GO AND MARRY YOURSELF – People can do whatever they want with their money and their dignity, but it strikes me as sad:

An Italian woman has married herself in a ceremony complete with white dress, three-layer wedding cake, bridesmaids and 70 guests.

“I firmly believe that each of us must first of all love ourselves,” said Laura Mesi, a 40-year-old fitness trainer. “You can have a fairytale even without the prince.”

The ceremony carries no legal weight.

But Ms Mesi is part of a growing trend for self-marriage – dubbed “sologamy” – in countries around the world.

Proponents of such ceremonies say it is about self-love and acceptance, and claiming the social affirmation normally reserved for couples who wed.

Laura says the idea of a solo wedding came to her two years ago, after a 12-year relationship ended.

“I told friends and family that if I had not found my soul-mate by my 40th birthday I would marry myself,” she told La Repubblica newspaper.

“If one day I find a man with whom I can plan a future I’ll be happy, but my happiness does not depend on him.”

I could make some lame jokes now about the wedding night but it’s a serious issue. It seems that the more freedom and more choices we have, at the very least a sizeable minority ends up being more confused and less happy. This is not an argument for less freedom and less choice, or indeed the return to the “good old days” (which were never that good), but about acknowledging externalities, including the rise of childlessness and loneliness, which all have their own social and economic consequences for our societies.

(Via Claire Lehmann, who tweets “Yet another woman forced to do all the cooking & cleaning in a marriage”.)