Marriage is what brings us together today…
Here’s the skinny; until very recently (recently as in, ‘Hey, didja know yesterday was Thursday?’) I didn’t believe in marriage. That is, living in the States, I didn’t believe in this ‘monogomy-is-the-way-to-be-one’s-soul-mate-until-one-of-us-finds-someone-more-dreamy’ idea of marriage our Western culture has deemed acceptable. Actually, I still don’t believe in that status of marriage, but I digress…
Out of my High Skewl graduating class, I believe I am the only chick who isn’t married, knocked up, has kids, or divorced. (Go me.) One of the main reasons I have never been married is because I don’t believe in divorce. I would like to think if I get hitched I’m in it till I kick off to Box City.
Sticking to this idea has made relationships real easy to slide out of in the past. ‘Why, I can’t marry you! We might get divorced and I don’t believe in divorce! Eek!’ This excuse has been like liquid Gobstoppers, as I don’t really believe in anything, so the fact that I might believe in something holds credibility amongst those asking me to get wededed.
I’ve had three marriage proposals in my lifetime. Ironically, I’ve also cowered away from three marriage proposals in my lifetime. A couple years ago, I began to wonder if I made the correct choice as it seemed like every one I knew was lining up to board the Ecstasy Express. However, when half of them returned via Destination Divorce I realized I needed to do two things: 1. Stop thinking/worrying about something I never really believed in. (Just because everybody else gave up drinking for companionship doesn’t mean I should.) 2. Don’t settle.
‘Don’t settle’ was some of the best advice I ever got, thank you Arizona Boy. My AZ Buddy took pity on me and explained there is a curse which falls upon the majority of women in their thirties (yes, girls, there’s more to love about becoming a woman!). Said curse brings about that whole Miss Havesham dishevelment and nobody needs to witness that. The other advice I received was, ‘Get out of the Mid-West and do something with your life. You are too shiny-starlike to fall into the I’m-going-to-seek-out-my-Guy-because-marriage-is-the-most-important-thing snap trap.’ Thus, I moved, found a slew of adventures to occupy my time, picked up some friends who also dig Vodka over babies…and then I was invited to a wedding.
Well, let’s give props here; I was invited to the Queen Mum of weddings, over in Denmark. One of my best pals from High School, Tobias, was marching into matrimony and requested I be witness to this event (apparently there was a church involved or something). Tobias was the first Atheist I ever met and he was also my ‘tradition is icky’ confident. So, if some skirt had managed to snag this prize pal of mine and convince him to set body inside a church, I should seriously be there.
Being the all-around swell gal I am, I made the su-preme sacrifice and headed off to Germany, and then to Denmark, and then back to Germany, and then back to the States. Here’s what I learned:
• There are a LOT of acid washed jeans still running around Amsterdam. Dang.
• Hamburg can be enjoyed by boat tour and moseying through the Red Light District.
• Denmark is Heaven. They have hot dogs with fried onions that smell reeeally good there. If you’re me, however, and take a bite, and then think about how you haven’t eaten red meat since you were sixteen you might not be inclined to swallow the doggie.
• Danish Socialism is not dissimilar to Willy Wonka looking after the Oompa Loomas. How happy were the Oompas? Very. That’s how happy the Danes seem.
• Tobias knew exactly what he was doing getting all hitched.
The night before the big weddin’, Toby & I sat up with plenty o’ biers while he relayed his commitment speech, as I most likely wouldn’t understand it in the German/Dutch/Danish/Spanish/French/Pick a language that isn’t English wedding ceremony.
Tobias is a poet and while I shouldn’t attempt to recreate anything he told me, I’ll take a stab in the jugular. The inscription on Tobias & Tanjas’ wedding rings read ‘You Shall Not Go Under’ which enchantingly denotes the entire breath and backbone of a relationship between two people. ‘You shall not go under’ means everything: the couple has already dedicated their lives, bodies, souls, minds, artz, and emotions to each other. They have given everything and in doing this they have already committed themselves in sweet times and in want. Understanding this, those who are faithful and trusting to each other shall never go under.
I am a closeted romantic and, yes, I cried at the inscription, I cried at the ceremony, I even cried through Tobias’ seven-minute wedding speech and I didn’t understand more than ten words of it. I cried because I love my friend and I truly believe in his marriage. I also cried because it was the first wedding I’ve been to in which I didn’t feel a sense of sadness that I would always be lacking in the happiness I was witnessing.
Clearly, I’m not the resident smarty-pants on getting married and bein’ all married, but praise be to Allah, I hope this is exactly what it’s like. That and liquid Gobstoppers.