I'm getting married in less than five weeks, and there are a few things I need to get off my chest.
First off...I realize that people mean well, but answering the same questions over and over again is getting really old. With that in mind, here's the wedding FAQ:
Q: Are you ready?
Q: Are you excited?
Q: Are you going to be?
A: Probably, but not until it's a day or two away.
Q: Are you nervous?
Q: Will you cry?
A: If I had to guess, I'd say no. It's possible, though.
Q: Where will you live?
A: The same place we live now--an apartment in BG where we've already lived together for nearly two years.
Q: When will you buy a house?
A: Not anytime in the forseeable future. Frankly, I don't care if it never happens. Everyone I know that owns a house complains often about how much time, effort, and money they put into it, and I'm just not interested. Know how much time, effort, and money (beyond rent) it takes to live in an apartment? None.
Q: When are you going to have kids?
A: Don't hold your breath. There may have been a time when I would have been willing to consider it, but I think that window has closed. I've been around babies and little kids ever since I was a little kid myself, and I've never liked it or even tolerated it particularly well. I value my freedom and independence far too much to shackle a baby to myself.
With all of that out of the way, can we please get back to having interesting conversation now?
While not a question, another thing I hear frequently is how much things are going to change after the wedding. While I'm sure that's true in many cases, I have to say that it puzzles me in our particular case. As we already live together and aren't going to have children, I'm not entirely sure what everyone expects to change so much. I suppose it would be naïve (perhaps "stupid" would be more accurate) of me to expect everything to stay exactly the same, but I feel confident in discounting the widespread differences to which these people seem to be alluding. I'm not so invested in the concept of marriage that I would allow that to happen.
To get right down to the point, I'm not a big fan of the concept of marriage at all. It's one area of our society where church and state are undeniably commingled, and that bothers me a great deal. I'm not entirely comfortable to be joining into a prejudicial institution whose rights and responsibilities are not extended to everyone. As the joke goes, gay people have just as much right to be miserable as straight people. Until marriage becomes truly all-encompassing (which it will eventually--those who fight it are nothing more than backward thinkers, pissing into the wind of progress), I won't feel totally right about being a part of it.
Beyond that, I'm just not convinced that marriage is a good idea in general. I don't really believe that human beings were meant to couple for life, nor do I think that most of us are even capable of it. There are those who manage it, and I applaud them, but I think they're the exception rather than the rule.
With all of that said, I don't want anyone to think that I'm doing this against my will or anything like that. I love Brandi as much as it is possible for one person to love another, and I know that if ever a long-term relationship is going to work for me, it's going to be this one. I'm ready and willing to do what I can to make us one of the lucky exceptions. I'm just trying to be realistic about the whole thing. I think a celebration of our love with a gathering of friends and family is a fantastic idea, and I'm stoked for that part of it. I just think that marriage itself is extraneous and possibly counterproductive.
I also think the wedding process is far more stressful than it should be. Brandi and I have already gone through plenty of drama regarding who will be invited and who won't, and it's not quite over yet. It kills me to have to exclude anyone, because I don't think all this is worth possibly hurting someone's feelings. Her stepmother has also been stressed out lately over who-knows-what, and that stress has been passed onto Brandi. For such a "joyful" event, it seems to me that everyone should be able to just chill out and enjoy the ride. Everything will work out fine in the end.
You know what else bothers me about the wedding process? The gift registry. I am totally, passionately, 100% opposed to the gift registry. I know it's the best way to ensure that the gifts you receive are items that you actually want or need, and I'll also admit that it makes shopping nice and easy, but it still seems like bad form. Probably that's just me. I suppose what really bothers me is the fact that we don't really need most of the stuff Brandi registered for and won't have room for it once we get it. I suppose we'll deal with that when the time comes.
On the bright side, we found out last week that we'll be going to Cozumel for our post-wedding vacation. While I don't think I'm nearly as excited about this as Brandi is, I am very much looking forward to getting away from everything for a few days when this is all over and winding down. It's been a very long time since I've been on a real vacation, and I can't wait to kick back by the pool, do some reading and writing, and not think about much of anything.