We get married in ten days.
Our rings, designed by our teenager, have arrived and are perfect. The hotel rooms for Thomthulhu and I and our five guests are booked and waiting for us, thanks to some help from a wonderful friend. My dress hangs quietly in our coat closet, and Thomthulhu’s vest and kilt jacket have arrived at my parents’ house. We’re spending New Years Eve at home, in the company of some wonderful friends. I’m making a goose, latkes, and sauerkraut. I think Dirae and Alex are painting my hair and nails. We’ll probably play some board games, and hang out in fleece kigurimis.
In a few hours, we leave Philadelphia to go spend Christmas with Tom’s best man, Sam and his wonderful girlfriend, Becky.
This is the quietest, sanest, most enthusiastic holiday season of my life.
I’ll be carrying a scrapbook containing letters and pictures from friends all over the world instead of flowers, the day we get married.
I feel exactly the way I hoped to feel in the weeks leading up to marriage. I have not once second guessed our guest-list. I have not thought about seating arrangements. I adore my dress, and plan to wear it every New Year’s Eve from now until I am an old lady. I am proud of our choices, and of my partner.
It’s funny, the questions people ask.
“Are you nervous?” (No.)
“Pretty stressful, right?” (No.)
“How are you feeling about the Big Day?” (Wonderful.)
“In-laws driving you batty yet?” (Of course not.)
“Any big bachelorette plans?” (We’re going to Franklin Fountain in our kigurumis then going back to the hotel to watch movies and eat candy.)
I haven’t worried about a florist, a caterer, a baker, a DJ, a technical difficulty. I am not constructing a single centerpiece. I will not have to clean one blessed thing up, or delegate any tasks besides, “Sean please hold my ring; Donna, please hold our marriage license. Someone take some pictures, I guess.” There isn’t a checklist. I am completely undistracted from joy, peace, and wonder.
I never had a vision in my head of what being a bride would look like. There was no magazine spread in my imagination. But I did always know, for as long as I knew I wanted to marry Tom, exactly how I hoped to feel, what I wanted to be on my mind, the things I wanted to remember. In a tearful moment last week, frustrated over a financial hiccup, He stopped me and said, “You’ll be there, and I’ll be there, and we’ll be married at the end of the day — that’s all I want. ” I feel chosen, equal, seen. I feel accepted, celebrated. These things aren’t captured in photographs, and they don’t appear on tables or place settings. They aren’t ever on magazine pages. There is no theme. There are no colors. The theme is us. The colors are yes.
I am filled with a quiet excitement and happiness that January 2, 2016 will be perfect, full of surprises, wonderful, and both exactly and nothing like we planned — kind of the way I hope our marriage turns out! (It’s almost like we did that on purpose!)
Alex is helping me embellish my stockings with a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, in place of wearing a garter, because garters are awful and pinch.
Into the golden vessel of great song
Let us pour all our passion; breast to breast
Let other lovers lie, in love and rest;
Not we,—articulate, so, but with the tongue
Of all the world: the churning blood, the long
Shuddering quiet, the desperate hot palms pressed
Sharply together upon the escaping guest,
The common soul, unguarded, and grown strong.
Longing alone is singer to the lute;
Let still on nettles in the open sigh
The minstrel, that in slumber is as mute
As any man, and love be far and high,
That else forsakes the topmost branch, a fruit
Found on the ground by every passer-by.
These are details almost no one will see. Small secrets and hidden treasures that fill my heart with gladness and gratitude.
Things are looking pretty great at Day 10.