Ten years and a week ago, I went to my friend’s wedding. The friend is 10 years older than me, so he was the same age that I am now. I remember being a guest at his wedding and feeling so young like I was a witness to a grown up world. He seemed so adult then; he was getting married! That’s a very adult thing to do. It didn’t help that he was a youth leader at the church youth group I attended at the time, or that he was marrying the woman who used to babysit me. They were like authority to me. If, when seeing the word “authority” you actually read “people who were occasionally officially responsible for looking after me but were usually better at pratting around than I was.” At the time I never really thought about weddings as a part of my future, not because I couldn’t imagine falling in love, but because I couldn’t really imagine growing up.
Ten years and one day later, I got married. I don’t feel as grown up or as mature as David seemed then; I still feel like a fourteen-year-old girl who is somehow now legally allowed to drink. People keep asking me how it feels “to be a married woman” and, so far, it’s exactly the same as unmarried life except I have extra metal on my finger and I keep having to remind myself what my name is. I don’t really feel like a woman (bein 4’11 doesn’t help) because to me I’m still a student trying to find herself and having a lot of tequila shots and cuddles along the way.
When you’re younger, being married seems like this big unit you become a part of, almost at the expense of all else. The romance of your fairy tales somehow doesn’t translate into the conversations about bills and whose turn it is to do the dishes so as magically as love as always seemed, marriage has always seemed like an institution for grown ups.
Thankfully, I have friends like David and Katie to show me how very wrong I was. David and Katie who have built a strong family unit but still allow for their personalities to shine through like a child doing their homework with their most sparkly pencil. They still geek out, get Disney obsessed, and have built their family life around the things they love together as a couple and as individuals. And I’ve realised that marriage isn’t an institution we’re shoehorned into to be part of civilisation; marriage is as unique as your love.
I’ve been married for 6 days, and I can’t possibly be an expert on what it’s like to be married. But I am an expert on our love, and our love is:
- Eating an entire tub of Ben & Jerry’s whilst watching whatever E4 throws at us because we’re both too indecisive to choose something on Netflix.
- The request “Kisses goodnight?” always being followed by a kiss and the response “Goodnight kisses.”
- Not being able to tell my hubby anything new in the morning, because I’ll have already told him in my sleep (no secrets in our relationship, then).
- Covering hubby’s ears when the 6:40am travel bulletin comes on the radio because that’s his cue to get up and ready for work. If he can’t hear it, he doesn’t have to get up, right?
- Constantly being out of sync with TV shows because we’re both Terrible Human Beings who keep catching up on shows without the other.
- The constant Sci Fi vs Fantasy debate. (I’m right).
- A curse that presides over all of our dates. No matter what time we leave the house, we will always be home by 10pm. Sofa cuddles will always win.
- Breakfast dates (mostly because of the aforementioned evening date curse)
- A camping wedding. On a farm. With swingball, beer kegs, fancy dress, and a burger tent.
I don’t know a great deal about marriage yet, but I do know that love is good.