This morning I read this post by Amanda Palmer about her decision to marry Neil Gaiman. It’s long, but if you get the chance, I highly recommend you read the whole thing, no matter what you think of marriage and weddings. She is wonderfully honest about her antagonism towards marriage and how and why she ended up getting married.
I’ve always believed in marriage. Ever since I was a little girl, it has been something I’ve dreamt about, thought about, planned in my quieter moments, yearned for in my more desperate ones. My experience of marriage has been quite different from my expectations but actually, my faith in marriage has only been set back by my experience, not destroyed completely. It’s taken me some time to process why I still believe in marriage. And here it is:
Marriage is about hope. (Many other things besides, but this is the one I’m going to focus on for this post.)
I love weddings. I watch a lot of weddings on TV and I read about weddings and I’ve been wondering for a while why that is, because it’s not that I want to get married again any time soon. It’s about hope. Weddings, no matter who the people are, are a snapshot of hope. They’re about two people making a crazy decision to commit their lives to each other. It’s about the whirlwind of emotions that go with looking at someone and knowing, just knowing that you want to wake up with them every day for as long as you live.
You don’t think about what’s going to happen next. You don’t think about the fact that it’ll be hard. You don’t wonder what you’ll do if you ever meet someone else that makes a fire burn in your chest so hot that you find it difficult to go home at night without them. You don’t think that one day it’ll end. You don’t think that one day you’ll be crying your eyes out and physically aching because you cannot keep the vows you’ve made and live with yourself. You certainly don’t think that one day you’ll be lying next to someone else in bed realising that you’ve broken those vows that you made to fuck one person, and one person only, and that your entire life has been changed by the one single act you’ve just committed.
You don’t think about anything except that one moment, when there is just you and the person you’re about to marry. You see long summers of lazy fucking and snuggling up together under thick blankets in cold winters. You see buying a house together and having children with your partner’s eyes. You think about the life that you’re building together and the dazzling future ahead of you.
I don’t regret getting married. When I said “I do,” I meant it. I meant it from the bottom of my heart. There was never any hesitation. I often cry when I think about how I felt then, and I wonder how I lost it. But I think that if I went back and had my time again, I wouldn’t change a thing. About the decision to get married, at least. What came after… that I will always wish hadn’t happened, even if we will both ultimately be happier because of it.