Saturday, June 29, 2013

Time Flies When You're Married

Today is mine and Wes' one year wedding anniversary.

Had you asked me a year ago about marriage, I would have been like, "no big deal." But a year later, I'm less naive. It IS a big deal. And it's frustrating, challenging, sometimes mean and angry and all around a pain in the a**. But I'm glad that we are each other's pain in the a**.

The love, connection and personal growth I have experienced this year, just by being able to call someone my "husband" is powerful. This one year of marriage has made me more passionate than ever about championing for the right for EVERYONE to legally call someone else "husband" or "wife."

Words themselves are symbols for other things. By calling someone "boyfriend/girlfriend", "husband/wife", we empower that relationship--legitimize it within "reality." The word "marriage" has become a power symbol. And some have been so quick to try to define that abstract concept, which defies definition.

When we talk about language in my COM103 class, I always ask my students to define the word "love." What is the difference between "I love those shoes" and "I love my mom?" Is love always romantic love? What is the sensory experience of being "in love"? Is the word "love" universal? Is it just a human feeling? How do you KNOW you love someone? What do you MEAN when you say "I love you" to someone else? How much love is required to apply a label to the relationship?

Love is abstract. There is no singular definition you can place on it to encompass the range of experiences and emotions that are associated with it. "Marriage" is similar--how can you define that which is so complex and evolving?

Labels are important, powerful. Like the word "love," everyone deserves to use the word "married."

Today I also want to share my wedding vows. (Here's a link to the story of how we met in case you were curious) Wes and I wrote our own vows. As a speech teacher, I'm pretty damn proud of the fact that I wrote the whole ceremony myself :) Here goes:

Wesley, today, I have to marry you. I have to marry you because we are tied together by things that that are way too complicated to explain to someone new. I have to marry you because there’s not too many people in this world who can simultaneously make me laugh and also want to shank them. I have to marry you because you are the only person I can imagine growing old, senile and cranky with. I have to marry you, because when I met you, my soul leaped up in my chest and said, “Oh there you are—I’ve been looking for you!” I have to marry you because I love you and I can’t even begin to fathom living without you.

Me, 19. Wes, 22. We were babies!

We balance each other. You are the pepper to my salt, the Eve to my Wall-E, the bake to my shake, the bumble to my “B,” and the beat to my heart, the flip to my flop, and the love of my life. Being the first-class space cadet that I am, you are the anchor that keeps my feet on the ground. I love you because have a heart of gold and you always see the best in people—and you always give second chances. I love you because you paint life a little larger and funnier than it actually is. And of course, I love you simply because you are you, no pretending or pretenses.

He must love me if he agreed to be the dalmatian to my Cruella DeVille!

I don’t come to you today with promises to serve, honor, and obey. We both know that’s not my style. But do promise to trust, love and respect you. I promise to be honest and, even sometimes put you in your place (it’s good for you!). I will try my hardest to listen and not talk over you, though we both know that it’s not my strongest suit. Things will not be perfect or easy, but I promise to let the small things go.

I promise to laugh at your jokes—no matter how many times you tell them. I promise to build a life, a family and traditions with you. I will try to be the best possible human being, wife, and sidekick you could ever want in this lifetime, or the next.

Today, Bobby Wesley Carter II, I give you my heart forever.

Happy Saturday, Friends! Happy Anniversary, Wesley--I love you forever.

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