Tuesday, October 03, 2006

One Year...and Counting

Yesterday marked the first anniversary of my marriage to Clair. Yes, we're pretty proud of ourselves.

At a different function a week ago, my friend Kat asked me what was different about being married. And it's an interesting question, because there's clearly something that separates the Institution of Marriage from the Institution of Remaining Unattached. If marriage didn't mean more, if it didn't have so much significance, then no one would do it. You wouldn't celebrate the occasion with such huge events. Homosexuals wouldn't be working so hard to destroy it. Marriage means something.

My reply to Kat was, "I get to use the phrase 'my wife'."

This sounds glib. But I really don't mean it to be. What I mean is, there is this person who means a great deal to me, and for a year, I've had permission to use a descriptive term that carries extraordinary weight with the world. Wife. That's the really big deal. Checking in to a hotel? "I'll need keys for me and my wife." Being bothered by a salesperson at a department store? "I really can't make any decisions without my wife." It's the ultimate in heightening.

To a certain extent, we've been celebrating the first anniversary of the wedding as much as the first anniversary of the marriage. Our friends Eddie, Diane, and Padraic joined us on Sunday at The Green, which was the site of our reception. It was a glorious, sunny day. The sangria was flowing freely. And for some reason, there was a man in what I can only describe as a subdued zoot suit singing karaoke tunes that had a Latin flavor. "Hey, see if you can remember this one from Mr. Marc Anthony," he would say. Diane says at one point, he even made a little "hep-hep", raise-the-roof gesture with his hand. It was bizarre.

But we didn't care, because a year ago, we had a wedding, and it went perfectly. You plan and plan for these things, and you do so with the understanding that something is going to go wrong, so you had better just deal with it, because that's life. And yet our wedding was about as flawless as you can imagine. I don't think either of us can believe it still. We go back and look at the photos all the time, trying to convince ourselves that it really did happen, and it really was wonderful, and there really weren't any drunken rants or major injuries. It's the most successful thing we've ever done. That's worthy of a raised glass right there.

At some point today, we will finally cut into the cake that officially commemorates the occasion. We have the proper tradition, of course. Cake from a year ago. For the record, this stuff really doesn't keep. In short: ew. But we have it, and we took a bite, and it was pretty awful. Knowing that, we also ordered a new cake, and it promises to be delicious. But we had stuff all weekend, and a huge dinner last night, and there just hasn't been room for cake. But tonight, we're having cake, dammit. Because we've been married for a year, and we plan to celebrate with something just as sweet.

Mmm. Cake.