Let me begin this blogpost with an absolutely true anecdote from the files of Megbon. On May 5, 2000 at 5:00 in the afternoon, I was standing at the back of St. Stanislaus Church in Chicago's Wicker Park absolutely scared shitless. I looked down the aisle, spotted Donbon, and said to myself "eye on the prize, Rhem, keep your eye on the prize." And then I walked down the aisle and got married and haven't regretted it for a day. Not the marrying Don part (although: that too), the having a wedding part.
When you're planning a wedding, you'd be surprised how many people tell you that you should just go to city hall because it's stupid to spend all that money "for one day." Once you're married, if you have the wedding, you'll be tempted to bewail the money spent, wish it back, regret the finery and the pomp. But, me? I'm all about the ritual.
Here's the thing: marriage is work. It's an awful lot of work. But that's not a bad thing; what thing of value do you have that isn't work? Marriage is an endeavor and an adventure and I think it's best to anchor it with a little ritual.
We made real promises to each other that day. We made them publicly and that gave them some heft, some durability. I have, for example, left a dry towel in the bathroom for Don every day (that was a vow). Don has had pizza with me every Sunday, in spirit if not in fact (that was a vow). We have been faithful to each other, we have been interested in each other (we promised that too). We have kept on loving each other, even when we had to remind ourselves to do that.
Throughout the course of my marriage, I've fallen in and out of love with Don thousands of time, sometimes in the same day. And when I'm picking up his socks for the eight millionth time and thinking what a grind, what a challenge it is, I remind myself to keep my eye on the prize. And then suddenly, before I know it, that cute guy in the terrible tuxedo (I lied, I have one regret about my wedding: that goddamn, stupid stud he wore in lieu of a tie) shows up again. And I remember what I promised. And I'm glad I promised it.
And, don't kid yourself, I've seen that same look cross Don's face. I've seen him look at me with renewed fondness, with an "ah, there's my girl again" face.
Finally, don't forget the party. Never underestimate the value of a truly great party. Our wedding remains the best party we've every thrown (and we've thrown some wang-doozies). We drank and danced and ate and laughed and we did it in a roomful of people who were, honestly, happy for us and happy to be there. That alone was worth the price of admission.
Shoot, y'all, I'd do it all again if I could.