There’s almost nothing else on my mind these days, because it just isn’t possible.
I’m tempted to say I’ll believe it when I see it. But that isn’t true. I won’t believe it even when I see it. After a lifetime of knowing I could never get married, many decades of looking at weddings as a lovely but alien rite and marriage as a status that had no reality in my life, I can’t seem to switch off the “What, are you kidding?” mode.
I was my sister’s maid of honor, a bridesmaid for my cousin, a happy participant when my niece got married, and then my nephew. One after another, my old friends married.
I have to admit my feelings weren’t all charitable and loving. There was that edge—not directed at the people I loved, but at the world—of anger. Of “Why them and why not me?” Everybody else expects it. It was like being a non-observant Jew at Christmas.
I had plenty of relationships. I even lived with a number of them. We could tell ourselves we were married, but we weren’t and we knew it. Of course, as it turned out, these were not exactly not-marriages made in heaven, so every one of them would have ended in messy divorce anyway.
For the best? Maybe. But I also kind of thought I was as entitled to a messy divorce as the next woman.
And I wondered: that one good relationship, the first serious one way back in the Sixties. The one I wasn’t ready for. If we’d been able to get married, would I have found it harder to be a damned fool?
Now, even though it hasn’t happened yet, everyone seems to think we’re about to be allowed (Allowed. Grrrrr, as our cockapoo would say) the complete, blessed-by-society union. That Prop 8 will implode like a pig in Angry Birds. That maybe even DOMA will fall.
And, in wonderful synchronicity, that first woman, the good relationship I messed up in the Sixties, has come back to me after all these years. So we’re planning a wedding for summer. Maybe we’ll play some Supremes music and Scalia won’t be singing.
We’re already domestic partners, which means, weirdly, that we will have to divorce from that state of unwedded bliss to actually make it the real thing instead of separate but unequal. We’re planning to do it at home but even so, we walk around the house singing “Going to the chapel, and we’re going to get mah-ah-arried…”
Of course, we could have used all those sheets and towels and small appliances back then. Now I don’t know where we’ll put them.
And I don’t believe it anyway.
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