What's amazing about marrying my sweetheart, besides my incredible good fortune, is the feeling of being old-fashioned. I've talked to all kinds of straight folks who pooh-pooh the marriage idea. A youngish insurance guy I spoke with the other day laughed at the idea that gays would destroy marriage and said, "Marriage is already destroyed." He cited divorce and spousal abuse and ignoring the needs of the kids as the real culprits.
So, with that resolved and no feelings of guilt about what non-gays have brought on themselves, I am pleased to say that my sweetheart and I will forge ahead with our plans to marry in October. With a growing number of gay and non-gays planning to watch this dangerous joining of two women who want the commitment the ceremony commands.
That's the other amazing thing: the incredible people who want, or are willing, to witness our vows. Some of them are traveling long distances at considerable expense to be there with us. I've usually been a reluctant observer so it's hard for me to imagine what draws people. My much loved nephew married last month and I thought it made more sense to save the money my sweetheart and I would spend getting there and give it to the newlyweds.
Perhaps I was being too sensible. The groom, despite what I assume were nerves and misgivings, said his wedding day had turned out to be one of the best days of his life. From the suppressed delight in his smile as captured in a photograph, and the pleased shy expression on his bride's face, I can see why. I don't recall ever seeing anyone embody so well the expression "looks like the cat who swallowed the canary" as my nephew. He, by the way, married a woman too. Good choice.
Now I too find myself so traditional that I want to make legally and spiritually binding this to have and to hold thing. My sweetheart is perfect for me. I am throwing myself at her feet, trusting the mercy of her love. She thinks she is the lucky one, but I can tell you right now that no one on earth could be more grateful or more blessed than I will be to stand at her side and hear her put into words, in front of those who people our world, her desire to entwine our lives, for the rest of our years and beyond.
When my sweetheart invited her dad and sisters, I had my doubts they would want to see her marry a woman. I had the same doubts about my brother. But my brother has to stay related to me, whereas my in-laws-to-be have options. In the past when I've been accepted by a partner's family, treated as family, valued for who I am, I've found myself persona non-grata after the split, as if they'd never broken bread with me or entrusted me with family secrets or with their daughter, sister, niece, grandchild. This dear family is stuck with me. One sister thanked me for making my sweetheart so happy when it's I who should be placing offerings at the altar of the goddess of happiness for leading me to this woman on this day. In this place.
That's a third amazing thing: we're getting married in Massachusetts. We were both raised by New Englanders; my sweetheart's from Connecticut, and my whole family, except myself, is from Massachusetts. It was a shocker when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage. Going there to legally marry a woman is so beyond what I ever would have expected to lie in my future that I cannot wrap my mind around it. Of course, we've chosen Provincetown. Everyone knows going to Provincetown is something like going offshore to gamble, a place just outside the law. But in reality it is Massachusetts, the state where my mother and father, my brother and sister-in-law, my grandparents, and now my nephew, have been legally wed.
Does that sound seditious? I don't know of anything less threatening to the institution or to society itself than loving couples wanting our unions blessed by the state, religions and our birth families and friends. Gay partners are out to make families, not break them.
© 2010 Lee Lynch
Lee Lynch, Author of Sweet Creek from Bold Strokes Books