In 10 days my wife and I will have been together for 9 years, and in 11 days we’ll have been married for 6 years. Reflecting back on our time together how could I not post a blog on marriage? Aside from making two amazing children with her, I can honestly say that finding this woman and somehow getting her to fall in love with me was the greatest single accomplishment of my life. The circumstances surrounding our relationship (which I’ll get into some other time) should have made our life together an impossibility, but here we are.
Saying things like “You complete me” or even something simple like “I Love you” just doesn’t put it into words. I’ve been trying for years to put it into words and have fallen short many times. Check out most of my music and you’ll find that the majority of my songs are written for, or about her. The best description I can come up with is that my entire life, my existence, only has real meaning to me when put into the context of her life. I would simply be another blank mind wandering aimlessly if I hadn’t found her. She answers my always pressing, and previously illusive question, of “why?”
So let’s take it to the beginning, of our marriage anyway. I don’t remember who said it, but at some point I heard someone say, “This is supposed to be OUR wedding day, why did we invite all of these people?” Man, is that the truth!!! I have 3 memories of our wedding day…the first is my mother trying to talk me out of it in the car, on the way to the church. The second is when the opened the doors at the back of the church and I saw my wife there. She was wearing this amazing dress, and had tears in her eyes, and started walking towards me. I remember thinking, “I don’t get why she picked me, but I’m not going to question it. I’m riding this shit out.” Maybe those weren’t my exact mental words, but that was the overall point. My third, and final memory of the day is our first dance together. “Globes And Maps” by Something Corporate was the song we chose. We just held each other, blocked out everyone around us and danced to a song that would later be played while our daughter was being born. A song, and a band, that would mark almost every significant moment in our lives.
So in those three memories where were the 300 other people that we invited? Nowhere! Where were my friends who complained that they were “losing” me to marriage? Where were her friends who thought that I wasn’t good enough for her (they may have been right)? Where was my brother and the rest of my relatives who had tried to stop our relationship? Where were relatives who had disagreed with our marriage at such a young age? Where were the countless acquaintances and distant relatives that we felt so obligated to include in this day? Nowhere!!! A wedding, in my newly formed opinion, should be the most private affair. If you’re into the official thing, you can invite a judge, or some type of religious figure, or you could have your own private ceremony. Just the two of you, declaring your love for each other for no one else to hear, because in the end it will matter to no one else. Video tape it, if that will shut up your friends and family who are looking for an excuse to get dressed up and dance. Rent them a ballroom, throw a reception, and then just don’t show up.
Looking back, I think the biggest mistake that we’ve ever made in our marriage was invited more than 5 people to our wedding. At the time, we didn’t really think about it. We were getting married, we were asked where we wanted our reception. We answered. We were asked where we wanted the wedding. We answered. We were asked for the names of our wedding party. We answered. We were asked for a guest list. We answered. We were never asked, “do you want any of this?” It’s the difference between can and should. Do you know how many of my wife’s 6 bride’s maids she still speaks to? One…her sister. Do you know how many of my groom’s men I still speak to? Two, and I haven’t seen either in person in almost 3 years. In fact, of the 300 people at that wedding, less than 20 have been in any kind of contact with us since. They ate their fill of food, drank their fill of alcohol, dropped off their $15 gift from Target, and bid us farewell.
Three great things came from that day. First, of course, is my wife. She has shaped, and defined my life and I would never change that. Second is that it was the first time in my life that I spoke to my father like another person, and not like the bastard who walked out on us when I was two. Third, and probably the second most significant of the three, is that it was the day that I ended contact with my mother. Our wedding served as a parting gift to her; hence, this will also mark the 6 year anniversary of the our parting.
I have two children. A daughter and a son, although weddings seem to be more of an issue for the daughter. When she comes home and tells me that she has found her prince charming. She’s found the man that she wants to spend the rest of her life, I will present her with two options. The first option is that we will give her whatever wedding she chooses. The guest list, location, food, style, everything will be her choice. The second option, is that we will estimate the cost of all of those things, total it up, and I will cut her a check for that exact amount. The money will be hers, to do with as she pleases. If she decides to use it as a down payment on a house, great! If she decides to take a year off and travel the world, awesome! It will be her choice, and a chance for her to have a leg up that most of us never do. Would I trade my 3 memories of my wedding day for the cash spent on that day? You’re damn right I would. The only thing of any real substance that I took from that day is the relationship that I have with my wife, and that relationship could have been just as easily solidified in a dingy room at the local courthouse, or in a field somewhere.
If you have yet to get married, or have kids who will someday get married, consider this as an option. Save all the cash that you’ll need for your dream wedding. Then when it comes time to start planning that wedding, think of all of the other things that you could do with that money. Your marriage will be no weaker, or less significant, just because it wasn’t begun with a large party, that is the equivalent of a high school prom on steroids.
Honey, I assume you’re one of the handful who will read this, thanks for the life you’ve given me so far. We’ve got a long way to go. Mom, thanks for staying gone.