Leav­ing meat out of wed­ding should be cou­ple’s choice

Austin American-Statesman - - AUSTIN 360 DAILY - Tell Me About It is writ­ten by Carolyn Hax ofThe Washington Post. Her col­umn ap­pears on Tues­day, Thurs­day and Satur­day. Email her at tellme@wash­post.com.

While I’m away, read­ers give the ad­vice.

On the cu­ri­ously com­bustible mix of wed­dings and veg­eta­bles: I am a ma­jor meat-eater, but I think if the cou­ple get­ting mar­ried do not feel it is eth­i­cal to spend their money on meat, they should not be asked to serve it. One meat­less meal is not go­ing to kill any­one. My niece was not only a veg­e­tar­ian but a ve­gan. Be­fore her wed­ding, my brothers and I joked that we might be run­ning out for a burger af­ter the re­cep­tion, but ac­tu­ally the food was de­li­cious.

The cou­ple’s par­ents may think it is rude for the cou­ple to im­pose their di­etary re­stric­tions on oth­ers. Well, I think it’s rude for the par­ents to im­pose theirs on the bride and groom. If the di­etary re­stric­tions were for a re­li­gious rea­son, I don’t think any­one would be try­ing to tell the cou­ple what should be served.

— Ac­cept­ing Car­ni­vore

On prenups: I did not have one in my first mar­riage; in ret­ro­spect, I wish I had — not be­cause I would have emerged with more of our re­sources when we di­vorced, but be­cause it would have greatly re­duced the com­bat into which I was forced, and its cost, when my former wife left, re­jected me­di­a­tion and em­ployed a takeno-pris­on­ers at­tor­ney. I had to hire an ex­pen­sive at­tor­ney to ob­tain the set­tle­ment terms that two rea­son­able peo­ple would have reached, or would have been reached in me­di­a­tion, and both of us were the poorer as a re­sult — a fool­ish and un­nec­es­sary out­come.

I be­lieve two hon­est, car­ing peo­ple can go into mar­riage with the best of in­ten­tions, hav­ing done lov­ing, due dili­gence to de­ter­mine if ei­ther is a wolf in sheep’s cloth­ing — and still have one be­come some­body very dif­fer­ent, for any of a num­ber of pos­si­ble rea­sons: so­cial pres­sures, health or psy­cho­log­i­cal prob­lems, ca­reer prob­lems, par­ent­ing prob­lems, la­tent in­se­cu­rity brought out by un­equal success, etc.

All peo­ple change over time; life NEVER stands still for any­one. A prenup, if fairly drawn in good faith by both part­ners, can pro­tect the one who re­mains rea­son­able.

I think it would be far health­ier if ex­e­cut­ing a prenup be­came an ac­cepted part of a ma­ture cou­ple’s prepa­ra­tion for mar­riage. It would help cat­alyze a thor­ough con­ver­sa­tion about fi­nances that ev­ery cou­ple should have be­fore mar­riage, but that too of­ten gets con­signed to ab­bre­vi­ated treat­ment amid the eu­pho­ria and wed­ding prepa­ra­tions. — Learned On be­ing hap­pily mar­ried and un­hap­pily preg­nant: Th­ese days we seem to work from the as­sump­tion that just the thought of a baby is an un­mit­i­gated joy to its par­ents; maybe we ought to get some per­spec­tive by re­call­ing when fam­ily plan­ning was not so com­mon. I re­mem­ber mom telling me about a late-stage mis­car­riage she’d had: “I was of course dis­mayed to think I was preg­nant again, but af­ter a few months I started think­ing about how nice it would be to have a baby in the house again. ... Note, “of course dis­mayed.”

The whole point of birth con­trol is that this bless­ing we have, our fer­til­ity, is not al­ways con­ve­nient or 100 per­cent wel­come. If the only pos­si­ble re­ac­tion to a preg­nancy from a hap­pily mar­ried woman could be joy, there would be no hap­pily mar­ried women on the pill.

— L.

Carolyn Hax

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