Well, the truth is we're already more 'hitched' than many married couples...H. and I have been together for more than five years, have lived together for more than three of those years, and although we haven't gone to couples counseling or been officially married at City Hall, a chapel in Las Vegas or a nearby beach we've gone through a lot more ups, downs and life-changing moments than many couples who've made it to the altar already.
Maybe that's why when we first announced our plans to get married next year to family and friends, I wasn't super-thrilled about the news, didn't blush with that bride-to-be enthusiasm that so many people seemed to expect me to have. It's not that I'm not thrilled to be commemorating my love for H. with a ceremony and a party with all our friends and family. It's only partially because I feel ambivalent about marriage as an institution, fraught as it is with so many generations' worth of cultural baggage and strange societal expectations that have nothing to do with love and everything to do with perpetuating an insane economic and social system that I don't believe in. I think the real reason that I wasn't overenthused about our 'news' is that, in many ways, I feel married to H. already.
He is my best friend, closest confidante, and favorite person to be around, hands down. He has taught me so much about life and love and friendship and I know I've done the same for him. It sounds cliche, but it's true, he's helped me become a better person, and I know that I'm not the only person who's noticed this. I've never felt more spiritually and emotionally close to someone, although don't get me wrong, we have our 'off' moments to be sure. We fight, we threaten to leave (well, I do, I guess), we have our doubts about whether this relationship is going to work. But after all that, we always come back to each other, realizing how our fears and insecurities have gotten in the way of us recognizing what's really important: that we want to build a life and a family together that will carry both of us as well as our children-to-be, our respective families (soon-to-be one family) and our community of friends forward into a better and happier future.
We've been on that road for some time already, and I see our 'engagement' (it feels funny to say that word, especially since he didn't officially propose, we just decided as a couple to do this) and our upcoming wedding as just a ceremonial way to mark that H. and I have chosen this path together.
Lastly, I've finally gotten juiced about planning the big day--as some of you know I've organized my fair share of fundraising and other big events in recent years--so I'm feeling like the momentum is really starting to build. Wish us luck finding a ceremony and reception site, and let me know if you have any ideas about nice places.