The day I got married wasn’t the important day.
Or maybe the better word is “revelatory,” because I do believe that making a permanent promise is important. But cautious persons like yours truly don’t make permanent promises without a lot of advance work. My wedding day felt just-right, the appropriate result of the work we’d put in.
My engagement day felt like the appropriate result of the work we’d put in. (Despite being very funny and, um, we’ll call it ‘non-traditional.’)
Revelatory was the night I sat on the slate-blue sofa in his apartment, only 9 pm on a Saturday, spinning a story out of a truly ridiculous blind date gone breathtakingly awry, all well before 9 o’clock. As I’m drawing out the details (the date who barely speaks to me, the set-er-upper friend who pulls me to the bathroom for a Mall Rats makeover), another place in my brain squints, asks:
How is it that you’re dishing about a date to this man? This man you’re dating? That you’re also spending your unallocated time with?
Maybe you should stop bothering to go out with other guys if you’re just going to end up on his sofa saying, “Eh, the band was all right, but you wouldn’t’ve liked the food.”
That was the first revelation. Sixteen months before the wedding.
The second? I don’t remember the timing. I remember its quality. I assume being hit by lightning has a similar effect.
When I am with this man, I quit buzzing. The anxious hum that fills my brain is gone. I don’t calculate, assess, step outside myself to see how ‘things’ are going. I just Am.
When I’m with him, I’m more myself than I’ve ever been. This must be what unconditional feels like.
The proposal is an afterthought.
For over twenty-three years, we’ve shared this project of being unconditionally ourselves inside the good boundaries that love builds and holds steady. A good foundation for a permanent promise, for a life’s-work worth doing. 7 pm, March 20, 1993. #untildeathdouspart