Thursday, May 28, 2009

On Weddings

So I've been thinking a lot about weddings lately, partly as a way of avoiding thinking about marriage. When I think about marriage I not only have that nervous fear of "can I handle my lover's dirty socks for the rest of our lives?" but also anger at things like power of attorney, insurance coverage, and taxes. So why then would I be thinking about marriage? I'm unmellow enough as it is, yeah?

Because, finally, my ever-fabulous Ferret and I have decided on a date for our wedding. It's months away and it's driving me crazy already. I'm thinking about flowers and food and guests and budgets. I'm rolling my eyes at my own descent into madness: as I make lists and consider aesthetics, I'm a stressed-out combination of classic femme and professional organizer (which is what I am, after all).

I've been not-so-jokingly saying we should elope- weddings are a waste of time and money, they're heterosexist and patriarchal, and who the hell needs to deal with seating arrangements and froufrou when all you really want is a party, followed by a vacation (and at some point in there, lots of sex).

My Ferret changed my mind when I asked her in all seriousness why we didn't just do it and save time, money and stress. She simply replied, "I love you. I want to be with you for always, and I want the world to know it."
And I realized: I want that too.
…I hate when she's right. Damn crafty ferret logic.

That is it: the real and necessary reason behind the ceremony and celebration. All that fuss, all the energy expended and arrangements made and time and money spent and relatives gathered; it's because this is an important moment. I know lots of people still think of this as a coming-of-age rite. I have my doubts about that, knowing lots of single grownups and immature married folks. But either way, committing to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with is a big deal. And all the hoopla is there to tell you and the world that this is important. You've found your love, your life, your partner, and it matters. At least that's how it seems to me.

So when people are less than enthused when I announce my upcoming nuptials, it's hard not to take it personally. My father still hasn't said anything to me at all yet- I thought "congratulations" at least should be a no-brainer. My mother is the one who told me she wasn't sure my father would want to walk me down the aisle.
I have no intention of being "given away"- I'm not a possession, and getting married makes me no less my own person. But it feels like I am blazing a new path here, and I'd like to be able to cling to some traditions as familiar landmarks. (Hey, some we're losing. Fuck that toss-the-bouquet nonsense.)
But to hear that my own father doesn't want to participate in one of the more significant events in his daughter's life; to hear, as I do in my mother's voice, that my parents don't share in my excitement and happiness- it makes me wonder. It makes me reconsider the whole thing. I do have a good relationship with my parents and thought they were used to the idea that their one and only girlchild wasn't going to make that walk with a dude. Now I'm not so sure.

If they can't share in this with me and be as happy about my wedding as they are about, say, my brother's, then what is the point?

…having just typed that, I know that I am lucky that my parents didn't disown, assault, or evict me when they found out (which makes me angry that that happens at all), but that doesn't mean I feel any better about what I perceive as their rejection of the validity of my relationship.

And then I think, fuck 'em. The people who really love me and Ferret for who we are, all we are, will be behind us. We have people who will share this with us. If anybody "isn't comfortable" with us (have you noticed that usually means "I'm homophobic but won't admit it"?), then they can stay away. More cake for the rest of us. I want no one at my wedding who is not a true friend.

Okay, I'm done ranting for now- I have to go look at lacy things and flowers on