If you had asked 6-year-old me if I thought I’d get married when I grew up, I would have responded with a crinkle of the brow, a possible sticking out of the tongue, and a resounding, “No way!” Not because of cooties, or not entirely because of cooties, but because I thought that marriage was where fun went to die. If you got married, you couldn’t hang out with your friends. Instead, you had to do things like cook and vacuum and garden. Getting mail wasn’t fun anymore; instead, it was something you groan about and avoid opening for as long as possible as it sits on the kitchen table gathering food stains. And it seemed requisite that you also had to have loud, snotty babies and let them throw up down your back and you couldn’t even yell at them about it.
My opinion never really changed.
And yet now I find myself getting married. Next week. Yes, next week. The pending husband and I have been engaged since March, and the planning of a small to moderately sized wedding was driving us both mad. Neither of us really wanted a big shindig, and once we realized the cost of a full-fledged wedding with reception, we decided it was ridiculously insane. That’s a down payment on a house. Or a whole library of books. Or about 20,000 songs on iTunes. So we decided to elope to Niagara Falls, cause we love trashy Americana like that and Vegas is too far away, and bring our closest family and friends along with us. We decided on 7/27/2012 because I like the number 7 and I didn’t want to get married in 2013 because it includes the number 13 and I am weirdly superstitious for reasons I can’t explain. So I am getting married in exactly a week. And I’m remarkably cool with it.
I feel like I should be freaking out more, but I’m super chill. And “chill” is never really a word I (or anyone) would use to describe me.
I’ve been trying to introspect about my uncharacteristic chillness, since this seems like the kind of big life decision you should force yourself to be thoughtful about. And since lists solve everything, I made one. Here is what I came up with:
Why am I not freaking out?
1. I have been brainwashed by the patriarchy.
2. I am in love.
3. This is but the calm before the storm.
4. Since we’re pretty much eloping, there isn’t the pressure of being in the middle of a multi-thousand dollar spectacle.
5. I do not properly understand and respect the gravity of the institution of marriage.
6. I know in my bones this is right.
7. Contrary to popular belief, marriage does not require you to make babies.
8. Health insurance.
9. Hanging out with your best friend for the rest of your life seems pretty darn cool.
10. I am drunk. [*Note: At the time of the list’s original composition, this was correct.]
11. Since we are getting married in Niagara Falls, I can run for the Canadian border at any time.
It is possible that all of these are valid.
Also, whenever I think of the word “marriage,” it sounds like this in my head:
So that could be a contributing factor.