It was a day like no other — at once ordinary and unique. Having as yet to be emancipated from the sticky tentacles of religiosity, Jami and I passively relented and were married in a church ceremony.
The weight of expectations, in retrospect, was enormous. Where else would one get married? Certainly not in a civil ceremony at the Town Hall. That's just not where good Catholics tie the knot. But why? That we didn't even entertain the notion of having the local Justice of the Peace formally unite us says much about how conforming our state of mind had become.
Jami and I married one another because we loved each other and wanted our union to be recognized. We were married in a Catholic church, however, for no other reason than we were expected to be. Such is the power of religious culture, family influence, and ritualized conformity.
We take comfort in the knowledge that our marriage was recognized by the state, having met certain state-imposed criteria. In a practical sense, then, it was a civil union. Today we celebrate the twentieth anniversary of our marriage not our religious wedding ceremony. We take joy in recalling the social ritual of eating, drinking, dancing, and otherwise partying with so many who wished us well on that special night.
Our relationship is stronger today because we have freed ourselves to be who and what we really are: two human beings tethered by sweetness and good humor, intent upon learning how to better love ourselves, each other, and our precious daughter Alycia.
It may not be the perfect relationship, but it is one built upon respect, and for that reason alone, it's a fair bet we're gonna make it.
3 years ago