Today marks the sixth year of my blog. It also marks the one year anniversary of the post where I swore to never move again, and look where that got me. As is tradition on this auspicious day,I’m recapping the last year in the life of this blog in the hopes of finally learning my lesson to stop making veiled threats to the universe, as it has a much darker sense of humor than me.
Everything went silent. I couldn’t hear the officiant. I couldn’t hear the waves. I couldn’t hear the seagulls. I was in a complete sound vacuum, as I watched her lips. I wanted to absorb the moment she said, “I do.”
Everything up to that point was chaotic. A whirlwind of ridiculousness, from a late start to a long drive caused by a disastrous manicure to a traffic delay due to weather and hunger. All of this compounded by an additional 25 minute tour of all of Key West’s dead-end streets in an effort find our hotel, which was outside of the purview of our GPS, but somehow still under the control of President Truman.
From the moment we finally set our bags down in our room, we had exactly 30 minutes to get ready. Thirty minutes. Two brides. One bathroom.
“I need the eyeliner,” she said
I looked in the monster make-up bag I had packed just 5 hours prior. But there was no use, I knew the moment she said eyeliner that I forgot to pack it.
Nearly fourteen years of togetherness are all riding on getting through the next 19 minutes and counting. I was not about the let a shitty black crayon get in the way of marrying the woman I love. I contemplated a few options, like sticking one of her thin make-up brushes into the mascara tube or just handing her a pen.
“You’re not going to believe this,” I said, full knowing that she would believe it.
Profuse apologies followed and then her half-acceptance of them, but really, we didn’t have time to fight about eyeliner. We barely had time to look at each other. And every time we did, one of us would get teary-eyed, so I think it was a good thing we didn’t have the stupid eyeliner.
We made it to the beach exactly 2 minutes before our scheduled time, but our officiant was already there, which meant I didn’t have time to tell her all of the things I wanted to say. I couldn’t tell her that she looked more beautiful than ever. I couldn’t tell her that I loved her. I couldn’t thank her for planning this beach wedding because I am too much of a princess to get married in a courthouse where Alex Hanna is fighting traffic tickets in the next window. I couldn’t tell her that she made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I couldn’t apologize for forgetting to pack the eyeliner and all of the other countless stupid shit I do on an hourly basis. I couldn’t say a word. We were too busy making small talk and going over forms and making transactions.
And the more I desperately tried to slow down the moment, the faster it seemed to go. Before I could get my bearings we were under a palm tree holding each other’s hands. This was really happening. I was really marrying her. Officially. Legally. Forever.
I was asked to say, “I do” first. The words fell out of my head like the contents of a plastic Easter egg. Two words have never been said more clumsily. I could’ve as easily said, “Yeah, yeah.”
But now it was her turn. The person that swore marriage wasn’t for her. The person that argued the concept of marriage was antiquated and patriarchal. The person that even to this day feels like we are rushing into things when we make plans six months in advance. The most private person I know is now being asked to publicly affirm that she was completely cool with having a wife forever. For. Ever.
“I do,” she said in her softest, most graceful voice.
And with that my hearing returned. The roar of the ocean, the click of the camera, the officiant’s memorized speech about the significance of a ring. All of it came back and louder than ever.
Since then life has been just a little more bright and just a little more loud and just a little more perfect.
Here’s to another fourteen years…this time we get to be newlyweds.
On the second floor of Miami Beach’s old city hall, there is a rectangle-shaped room where, if you sit long enough, you may end up committing a felony to expedite your wait. But felonies aren’t handled in this room. No, this is the place for marriages and misdemeanors.
As I walked in, the first person I laid eyes on was a bride in full veil and train speaking in Russian, or something like it, to her future husband through a translator. The groom, his body in full suit and his head in full hair gel, then turned to his family to discuss what was said in Spanish. “The perfect marriage,” I thought.
I went on to collect my ticket, which indicated that I was the seven-hundredth and twentieth person in line, and glanced around the room to find the most comfortable seat possible. Perhaps one where I could rest my back against the wall and also be closest to the exit, in case that Russian bride went full-Bridezilla.
Unfortunately, an Argentinean national was taking up all of the prime real estate. Well not her personally, but her beach umbrella, which she placed upon an entire bench. I know I could’ve said something, but there was something off about her and I didn’t want to get into it.
There were two young black men that also didn’t want to get into it with her and they commandeered folding chairs, which they placed in the center of the room. They looked incredibly comfortable while discussing the discomfort of bureaucracy. I had no choice but to eavesdrop on their conversation all about the injustice of parking tickets, and found myself nodding along to all their valid points.
With only three windows open and numbers being called out in 15 minute intervals, I realized that I too was destined for a parking ticket. I had erroneously estimated to be there an hour. One single, joyous hour, where I, together with my partner of 13 years, was going obtain a somewhat-legal marriage license.
This is not what I had envisioned at all.
There were not a couple of Queen’s Guards opening the door to the courthouse for us. (Mainly because we were in the United States).There was not an enthusiastic host, much like one from a TGI Friday’s or Chili’s, that welcomed us and showed us to our seats. There was definitely not a short wait. And Ruth Bader Ginsburg was not sitting behind the glass to administer our oath.
After 53 minutes of full regret – not about getting a marriage license, but about getting our marriage license there – our number was called.
This prompted us to look at each other in that way those long-time couples only can. In that split second, only using our eyes, we said we loved one another and that what we were doing was ridiculously exciting. More exciting than we ever thought it would be. And just as heart-exploding as the moment I realized she was proposing and had not just fallen on the floor. As we made our way to the window, I flashed my half grin at her and she replied with her staple gorgeous smile, and right as we took our seats in front of the glass…
that fucking Argentinean lady and her malparida umbrella squeezed herself between us and the glass partition to speak to the attendant, disregarding the fact that it was clearly not her turn.
This prompted us to look at each other once again. And without saying a word, we agreed not to get married there and to find that bitch’s car and…