Matthew emailed me this card in April 2008 when I was in Berlin. I was sitting in a cafe and I got all embarrassed, flushed, and silly-tingly when I opened it and saw what it said: Someday I'd like you to be my emergency contact person.
I was alone, quietly and happily freaking out. Emergency contact person! Does he realize the IMPLICATIONS of this ecard? Does he know what he's saying? This is serious. A lot of people say a lot of things they don't mean but Matthew didn't seem like that so my heart beat rapidly, my crazy crush swelling.
I keep thinking of this card because I JUST WROTE HIS NAME AS MY EMERGENCY CONTACT PERSON. That's what happen when you decide overnight to get married in Vegas!
Do you like how we look like we're choking each other in the second photo? Yeah, me too. Married for 28 seconds and already at each others' throats.
Here's the thing about marriage, because I'm an authority after 47 days. There is this whole paperwork side to it, which DUH. It is a civil contract after all. Thankfully, when a lot people do it now it is for love but technically, and in the eyes of the law, that is whatever. And the religious aspect? Equally whatever. Which is why it's funny when people get all high and mighty about their precious, sacred marriage for religious reasons: Marriage didn't start out that way and it doesn't seem to be ending that way either. Legally it's all about finances and assets and insurance and the right to do this and that for and to each other. It's totally not romantic. Romance and/or love is what we MAKE it.
I'm going to steal something now from Robert Louis Stevenson and Elizabeth Gilbert:
MARRIAGE IS A FRIENDSHIP RECOGNIZED BY THE POLICE
I like that.
I'm really into picking apart what marriage is, and has been, and will be. Because it has been evolving since its inception and I'm sure it can be something different for every person and couple and I'm sure that I don't want to fall into some way of being just because I'm married.
I read a post on Offbeat Bride that I liked about people dangling their ideas over you, sort of daring you to be different but mostly begging you not to be. It's over here.
By the time M and I got married - and will get married again in May with friends and family - we'd done some long-termy type of transactions like buying a car and a dog together and were already investing in each other. Plus we've been living in sin for a year. We'd said many times that we already felt married and had - and this is significant, or not - changed our Facebook statuses to married. If the Internet is involved, it's ON.
Side story: Right after he and I met, he web-searched me and found my old Friendster page. Friendster said that I was in a relationship and he got all pissy and interrogated my cousin who introduced us. She assured him that I hadn't checked Friendster in a trizillion years, just needed to update my account, and wasn't a skanky liar on purpose.
Speaking of the Internet, I was afraid to tell my parents about Vegas for three weeks after Elvis walked me down the aisle while singing Love Me Tender. It started when Matthew and I got back to Mandalay Bay and were waiting for a bottle of tequila to arrive and he sent a mass text to his friends that said something along the lines of I'M MARRIED!!
"You do realize you're friends with my dad on Facebook, right?" I said.
His follow-up mass text was more or less "Keep it on the DL for now, no Facebook".
Once I got up the nerve to break the news to Mary Ann and Bob, they LAUGHED. Too bad I shit a river imagining painful, guilt-inducing reactions on their part, revolving mainly around the theme of why were they paying for so much of a wedding in May when we were just going to make a mockery of the whole thing at the Graceland Chapel where Jon Bon Jovi was married.
Nope, they thought it was funny. I have got to start giving them more credit.