Five years ago today I woke up inside a crappy little motel room in a city hundreds of miles away from everything I ever knew, and was happy to do it. The guests had arrived days before, a dozen or so that we’d invited and several tens of thousands that we had not. Because when you are in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend, you are amongst the greatest and most varied of sci-fi and fantasy fandom. We wouldn’t have had it any other way.
I had a dress and some fake flowers, and a length of burgundy ribbon that disappeared into the ether after that night. He had a dark coat and two claddagh rings. We had a pair of poems, one chosen by each of us and a pair of attendants for which we’d done the same.
On that morning – no, even into the afternoon – we didn’t have a ceremony. We had no idea what we’d be getting ourselves in to. There wasn’t even a set time for this thing we’d staged for friends but not for family, a simple showcase for something that had ripened many months before.
It wasn’t much of a wedding, really. There were no crazy bachelor or bachelorette parties, no elegant wedding showers, not even a proper registry — only an intimate barbeque the night before, hosted by the dear family of a dearer friend (none of whom I have ever properly thanked for their kindness and generosity, a thing of which I am ashamed).
Sometimes I regret missing out on most of the excitement that is showered on a bride. No showers or lingerie or picking out cakes or invitations or matching centerpieces. And then I remember that I don’t like to be made much of, and walking into that room with all those eyes on me was the most terrifying moment of my life. And the happiest.
I always said that the wedding didn’t matter, that those who focus on the one single day are missing the point. And I still maintain that I never really wanted to get married – I wanted to be married. That, I think, has made all the difference.
Half a decade later, I am still married, still tied – as I was from the second he showed up on my doorstep the night we first met, from the day he’d driven from New York to Ohio to be with me, and five years to the day from the one in which our little sort-of-impromptu not-quite-a-real-ceremony began.
Through sickness (tummy aches and headaches, sliced fingers, strange lumps that needed ultrasounds and major surgery) and through health (weight gain, weight loss, good food, great friends). Which wasn’t what we promised, but is really what we meant.
This is for my hermit-artist. My house-husband. As we’d promised to each other when you moved in. As we swore in front of witnesses that night in Atlanta 1,826 days ago today. In forever friendship. In eternal love. You’re still my favorite (and still my only) love.
I promise to only get this sappy in public once every half-decade. We’ll see what I can come up with for the next one.
And to everyone at Dragon*Con this weekend, I wish we could be there. May the bright lights of that city twinkle like fairy dust tonight, amid all the costumes and glitter and nerdy camaraderie. May you find happiness. May the force be with you. May you live long and prosper. May you have blessings, every one.