Thursday, December 11, 2008


On the airplane this morning en route to San Francisco Dr. Fiancé pointed out, not for the first time, that it’s time for us to get serious about making wedding plans. I refrained (not for the first time) from pointing out that I was excited about such things back in the summer when he proposed but the moment sort of... passed. I’m now just as terrified as he is of everyone we know staring at us as we say mushy things to each other in a public forum and people throw bird seed into our hair.

Instead of forcing it, why not wait until we’re excited to get married? Why not wait until a fun way of doing the deed presents itself instead of going around and around trying to force plans that don’t seem quite right? Elope to Italy and get married in a gorgeous ancient Tuscan palace? But we don’t speak Italian and if we’re making lifelong vows, I for one would like to understand what I’m agreeing to. Elope to Ireland and get married in a gorgeous ancient church? But we’re atheists. Elope to DC and get married in the Supreme Court? They don’t do that kind of thing. Get married in Iowa City the traditional way? The chapel is still closed from the June floods. Get married in Iowa City in the Old Capitol Museum? Which is doubling as the art museum since the art museum is still closed from the floods and the winter exhibit is... let’s see... portraits of Iraqi torture victims. So many options, each one providing an opportunity for anxiety, fear, and terror to sing their shrill little siren songs.

Why not just do as the Europeans do and live in sin and make cute babies who wear stripey leggings and play with wooden toys and not worry about throwing some big expensive party where we make people wear uncomfortable clothing and eat rubbery chicken and dried-out cake? Wait? What’s that you’re muttering? I can’t understand your accent... Universal what? Health what? Who gets paid to stay home raising their own children?

I suppose there are some practical considerations. Like the fact that I make 30 times less money than the man who would be impregnating me and that the state-funded health insurance I’ll be lucky to get soon only covers 12 mental health visits per year—so about a month’s worth—clearly not be enough to get me (and by extension poor Dr. Fiancé!) through the mood swings of pregnancy, if the mood swings of PMS are any indication. Dr. Fiancé's health insurance, on the other hand, covers, like fifty 'leven mental health visits, 492 massages, 12 pairs of eyeglasses, unlimited unnecessary prescriptions, and, best I can tell, anything from Crate & Barrel that would make one's stay on this planet more comfortable.

I think about my friends who can't get married just because they have the same equipment as their mate and it feels like a waste to not get married. When California passed Proposition 8 last month, I wondered what Dr. Fiancé and I would do if we had matching private bits and wanted to get married. We're both so contrary, we probably would have taken a little marriage jaunt to Massachusetts or Connecticut just to stick it to the man.

Are we dragging our heels through the wedding-planning process for the same reason we resisted watching The Wire for so long? Too many people telling us we had to, that it's the greatest thing ever, that the first few seasons are a little rough but then it gets really good and soon we'll be obsessed with it just like everybody else?

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