I want to write a series on wedding ethics. Instead, I’m going to tell you why I want to marry Matt, because that feeling is the framework for everything else I have to say about weddings. Perhaps it is because my friends here are more comfortable with me making commitments at 21, but I think I am ready to start writing about how we chose to plan for marriage.
As a pair of independent, introverted, intelligent geeks, learning to be a couple (much less an engaged couple) was a process. The first time I knew we could plan a future was in the fall of our senior year of high school in California. We were walking across the basketball courts to my class, when we were caught in a whooshing whirl of wind. I started laughing, because I love dramatic weather, and then worried: what did he think of me, that I was laughing crazily for no reason. I glanced over, and saw him smiling at me. I had a flash of intuition: he was fine with me. I asked, to be sure, and mentioned that he loved strong wind and lightning. Of all the loves I expected us to share, a joy in extravagant weather is one that I would have no thought of and could not treasure more.
In college, we crafted systems for our relationship, systems that kept even as we were apart. Twice a month, we spend a weekend together in Washington DC. I book the hotel, he prints the maps, I bring the food, and he brings the movies. We talk about expectations, split all costs, and eat much too much ice-cream.
I want to get married because, to me, the house of marriage builds upon a foundation of love, respect, and attraction, but its beams are made from social systems for making plans, jointly-held hopes, and mutual joy in wild weather. We will fill that house with memories.
How did I know I wanted to marry Matt?
I just knew.
“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” – John Steinbeck