My lover and I went to a wedding last weekend. The day was sunny and warm but not dreadfully hot; the backdrop was the beach, with waves crashing in the background and guests kicking off sandals and flip-flops to walk more easily in the sand and soak feet in the afternoon September sun. The bride and groom, friends of ours, were embarking on the beginning of married life for the first time for each of them. They were joyful with anticipation as newlyweds are apt to be, and the groom, with tears in his eyes, beamed more radiant than the bride if you can believe that. She gave him a run for his money though.
I couldn’t hear their heart-felt vows, but the personally written and spoken vows were meant for each other, not for us. We visually witnessed their commitment, rather than heard it. Later, when the reception was well underway, tears streamed down my face the way they so often do these days at weddings. I’m glad I couldn’t hear their vows, or surely, I’d have been sobbing during the ceremony. It seems that wedding are my undoing, all of my own, as well as everyone else’s.
The tumble of emotions that besets me at weddings is mystifying: part nostalgia, part melancholy, part grief, and part angst. I believe in romantic love, and I believe in romantic marriages. Unfortunately I’ve never experienced a romantic marriage, or any marriage that lasts, but I’m fortunate to be in a romantic relationship with an incredibly romantic man, a rare specimen in my experience.
We’ve been friends for 28 years and, in and out of touch with each other the last 10, and finally reunited in a blaze of devotion over a year ago. I credit him with saving my life last year and I fully blame him for making me happier than I’ve been in a very long time. Our banter, many times in the middle of the night, is uproariously funny. We entertain each other immensely, we read to each other, we finish each other’s sentences, and we cry together at the sheer beauty and love we experience. He says we fit like fingers entwined and inseparable: mentally, spiritually and physically. And he’s right.
We have talked about marriage, how it doesn’t last (preaching to the choir here), how it’s just a piece of paper, why wedding rings are stupid if you work with your hands. Intellectually we agree and I see the folly of such an endeavor, but in my heart of hearts, my hopelessly and endlessly romantic self yearns to be his wife, to call him husband, to join our lives legally. Despite endless failures I believe that marriages can last ‘forever’ if both people are committed to feeding and caring for their marriage. My own two brothers have been married to their wives for 13 and 15 years respectively and I’m more than a little envious of them, despite my overwhelming love for them and my two sisters-in-law.
For now, I’ll let my silly little heart take over at weddings, wistfully longing. Fortunately, there aren’t any more weddings in the foreseeable future so all seem safe from my streaming tears. I am the luckiest woman in the world to be the last love of this wonderful man. His love fills my days with humor and my nights with passion. It is enough, truly.