Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Dave and I had our Civil Union ceremony today. We agreed from the very beginning to keep it as simple as possible, so we didn't do rings or special vows or tuxedos or flowers. We went to City Hall and were married by the mayor, in his office, with our three witnesses looking on. In fact, we didn't even stand up. (We sat around a conference table, which I thought was a little weird.) We did wear suits, our one concession to formality.
Afterwards we adjourned to a gazebo behind City Hall and took some photos, and then headed out to brunch at the Skylark Diner. We treated two of our three witnesses, our friends David and Adam. Third witness Bill had to go to work.
I can't imagine how people pull together huge wedding ceremonies! We're thinking about having a party in a couple of weeks, and even that thought stresses me out a little.
But still -- holy cow -- I'm married! It's exciting, but a little strange, too. All my life, I never imagined I'd be here. I dated, sure, and I wanted a partner on some abstract level, but at the same time I wasn't terrified by the prospect of being permanently and happily single. In fact, I regarded it as likely. And I certainly never imagined marriage, coming of age as a gay man at a time when it was utterly impossible.
Yet here I am, a New Jersey suburbanite, with a patient, laid-back, funny, occasionally perplexing partner. During the past year and a half, my single, urban life collapsed and rose again as something else entirely. Happily, I feel like I'm still plain old me, just dealing with different daily habits and different sets of circumstances. The ins-and-outs of my breath are the same, the pulse of my bloodstream and the patterns of my thoughts. Soon I'll (hopefully) be getting a job and buying a car. Wow!
It's weird to think that when people in the future look back on my life, in an obituary or for genealogical purposes, using public records, today will figure so prominently. Just think: One of the single biggest events of my life. Today!
(Photo: Century plants blooming on Anna Maria Island, at sunrise. Century plants are a type of agave that live for decades before blooming once and then dying.)