I've often posted about the cost of relationships. Aren't you glad we Americans don't live in a country where there truly is a real, enforced cost to relationships? Check out this NY Times article about marriage in Egypt. Ok, it's not like there is officially a cost to have a relationship there, but in many cultures, particularly Islamic ones, it's just not acceptable to have a relationship outside of marriage. And if you want to get married, here's what it's going to cost you:
And this is in a country where a college graduate could have a job making $100 a month:
In the village of Shamandeel, not far from Zagazig, it took Walid Faragallah six years after graduating with a degree in psychology to find a job in a factory, and his pay was less than $50 a month. That is an average period of waiting — and average pay — for new entries in the job market. Mr. Faragallah kept that job for a year, and recently found another factory job for $108 a month, two hours from his home.There was a similar story on NPR's This American Life, about matchmakers (listen here):
Miriam and her husband were development workers in Afghanistan. They'd had a whirlwind romance themselves, so when they heard that their driver was in love, but didn't have enough money to propose to the girl, they made a grand romantic gesture: they gave him $10,000 to pay for the dowry and the wedding. It was a move they probably should have known wouldn't work out so well.Fortunately our society is a lot more flexible about these things! We may face peer pressure to have fancy weddings, but we can always just go to city hall and skip the ceremony, not to mention the fact that there is very little stigma nowadays to having relationships outside the traditional definition of marriage. Keep this all in mind the next time you're griping about having to buy a bridesmaid's dress you'll never wear again!