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Oct. 21st, 2009 | 04:16 pm
I love being married. And not just because it means I have free time again -- time to read, time to think, time to knit and spin and craft and think about social things in a way that isn't just "gee, can I possibly squeeze this into my overscheduled life?" I love all of those things, of course, but there's something different than that.
I've been asked the same question by many friends and family in many ways. "Do you feel married?" "Was there some sort of emotional crash after the wedding, you know 'Best day of a woman's life' and all?" "Did anything change?"
It's a tricky question to answer. No, there wasn't any sort of emotional crash... but then I never really bought into the idea that the day of my wedding would be the best or most important day of my life. A very special day, a memorable day, an amazing day, sure. But I have always, at least in my adult life, when I've had the mental space and energy to consider what marriage meant, considered it a beginning, much like my baptism was. Marrying etler meant telling all of our friends and family, publicly, how we feel about each other and how we feel about them. Having done that does make us different. It makes us a family... something we were emotionally long ago, but now we have rituals and symbols and pictures and a piece of paper to support it. I actually believe that ritual, in that way, is necessary. We as human beings create rituals in our lives, large and small, as a way of reminding us about things that matter, something we can always return to when we lose sight of them.
It's a small shift and a giant leap all at the same time. I don't think there are really words to express what it feels like, other than to say that the kind of certainty I have now, of having someone to go home to, who loves me inside and out and loves me so much as to have stood up in front of his family and mine, emotional and biological and said so makes me more able to enjoy both our time together and our time apart. (I realized this yesterday... because I was taking a spinning class in Berkeley in the evening, we were on our own for dinner.
I took the time to spend being with myself (I went to a restaurant and ordered wine and sat for a while, sipping my wine and reading a book) and as I did so, I realized that perhaps paradoxically, marriage has made me more able to enjoy both my time with myself (and my time with etler). Something about really knowing that you're a partnership and a family that partnership transcends being two people who love each other very much in a relationship. Maybe I'm still riding the crest of being a newlywed, but I have a feeling I'll still be saying this for a long time in the future.