Yesterday, I had lunch with an old friend of mine. He is getting married in a little over a month and I loved listening to him talk about how excited he was about his wedding. None of this my-job-is-to-show-up bullshit. We reminisced about my first wedding when there was an entire CD burned (this was before iPods) entitled, "To give Marty a heart attack" full of funk songs that this 6'3" guy with a wrestling manager's build wouldn't be able to resist. "He was sweaty," is how my friend remembered it. Then, he talked about why he liked the DJ they were probably going to go with. At some point in the conversation, he said the words, "I HAVE to send you a picture of the favors; they are perfect!" He told me about specific vows that he was particularly excited to agree to and how he was looking forward to the way certain family members would react to the audience-participation nature of the ceremony. He almost cried when he talked about his fiancee's dress and how beautiful she looked in it.
This is a beautiful thing in this world of ours.
Yesterday, Jacob and I went to Social Security to change both of our last names to a hyphenated common name. It was hard for him. He used the word, "trepidation." He acknowledged that my desire for this was mostly to mend the world by being ground-breakers by modeling new options for families that want an alternative to a societal norm based upon a belief that women and the children they produce are property. We decided this months ago after long nights of discussions that included some shouting and tears. We think the choices anyone makes are good as long as they are good for them but we want a world where every choice is actually an option that folks can choose without getting weird feedback. That's only done by making an option mundane instead of exotic, which means folks like us have to do more than just talk about changing the world until we reach a tipping point. Although Jacob agreed to this and his new Social Security card will arrive in the mail in two weeks, he needed to tell me yesterday while we waited on uncomfortable chairs, anxiously watching the early-model LED "Now Being Served" board, that he was doing it 80-90% because he loves me not because he's passionate about changing the world this way.
Both of these kinds of grooms are beautiful things in this world of ours. Weddings are important. Marriage is important. We do newly-created families a disservice when we delegate all of the hard work and excitement over to the brides. I am looking forward to this wedding in November because both partners will be fully present in the party that they are planning. I am looking forward to the rest of my marriage with a deep-seated conviction that Jacob is fully committed to this thing that I never had with my first husband. It helps me move past the last of my fears that history will repeat itself and I will be left alone and devastated again. With those fears so clearly unfounded, I can commit MYSELF fully to this relationship rather than sandbagging parts of myself in case I need them intact to survive another divorce.
To celebrate our one-month anniversary, I made Jacob this mix and since my music collection comes more and more from legitimate sources due to Jacob's beliefs about intellectual property, I was actually able to publish it as an iMix. You can purchase it for yourself here.
January Wedding by The Avett Brothers
Sing by Travis
Sweet Revenge by John Prine
Cinnamon Girl by Neil Young
You've Made Me So Very Happy by Blood, Sweat & Tears
Let's Get It Started by Black Eyed Peas
Dance Me to the End of Love by Misstress Barbara
Sexy M.F. by Prince
Let's Get Married by Al Green
Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye
Hit the Spot by Leslie Mendelson
Love Will Keep Us Together by Captain & Tennille
Knocks Me off My Feet by Stevie Wonder
In My Life by Nina Simone
At Last by Etta James
Married by Judi Dench
I call it "One Great Month" and last night we danced around to it as I finished our celebratory dinner of "well-cooked" beef stew, fresh bread out of the bread machine and fruit salad. I'll be listening to it for at least a couple of days on repeat because I like it so much. It's so danceable in the middle since it's an electronica version of our favorite Leonard Cohen song, which is Jacob's favorite genre even though I hate it. It reminds me of our wedding when I was so awe-struck at how well The Beatles' "In My Life" applied to my life and I sang it to Jacob. When Judi Dench sings, "And the old despair that was often there suddenly ceases to be for you wake one day,look around and say: 'Somebody wonderful married me,'" I cannot remember feeling any other way.