Congratulations. Now there’s a word we misuse a lot.
‘I’m getting married!’ ‘Congratulations!’ Why? Why should this be cause for congratulations? Is it a good thing? Half of all married couples end up divorced. (The other half just couldn’t be bothered.) Is it an achievement? There are no qualifications except being a certain age. Which generally happens without any effort. So you’re entering into a legal contract with another person. Big deal. Bet you haven’t even read the contract. So you’re going to a church for some obscure sacrament. What, Christmas and Easter wasn’t enough?
What’s getting married really about? Proof you’re not gay after all. Proof that you’re all grown up, gonna settle down, maybe start a family (like having a kid means you’re no longer a kid is the logic, I guess). Proof that someone somewhere somehow found you loveable long enough to agree to marriage. Yeah right, whatever.
‘I’m pregnant!’ ‘Congratulations!’ What? Again, is this necessarily a good thing? ‘Cause it can seldom be called an achievement. I mean I’m sure you have succeeded at sexual intercourse before. So now you got lucky. Should we congratulate for luck?
‘I won the lottery!’ ‘ Congratulations!’ It sounds right. But it sure takes the wind out of the congratulations we give to the person who wins a triathlon or a Beethoven competition.