Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Twenty Years and Counting

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.


  1. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! We just celebrated our 20th in October. I kind of giggle as you and I are so different yet so similar, in different ways!

    Not being religious upon marriage, we did get married by a justice of the peace!

    No marriage is perfect, but just the fact you've stuck it out 20 years shows you're committed and in it for the long haul. Yes, I'd say it's more than a fair bet you'll make it! Friends and family gave us three months(we were a bit wild in our youth!) 20 years and five kids later, we laugh as we remind them of those words!

  2. Thank you, Tara. Happy Anniversary to you as well. Jami and I made ourselves a special dinner and watched The Little Mermaid! It may sound silly but, we watched it for the first time during our honeymoon vacation in Florida twenty years ago. Its sentimental value keeps growing! We're looking forward to watching it again on our 30th anniversary!

    I knew if I took a break from tending to my blog I would miss your friendly comments and ample insights. Despite our differences, I value the respect we share. Perhaps our similarities are more important than our differences.

  3. I have told my daughter religiously (pun completely intended) that she and her future husband (whoever he may be), does not have to marry in any type of church, even if it is his religion. For as of right now, we (my daughter included) do not practice any religion.

    We talk about it, disect it, maybe even judge it, but we do not practice it. And I do not want her to feel the pressure that Hector and I felt over 28 years ago this past July.