yesterday was valentines day, which is a day fraught with all kinds of BIG HEAVY ANALYSIS. single people are expected to either be sad and depressed or defiantly, giddily happy. the dating are expected to either get engaged or spend hundreds of dollars on big giant gestures that are designed to prove that WE ARE OH SO MUCH IN LUV I SPELL L-U-V. the married are told that, because married life is such a damn burden the rest of the year, that they should drag themselves off the couch, disguise their resentments and hatred for one another and spend the day smiling through gritted teeth and having perfunctory sex while the kids are asleep.
we are so kind to ourselves and others, aren’t we? ugh. all of these possibilities are disgusting.
i chose not to deviate from my usual thursday night routine at my house. i think valentines day is a nice excuse to pause and think about all the people you care about, but that it’s really not a cultural touchstone. that gives a day WAY too much power over my ability to be happy. i hope y’all found a way to be happy, whatever your relationship status or lack thereof. happy is good.
and now that all the drama is over, i can tell y’all what happened right before mardi gras. [stay with me.]
i am not a big-gestures girl, and i am not partnered with a big-gestures man. we are not the kind of couple who does it up for anniversaries and other relationship milestones. the happiest valentines day of my life, in fact, was our first one together. we got takeout and sat around in our sweats watching silly television and laughing. no pressure, no artifice, just genuine bliss to be together. in fact, now that i write that sentence, it occurs to me that i should make that the slogan of our relationship.
when we first decided to take our relationship from we-hook-up-every-single-weekend-and-a-couple-times-a-week-but-aren’t-exclusive-or-anything to boyfriend-girlfriend, we had a long, serious conversation about what that would look like. we wanted to proceed with EXTREME caution, because both of us recognized that we were playing with the most significant relationship in our lives. i couldn’t bear the thought of taking a risk on dating and having it not work, thus losing him as a boyfriend AND a friend. he was similarly reluctant. so when we decided to take the plunge, we made the closest thing we came to a promise of a future at that point.
so when we agreed to get married last thursday night, as in let’s do it this fall, it didn’t really feel like a GRAND SIGNIFICANT EVENT. it just felt like the cross of a T, the dot of an I. the die was cast long before the actual affirmative statement, so saying it out loud was not at all a big deal. i have a ruby solitaire on my wedding-ring finger. it’s actually happening. i’m happy as hell, but no happier than i was last wednesday night when i came home and saw the man sitting on our couch. it’s just a formality (and a way to cut our health insurance costs – DAMN, is domestic partner health insurance expensive!), albeit a happy one.
so yeah, that happened. the man is now the fiancé (although he will stay “the man” in blog-land; inserting that accent is annoying). we’re getting ourselves hitched up. i get to formalize the central relationship of my life – from buddy to best friend to confidante to partner in crime to boyfriend to life partner. and in a few months, to husband.
damn. okay. typing “husband” just made me smile a lot bigger than i have in quite some time.
so maybe this is a bigger deal than i thought it was…