Sneak Attack

Posted: 26 February 2005 in queerlife

The commitment ceremony was waiting behind bushes to spring on me. We’ve been working steadily on all things wedding – flowers, cake, clothes, gifts, registries, etc. – but I don’t think I was consciously aware it was all coming to a rapidly approaching end. In fact, it wasn’t until I ordered the final online item and asked her to look for candlesticks during her day, that I realized we’d be standing on a beach in a week affirming our commitment to each other. Yikes! Thank goodness I’m not a straight woman, a religious woman, a church marrying in front of family woman. I can only imagine to level of wreck I’d be. She’d probably call the whole thing off in self defense.

My mother commented on the telephone that I used the words wedding and marry for the first time since announcing this production at Christmas. She saw it as a sign that I’d finally embraced the ceremony of it, which, in a way is true. There were a couple of things making me hold the words at a distance. First, I wasn’t sure how she really felt, despite the champagne toast and the offer to pay for the honeymoon. And my using the word was a way of plunging into the abyss instead of waiting for whatever invisible, unrealistic sign I was expecting. Second, her ex, who loved her as much as any one person can love another and who she loved and loves in return, had stated, in no uncertain terms, that a friendship between them would be impossible if she married me. This deserves it’s own paragraph.

No, I’m not dragging out the details of their breakup. But, the friendship is important to her. And the last thing I wanted to do as a wedding gift was to take that friendship. I wrestled with it daily. Could I call the whole thing off? No, I couldn’t. The intimate relationship had been over for more than a year, I wasn’t the one being unreasonable. Could this be mended somehow? No. Was there a chance of the ex coming around? No. And why, why, why, was I so concerned with what one person thought? I know that the most important thing is that we’re happy, that we have the support of our families and that we feel we made the right choice for us. In fact, she assured me repeatedly that there was nothing we could do, that, though she was disappointed too, it wouldn’t stand in the way of our ceremony. But I think, quietly, in our heads, we both felt sickly sad.

In an unexpected miracle move, her ex announced that it would be okay, in essence, though I’m sure she doesn’t see it this way, giving her permission. I know we didn’t need it, in the sense of requirement. But I needed it, I needed to know that my actions weren’t hurting anyone knowingly, outright. I wouldn’t have been able to say my vows with a light heart, with the awareness that I was causing pain.

With one week to go, I have only to write my vows. I had better get going…


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