Belated anniversary

September 25, 2009

The good kind of anniversary, that is. Three years ago Wednesday, N and I gathered family and friends around us and promised to love and support each other, to become family.

It’s the “leather” anniversary, for those who care about these things, but leather furniture isn’t practical for a couple with two cats and a budget, neither one of us needs a new wallet, we both prefer to shop for our own shoes, and I can only think so much about leather attire before my mind wanders off into amusing hinterlands and I have to laugh about how my round (and very vanilla) self would look in a leather dominatrix outfit, belly bulging.  Catwoman meets the Venus of Willendorf.

I think we were, in our own minds and hearts, married before our wedding day.  We married when N agreed to follow me out of Chicago, and again when he showed up at my door in a moving truck with all his earthly possessions, leaving the city he knew so well and risking life in a strange new place to be with me.

One of the benefits of marrying later in life is that (and you may disagree as to whether this is a benefit, but to me it is) my wedding day wasn’t intended to be the most important or the best day of my life. I wanted to celebrate the beginning of my life with N, and I wanted all of my favorite people to celebrate with me, but I also wanted to focus more on the marriage and on life with my chosen partner than on the celebration of it.  And maybe I had some idea, even then, that we’d re-marry each other again and again as the years went by.  (It was a darned fine celebration, don’t get me wrong.  It was straightforwardly joyful, and fun, and it’s nice to know that, of all the weddings I’ve been to, I had the very best time at my own.)

Sometimes, when we are feeling especially giddy and pleased with each other, one of us will say, “I’d marry you.”  It’s a favorite running joke, and also, I think, an affirmation of the promises we made to each other.  When we hold each other and hold each other up, that is another affirmation of those promises.  We hold each other up a lot lately.  We are grateful, and sad, and grieving, and lucky.

It seems strange that we’ve been through so much together since that day.  We had no idea about Teddy then, no idea that we’d welcome a new member to the family we’d created just to say goodbye to him less than a day later.  So much life and death and love and joy and pain has been wrapped up in these three years that our new running joke lately is to say we’ve been married for 30 years.

But this weekend we’ll celebrate.  It’ll be a celebration colored by Teddy’s absence, no matter what we do, but I already know that at some point I will look at N and smile, and say, “I’d marry you.”

And it will be true.



  1. Oh Erica, beautiful post. Our wedding day was beautiful too but I knew the best was yet to come, because I knew a family was on our horizon. Like you, I had more fun at my own wedding than I did at anyone elses.
    Who knew though, what was on our horizons? These beautiful little people who would come to us just a short few years later, then be gone quicker than they arrived? It is cruel beyond words. But today, I’m glad you both have each other. Keep holding each other up. You’re doing a wonderful job so far and I know it will continue until death do you part.

  2. This is so lovely. I also feel as though I have been married for thirty years and not the two I have in reality.
    I just love your running joke. It does feel like an affirmation. Happy anniversary. xo

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