This would have been my comment on a FetLife blog but it got long, so I turned it into my own post. The gist of it was that we all attended a wedding that was very religious (and we are not).
See, I was at that wedding also. Crashing the wedding, actually. Nobody there knew me except the friends I was visiting that weekend..
There were a few moments that affected me during the experience. As we sat down in our chairs on the grassy field under the sun (it was really effing hot), I realized this would be the first wedding I was attending since my husband passed away.
Instantly, my brain started having a conversation with itself:
It’s going to be okay. You don’t know these people, you are not emotionally invested in them, and it’s going to be a religious wedding, so you’re not going to feel a connection with any of it.
The first moment that affected me was when I saw the bride walking toward the field holding her mother’s hand while the rest of the wedding party was still making their way down the aisle.
I’ve been her. I remember that feeling. So many months of planning after years of dreaming…and those were the final moments that led up to the culmination of all of it.
I squeezed my mother’s hand. I took deep breaths. I tried to hold back the urge to laugh but the smile on my face couldn’t be mistaken for anything other than unbridled joy at what was about to happen.
Oh wait, that wasn’t me. That was the bride I knew nothing about and had no connection with. I choked back the ball of emotion that came up to my throat and reminded myself that I am not emotionally invested in these people.
Then the pastor started in on his schtick. I’ve not been to a lot of religious, non-Jewish ceremonies. When he got to the part where he was talking about how the bride was born to be submissive to her husband and she came out of a rib, but not his head because she wasn’t meant to rule over him and not his foot because ..something about trampling….but from his rib, to be at his side as equals (as long as she submitted to him), my eyebrow was raised so high I think I might have earned airline mileage points.
I really liked the part where God made the groom a selfless giver and charged him with using that selfless giving spirit, but God gave her a fire, and a fire is most beautiful when it is controlled and put to use.
I dug my fingers into my thigh.
Here’s the thing. I looked at their faces. The bride and groom. They were both so happy. I’m fast forwarding to the end but that first kiss was a damned fine first kiss. And if they want to believe that they’re in a polyamorous relationship with God, that’s fine with me.
But a lot of what was coming out of the pastor’s mouth sounded a lot like what I read here on Fetlife, and all I could think was, “Well, did they negotiate this? Does she have a safe word? If he’s the selfless giving one and she’s the one with the fire then what if those roles are reversed in their dynamic?”
But I let it go. I’m not emotionally invested in these people.
And then the vows. They were not the exact same wording as the ones I took with Tony, but the gist was the same. Mine included promising to change the toilet paper roll when I used the last of it, even when there’s just one square left (that is totally usable, by the way). And his included the promise to tickle my back whenever I asked for it. There was also something about “until the polar ice caps melt and the building we’re standing in now becomes a sanctuary for penguins.”
That was our version of the ‘Til death do us part’ part.
Yeah, that part affected me again.
I looked away. We were surrounded by these big green things…trees? I think that’s what they’re called. Trees and mountains and greenery and nature everywhere. I couldn’t see any asphalt anywhere.
It was beautiful. Except for the part where we were melting and needed hydration, it was one of the most peaceful moments I’ve had in weeks. I realized that the last of my drop from last week was gone.
I kept my vows, without being completely aware of what I was signing myself up for – years of depression and drug abuse and hoarding and unemployment. Yeah, i stuck it out through sickness and poorer and in bad times.
It wasn’t God or religion or duty or witnesses that kept me around through all that. It was love.
I kept my vows. Maybe they will, too.