: wiki.d-addicts.com


There are a lot of things that people don’t talk about when they talk about marriage. And most of the times, marriage itself tends to be mistaken as the same as wedding. Well, marriage is more than just the wedding. Wedding is the celebration, while marriage is the whole life after the wedding ceremony. Marriage is what comes after the oath of loyalty. The cultural industry has shaping the concept of marriage as an all-beautiful thing. They make us thinking that we do need marriage; hence we do need to carry on a wedding ceremony. And sadly, most people tend to forget that the essence of a wedding is the oath of loyalty instead of the party. “The thing about marriage is, it’s about picking pretty words, saying pretty compliments, and creating a pretty night. The thing about marriage is, it’s about meeting a good person, having a good love, and buying a good house.” The thing about marriage is: will it be able to fulfill our basic needs for love and romance? Will there be romance in the marriage? Could we hold onto love in the marriage?
The thing about marriage is: will it be able to fulfill our social and economical needs? Would it make us happier? Or would it just create more problems? When we aren’t sure; when we think that we get married just to be like any other married couple, why would we do that? Nonetheless, the nowadays concept of marriage has made it hard for some people to keep up with the standards set by the society. “Since that’s all hard for me, so I’m just turning on the TV by myself, going outside in comfortable clothes, and buying strong alcohol by myself. So I’m going to Namsan by myself, walking along Han River by myself, and eating dinner, for it’s all just too hard.” And for me personally, it’s better to be alone rather than being stuck in a loveless relationship. It might sound hypocrite for you, but this is what I think. And I have my own reason to think that way. “If you have already used up those words of comfort, you could just pass me by, don’t criticize me for living without love. Don’t feel bad for me right now, except when I have dinner all alone.”
The thing about marriage is: it’s not always beautiful. And you know what? Things turn ugly when we start to put the marriage as a more sacred thing than the love itself. Happiness is not about marriage. It’s not about whether we got married or not. It’s about the love; and things that come after the love itself. It is what comes in the relationship after the love that defines it. And yes, for some people, it’s not easy at all; for they know it all too well that in a marriage, people can easily forget the love as the reason why they were together in the first place. Marriage surely has its ups and downs. However, when people start to neglect the love, it turns ugly; and worse, it can even end up turning us into strangers for each other. “It’s the thing about love and what comes after it. It’s that sometimes you make cruel expression on your face and use sharp words for saying hurtful things. And then you become strangers. So this is how I feel; for me that kind of thing is terrifying, for me that kind of thing is difficult. So I’m just watching TV.”
For all the reason above, the concept of marriage is terrifying for some people. For all the reason above, the idea of marriage is difficult for some people. Particularly, it’s terrifying and difficult for people who value the love more than the marriage itself; because for them, turning into strangers with the person whom we love is much more terrifying than being separated with them. And for them, it is much harder to live in a loveless marriage than to live all alone. Yes, indeed life is lonely when we do not have someone to live our lifetime with. However, for some people it is lonelier to live with someone just out of formality for the sake of keeping up with the standards set by society. Hence, unless they are with someone who has the same value as them –someone who has same perspective and view the life in the same way– they choose to be alone. It is not that they defy the marriage for good. It is that just it’s not that easy for them. Hence their guard is up. Hence they search and wait for the one who has the same perspective, or at least, can accept their perspective.

“It’s the thing about love and what comes after it. It’s that sometimes you make cruel expression on your face and use sharp words for saying hurtful things. And then you become strangers. So this is how I feel; for me that kind of thing is terrifying, for me that kind of thing is difficult. –MoonMoon, Marriage (결혼)

결혼에 대하여 예쁜 단어를 골라 예쁜 칭찬을 하고 예쁜 밤을 만들
(Gyeolhone daehayeo yeppeun daneoreul golla yeppeun chingchaneul hago yeppeun bameul mandeul geos)
((The thing about marriage is, it’s about picking pretty words, saying pretty compliments, and creating a pretty night))
결혼에 대하여 좋은 사람을 만나 좋은 사랑을 하고 좋은 집을 갖는
(Gyeolhone daehayeo joheun sarameul manna joheun sarangeul hago joheun jibeul gajneun geos)
((The thing about marriage is, it’s about meeting a good person, having a good love, and buying a good house))
그게 어려워 혼자 TV 트나봐 편한 옷을 입고 나가 독한 소주를 사나봐 혼자
(Na geuge eoryeowo honja TVreul teunabwa pyeonhan oseul ipgo naga dokhan sojureul sanabwa honja)
((Since that’s all hard for me, so I’m just turning on the TV by myself, going outside in comfortable clothes, and buying strong alcohol by myself))
남산에 가나봐 혼자 한강을 걷나봐 혼자 저녁을 먹나봐 뭔가 어려우니까
(Namsane ganabwa honja hangangeul geotnabwa honja jeonyeogeul meoknabwa mwonga da eoryeounikka)
((So I’m going to Namsan by myself, walking along Han River by myself, and eating dinner, for it’s all just too hard))

쓰다 남은 위로라면 그냥 지나가도 사랑없이 사는 것도 들먹이진 말아줘
(Sseuda nameun wiroramyeon geunyang jinagado dwae sarangeopsi saneun geosdo deulmeogijin marajwo)
((If you have already used up those words of comfort, you could just pass me by, don’t criticize me for living without love))
나를 보면 지금보다 울먹이지 말도록 혼자 먹는 저녁말고 사랑 너머에 관하여
(Nareul bomyeon jigeumboda ulmeogiji maldorok honja meokneun jeonyeokmalgo sarang geu neomeoe gwanhayeo)
((Don’t feel bad for me right now, except when I have dinner all alone, it’s the thing about love and what comes after it))
가끔 나쁜 얼굴에 각진 단어를 골라 아프게 말하고
(Gakkeum nappeun eolgure gakjin daneoreul golla apeuge malhago)
((It’s that sometimes you make cruel expression on your face and use sharp words for saying hurtful things))
남이 되잖아요 마음은 그래 그게 두려워 그게 어려워
(Nami doejanhayo nae maeumeun geurae na geuge duryeowo na geuge eoryeowo)
((And then you become strangers, so this is how I feel, for me that kind of thing is terrifying, for me that kind of thing is difficult))
TV 보는 TV 보는 TV 보는
(TVna boneun jung TVna boneun jung TVna boneun jung)
((So I’m just watching TV, so I’m just watching TV, so I’m just watching TV))

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