I will now list similarities between getting married and taking my qualifying exams, until I run out of similarities or it becomes my birthday. Take it away, Don Pardo:
- Both are about to occur in my life. (Exams: three weeks; wedding: three months.)
- Both seem like huge impossibly huge projects from a distance, but as you start to hunker down and get things done, you realize that they’re surprisingly do-able.
- However, as you get within a few weeks, you realize that, actually, they are impossibly huge projects, after all. (wedding: projected)
- Both involve a great deal of research. (Exams: research into twentieth-century literature and narrative theory; wedding: research into wedding services, Jewish matrimonial traditions, and mailing addresses.)
- Both are fun to plan and envision in the abstract.
- Both require a large investment of money and time. (The exams are 90% time/10% money, where the wedding is about 75% money/25% time. Before you feel bad for me, though, I should guiltily admit that it’s someone else’s money in this case.)
- Both feature long periods of idleness alternating with bursts of intense activity. (In the case of the exam, that’s due to simple procrastination rather than anything logistical.)
- Most people want to put them both off for as long as possible, but you’re not getting any younger.
- Despite this initial urge towards delay, once you start the process you become determined not to let anything derail or forestall the event.
- Both involve answering difficult questions while under observation.
- If successful, both result in jubilant celebration; if unsuccessful, depression and weeping.
- Both of them require satisfying the arcane and sometimes incompatible preferences of a number of different people.
- Those who haven’t gone through them have a vague idea that there’s a lot involved, but little sense of the scope.
- Both of them are a brief gateway to a larger world (exams: the dissertation; wedding: a lifetime together), and thus seem merely symbolic in retrospect; however, in advance they seem sky-obstructing.
That’s that. Eleven minutes left; I yield the rest of my time.