Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How do I still go through with it?

So, now I am questioning whether or not I want to get married. One of the reasons I felt okay about this decision was that for a short time, gay marriage was allowed in California. Now that things have changed I may change my mind. I know, everyone keeps telling me, "Do what makes you happy," and "Don't let that ruin your happiness" but honestly, I am not putting all my happiness eggs in the marriage basket! I am perfectly happy without it. I wanted to get married for logistical issues and also for the fun of throwing the party for all of our friends and family. Well, I can throw the party anyway and maybe there are other ways around the logistical issues. Where do I go from here? This is the email I sent out announcing that Andrew & I decided to get married. I thought maybe reading it again would give me some answers. It didn't!
Hello Everyone, Let me start this email explaining a few things I have touched upon before with many of you but now I have taken the time to put into words that truly do explain my feelings in the best way that I can.

Andrew and I have been together for almost 8 years now and the question frequently pops up.... "When are the two of you getting married?" I often give a brief, sometimes slightly longer explanation about my feelings but I am often so frustrated at the judgmental tone and/or lack of open-mindedness that is (sometimes) present I am typically unable to get my message across the way that I want.

Andrew and I have chosen not to get married for so many reasons, none of which have anything to do with a lack of commitment to one another. Ralph Waldo Emerson describes it most eloquently in his poem, Celesital Love, "There need no vows to bind, whom not each other seek but find. They give and take no pledge or oath, nature is the bond of both." The longer excerpt I find the most suiting (and the easier read) is at the end of this [blog].

Marriage is a very exclusive institution, snubbing others with different religious beliefs or sexual orientation, not to mention the gender discrimination, restrictions, assumptions and definitions that I simply do not want imposed upon me. Considering the social, political and economic foundations marriage was built upon as well as the modern pressures, role assumptions and blind consumerism that stalks married couples, I have been completely content with our decision to express our beliefs by not getting married.

All that being said, both of us feel that the time has come to re-assess the current state of things and look ahead to our future together. This has been an exciting year for Andrew and me. It began early with the purchase of our first home at the end of 2007, then new jobs at the beginning of 2008 bringing some nice benefits, investment opportunities and a little financial security in this unstable economy. We have further plans under way right now, which we hope will bring us even closer to our goals.

In March, we had a discussion about what we have accomplished and where we would like to go from here. While I do still feel the same way about marriage, I feel more confident (maybe this comes with age) that I can do anything in life and with a little out-of-the-box thinking, make it entirely my own - and I mean 'anything', marriage included. So, needless to say, Andrew and I have decided to get married! We are both determined to do this in a way that will speak to who we are as individuals and as a couple. We're not sure when, but it will probably happen in the next year or two.

We are excited to do something 'official' to celebrate the fact that we want to spend the rest of our lives together. We will also have the peace-of-mind that comes from some of the benefits of marriage, ie. the 'in case something terrible happens' factor, as well as the needs that will arise with any children we may decide to have. Some people in our lives already know about this but I am still sending this email, just because it gives the full-picture about our thoughts and feelings.

Also, I wanted to share with everyone some official proof for those of you who just can't believe that we're actually going to do it. It's the ring that I picked out, along with Andrew. I love this ring for 2 reasons - I got to pick it out myself (I wanted something classic but unique that also reflects my own style and taste) and we used Andrew's Grandmother's diamond as the center stone. She is someone who meant a lot to him and his family and I am honored to wear the diamond. I am also relieved that I did not have to make the difficult decision of purchasing a diamond and supporting that violent industry. Andrew will pick out his own ring too and will use stones from his grandmother's ring (if he picks a ring that has stones in it).

I am excited to share this news with my amazing friends and family and I want to thank you in advance for all of your well-wishes. We will keep everyone posted as things develop and plans begin. Like I said, we're not sure about how or when we would like the ceremony and celebration to take place but we're going to take it slow in figuring it out. After all, we've waited this long!

An excerpt fromCelesital Love by Ralph Waldo Emerson

There need no vows to bind
Whom not each other seek but find.
They give and take no pledge or oath,
Nature is the bond of both.
No prayer persuades, no flattery fawns,
Their noble meanings are their pawns.
Plain and cold is their address,
Power have they for tenderness,
And so thoroughly is known
Each others' purpose by his own,
They can parley without meeting,
Need is none of forms of greeting,
They can well communicate
In their innermost estate;
When each the other shall avoid,
Shall each by each be most enjoyed.
Not with scarfs or perfumed gloves
Do these celebrate their loves,
Not by jewels, feasts, and savors,
Not by ribbons or by favors,
But by the sun-spark on the sea,
And the cloud-shadow on the lea,
The soothing lapse of morn to mirk,
And the cheerful round of work.
Their cords of love so public are,
They intertwine the farthest star.
The throbbing sea, the quaking earth,
Yield sympathy and signs of mirth;
Is none so high, so mean is none,
But feels and seals this union.
Even the tell Furies are appeased,
The good applaud, the lost are eased.

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