Monday, January 19, 2009

All the Difference

Dr. Fiancé and I have finally gotten serious about making wedding plans. Again.

The other day when I should have been writing I did some cruising on the information superhighway and discovered one of the world’s cutest, tiniest churches near Mount Rainier National Park, less than two hours from Seattle. It looks like a child’s drawing of a church—white and pointy and able to fit on an 8x11 piece of paper. It seats 45 people and, whoa, look at that! The adorable wooded property down the road full of well-appointed cabins sleeps 45.

So... instead of Iowa or Ireland or Tuscany or Tucson, how about right here where we already are? I pitched the idea to Dr. Fiancé, starting with the words, “You probably won’t like this, but just hear me out,” having discovered that the best way to deal with contrariness is to trick it into being on my side. (I discovered this by noticing that every time Dr. Fiancé starts a sentence that way, the first words out of my mouth are, “No, I love it!”) I was about one-sixteenth of the way through my pitch when the efficiency-minded emergency room doctor to whom I'm engaged interrupted to say, “Done. Love it. Sold.”

A few hours later we were taking a road trip to see if we’d like the church and the cabin-filled property as much in person as we did on the web.

We do.

I called the church people to make sure they allow atheists to get married there.

They do.

It was so easy—just the way they say it is once you “get out of your own way,” which I’ve realized is a nice way to say “stop being so fucking ambivalent.”

It only took us a few hours to nail down the essentials—well, a few hours plus seven months.

Apparently I’m sticking to my New Year’s resolution with some... resoluteness. I’m pretty sure 19 days is the longest I’ve ever kept a resolution. What is it about human nature that makes giving up one path in favor of another so excruciating? Why did Robert Frost have to say that taking the right road makes all the difference? Really, all of it? Are you sure that if you’d taken the road more traveled you wouldn’t have ultimately ended up in the same place?

I’ll confess I have wavered since coming up with the plan 48 hours ago, but they’ve only been small wavers—like “maybe I really do feel strongly about having cake” instead of “maybe we should skip this whole 'getting married' thing.”

As a friend from graduate school who returned to college in her forties to get her BA—living in a dorm and everything, brushing her teeth elbow-to-elbow with eighteen year-olds—as she likes to say, “Sometimes you have to take the long way around.”


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