Hannah and Brady aren’t the marrying kind. Well, they weren’t supposed to be. Brady’s been married once before, which, in the end made him even less the marrying kind, and Hannah, she’s a free spirit, a girl-about-town, as independent and headstrong as they come. To see their relationship flourish over the past few years has been especially special. Perfectly becoming of one another, so well-suited, it turns out that marriage looks very good on them.
I’ve been thinking a lot about it, and I know I’m the marrying kind. I come from a long line of married people, for better or worse. My grandparents and my grandparents’ parents, 50 or 60 years of ‘til death do they part. My own parents have been together since my Mom was 14 years old, in good times and in those decidedly less-so. You could say I have marriage in my bones.
I respect the institution, the legality and formality of it. But mostly it's the creation of one’s own family, the choice, that really gets me weepy. Deciding to bond yourself to someone is about as serious a choice as we can make as human beings. And not by way of a shared bank account or a mortgage payment, but by declaring love and togetherness, choosing to share a name, perhaps, or raise children, to build a life in such a distinctly purposeful way.
But I’m of a generation of non-traditionalists. We make our own way, forge new paths, forgo history and romanticism for independence and pragmatism. We don’t need the paperwork, or to be recognized by our lawmakers or accepted by pesky American Republicans. But we do. I do. If only because a wedding photo of my grandma makes my eyes water, a guttural response over which I have no control. And in 2005 when my government told me I could, I knew that someday I certainly would.
I've felt my pendulum swinging back towards the sweet traditions of my ancestors for the past while. There's something about raising chickens and loving newel posts and devoting yourself to someone forever. Simple things. Quiet things. A return to the bits that really matter.
We're a generation who can have both parts: the fiery independence and the beautiful obligation.
And so it was, at the swanky Thompson Hotel, that a group of sassy bitches got made-up and done-up and boozed-up on morning mimosas. Where we danced and laughed and took pretty photos. Where the imminent ceremony of love and contract wouldn't define a girl, but rather fill her up. With a weave on her head and a kick in her step she'd walk three city blocks on her father's arm to stand before her man, a woman fully-realized, not sectioned in half, but rather doubled or tripled, expanded in every way. This is Hannah getting married.
(Comment on this entry, but see the extended story here.)