Well, here we are folks. We’re in the home stretch! 266 weddings down, 99 to go…
It’s been a wild ride, to say the least. Awesome and awful, all at once.
We’ve had big weddings, small weddings, and itty bitty, teeny tiny, bite sized, microscopic weddings. We’ve been married with friends, family, strangers, and dogs. (Lots of dogs. We’re living with our seven dogmaids right now.)
We’ve celebrated in silly ways and somber ways, sappy ways and sexy ways. We’ve sung our vows and grumbled them, too. We’ve been fodder for late night TV jokes and received pity and rage from the misogynists of the world. We’ve made utter fools of ourselves and each other. We’ve loved and hated every minute of it.
And now it’s coming to an end.
Before I began writing this post today, I asked Beto if he’d still like to keep going with our last 99 days of weddings.
“I have to ask…do you hate this?”
“I don’t hate it at all! I’m just…tired.”
Yup. My thoughts exactly.
When you decide to marry your partner every day for a year, the initial idea sounds like an endless party. I remember sharing this idea with Beto back in January and saying something like:
“Think about it! If we get married every day, then each day will feel like a celebration! It will motivate us to dress up and go out more. (Nope.) We’ll probably fight less. (Nope.) And whatever is happening in our lives won’t matter because it’s our wedding day! (Triple nope.)”
266 days in, I realize that’s more of a One Day Wedding thing. When you get married on one single day, it’s easier to push away all the bullshit that daily life brings and surrender to the celebration. At least, that’s what I think it must be like to have a One Day Wedding. I’ve never had one and, as of now, it looks like I never will. But, based on my observations, when you confine something like a wedding to a 24 hour stretch, it seems the result is a fireworks explosion of love and excitement and then you go to bed and wake up married and that’s that. Your lives together begin and the vows fade into memories.
A One Year Wedding, on the other hand, means you go to bed married and wake up engaged. If your feet get cold, they stay that way. You might find some big, fuzzy socks today but tomorrow you’ll be searching for ’em all over again.
And, yes, our feet have gone numb many times this year.
Because when you marry someone each and every day for a year, you’re forced to stare down the reality – not the fireworks – of lifelong commitment for the full 525,600 minutes. (I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve made that reference! Only took me 383,040 minutes to go there.)
This process brings the notions of for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and health, all the way home. And it keeps coming home. It came home last week when I was so sick from a kidney infection I kept Beto up all night as I writhed and whimpered in pain. It came home last month when our bank account went into the red – again – and we didn’t know if we’d be able to pay the rent. It came home this spring when we fought so hard we threw our rings into the flowerbeds and had to search for them on our hands and knees.
We’re tired – and rightfully so. Loving someone with your whole heart, even when they stink or give you the stink eye, is exhausting.
But it’s also exhilarating.
Because love is a daily choice. And the exhilirating thing is, after all the better and definitely worse, we still get up every day and choose each other. I don’t know if I would love Roberto as much as I do now if I hadn’t forced myself to love him when I wanted to hate him. And, yes, this post is taking a cheesy turn fast because I’m about to say what you’re probably dreading.
That’s what marriage, commitment, partnership – whatever you call it – is all about.
Love is a verb. And verbs take work.
We’ve been working hard all year and we’re looking forward to knowing what it feels like to finally “settle down,” though we know all too well that the work won’t stop – but it will, hopefully, keep Jimmy Fallon from making fun of us on late night TV while we do it.
Marriage, when you bring it down to brass tacks, is heartwork. It’s no coincidence that heart and hard have a similar ring. (Ring! Get it?!) But heartwork and hard work do pay off, at least in this context. And our reward for trudging through 266 wedding ceremonies, even when we’d rather marry our dog instead of each other, is that we’re closer than we’ve ever been before. I feel a type of intimacy with Roberto that I didn’t know to dream about when I was a little girl hoping to be a bride. When I read about tabloid couples who break up before their 365th day hits, I always think, “Maybe they should have had a One Year Wedding. It could have made a big difference.” Learning to love each other for better or worse has helped us build a foundation for the rest of our lives that is starting to feel pretty damn solid.
Whereas, in the beginning, each wedding felt like a giddy romp through the flowers of Loveville (and, after that, into Dante’s Inferno and back) today our weddings feel, for me, like I’m coming home again. When I look into my groom’s eyes, I truly see my partner. I no longer wonder “What if this doesn’t work?” Today I’m thinking, “Okay, how are we going to make this work today?” It’s not a question, it’s an opportunity.
So, for our last 99 days of weddings, we’re going big and coming home. And this is our final call for you to be a part of it.
One more time…you are invited to our weddings!
You, is – of course – anyone reading this blog. (Hey guys!) But, it’s also a more direct shout out to our friends and family who have talked about Skype weddings, tattoo weddings, beach weekend weddings, barbecue weddings, wine ‘n’ cheese weddings, performance art weddings, costume weddings, naked weddings (never mind, that one’s invite only) – now is your chance to help us make this experience even more special by being a part of our next 99 vows. (Plus, we’re getting a little tired here and could use some new energy and ideas!)
We’d love to hear from you and save a date for you join us. Please send us an email and RSVP: together, we’ll pick a time and a date, and you’ll be our guest of honor. (Calling all maids of honor and best men! Neither of us have had bachelor/ette parties and we’re not going down without one!)
It would be an honor to share our last 99 weddings with you.