Matrimony without patrimony

Two of my friends were married in the nineties so that they could buy the cake and beer that the ration market allowed for weddings.  They were not a couple and had never exchanged more than a hug, but reselling the drinks and the sugary desert produced enough money to live for several months, each in his own place.  Like them, a lot of people signed the marriage record in hopes of the desired products and the three honeymoon nights in a hotel, listed at great price on the black market.

With these examples around me, I took seriously the signing of the marriage contract.  I lived for a lot of years under a consensual union without a trace of paper.  Likewise, many of my acquaintances cohabit with a partner with whom they have never stepped foot in a notary’s office or gotten a certificate of their union.  It’s not just a postmodern or irreverent trend, but a loss of the sense of the sanctity of marriage.  Among the reasons for this fading sense is the absence of a family patrimony to be preserved with the signing of a contract.  What difference would it make to a child to have legally married parents if they lack any assets for him to inherit, or any property that needs the oversight of laws.

Those of us under forty today, come to romantic relationships with the property that can be contained within our own epidermis.  Because when the idyll comes to an end, the belongings—frequently—fit in a suitcase.  With the love nest located in the parents’ house and with a salary that’s not enough to buy any durable or transferable goods, the signed paper and legal stamp that attest to the marriage are of little importance.

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7 thoughts on “Matrimony without patrimony

  1. Hola, mi primera ves en este blog, estoy sentada en una cafeteria en portland, oregon en el brooklyn neighborhood. Las palabras y las photos me tienen con agua en los ojos. Mi papa es de Cuba, mi mama de El Salvador,y yo soy de Los Angeles. estan divorciados y viven en los angeles. Siempre e pensado en el matrimonio, y tengo sentimientos raros. Unas veces me gusta y otras no. Gracias por tener el deseo de escribir, y decir lo que tu piensas. Especialmente este punto del el matrimonio, no se que decir, estoy compremitida. y ahora, me siento triste porque la situacion en Cuba no le permite a la jente vivir y decidir, que pena, y que tristesa me da. Voy a tener mas agradecimiento para mi libertad ahora que sepo como se siente una mujer en Cuba. Mil gracias otra ves por escribir, y tener el valor que todos necesitamos tener en estos dias de nosotros.
    p.s. no tengo una y en mi nombre pero le voy a decir a mis amigos de tu creacion, generacion y

  2. Annie, I don’t know your believes and my intention is not to question yours but I am a product of the “old guard” and for me to be legally married it is most sacred. It is not the piece of paper that I signed, it is loving your partner, having one wife, guiding my children into the right path. talking to your other half when there are differences, being honest. I do not share your views that marriage is an obsolete institution, it is for many who go into it with the idea that if it does not work then they go different ways and that seems to be the norm these days. Poverty has nothing with this, I was poor and was able to take all those values I learned with me when I got married. Marriage is a trap for those who prefer to scape from their responsabilities instead of sitting down and air their differences. There is a God out there who can help us when in need.

  3. so glad to have these insights into Cuban life. the title is very evocative, matrimony without patrimony…the Cuban predicament is unique. in Jamaica too there are lots of poor people with nowhere to live and few possessions but they would not have the ability to write about their predicament, online no less.

    i often wonder if marriage isn’t an obsolete institution, the only use it seems to have is if the couple is going to have children, then it gives them some legal status, otherwise it often becomes a trap from which one or both parties are desperately trying to escape…

  4. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Cuba: Love and Marriage

  5. Oh yeah and I forgot to say!
    VOTE PEOPLE! I’ve been telling you all for weeks!
    Please please please vote!
    Show your support and show how much you care!
    Show the world that one person can make a difference!
    VOTE VOTE VOTE!

  6. I’ve been trying to leave comments on the Bobs… but I just can’t figure out.
    I feel like a tool but can someone out there help me out?

  7. I LIKE YOANI’ S BLOG BECAUSE SHE GO STRIGH TO THE POINT , AND SHE HAS SUCH VOCABULARY THAT IMPRESS ME.
    I TAKE MY HAT OFF , IN FRONT OF THIS YOUNG LADY .
    THERE IS MANY BLOGS IN REFERENCE TO CUBA, BUT LIKE THIS………NO WAY JOSE !
    LOVE YOANI’S BLOG
    KEEP GOING THAT WAY.

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