Neighborhood children from several families play house every day. They have begun to treat this pastime more seriously than one would normally treat a game, and their parents indulge them regardless of the potential long-term effects.
Few question these parents since they are on the board of the homeowner association, so you feel you may be the last person on your block with a level head.
Today, you have been asked to snap photos of a special ceremony this coming Saturday. One of the more loquacious tweens plans to join together an adorable, prepubescent couple in imitation wedded bliss. The parents of this pair will even pay you lavishly to take part.
What will you do?
You know full well that the marriage will not be recognized outside your immediate community despite the thoughts, beliefs, or intentions of anyone involved. Thus you have no real fear of violating the sanctity of true marriage with a fictitious one, no matter how deluded the actors.
But if you agree to photograph the pretense, perhaps you will do harm by allowing the sham to persist, if only in the minds of the children.
On the other hand, your refusal could be offensive, and these parents have the power to make your life as tough as if you had openly defied the recent landscaping ban on begonias. There’s no higher power in the ‘hood.
If you accept, can you comfortably participate in the farce? After all, you’re sure the children will eventually outgrow this phase.
And even if they never will, would declining be a meaningful gesture if the resulting union has no weight of which to speak in the first place?
It’s easy money, right?
Besides, how many couples in real life have you cheered on who decided to do some fake spousing without even attempting a ceremony? Does it really matter at this point?
It seems like the choice is as heavy or as light as you want to make it. Regardless, it should belong to you.