A Random Image

Jett Superior laid this on you on || May 13, 2009 || 11:42 pm

eleven years in June, hey

MAXIM: Man, bat guano is expensive.

JETT: Normal people don’t say things like that, Maxim.

MAXIM: Oh, I’m sorry….go out and find you a normal husband, I’m sure THAT would work out real well.

Because I am an adventurer, and because I wanted to celebrate my anniversary on Friday the thirteenth every handful of years, Maxim and I were wed on the thirteenth of June nineteen ninety-eight.

(here is where I have the internal debate with myself over whether or not I show you the wedding picture where I have a mass of junior-leaguer hair spilling out of a tiara…the “NOOOOO!!!!” voice is winning at present, but the “yesh, sugar” one is gaining with every sip of wine)

We traveled into the mountains, up to a ski chalet, accompanied by a small troupe of bandits friends and a the couple of family members that promised to not talk a whole lot that weekend we can actually stand could make it on the weekend we’d chosen. Our ceremony was candle-laden and held at eleven at night; it was somehow extremely fitting to join our lives in the deep of dark and on the cusp of a newborn day. The minister –not knowing the first thing about us, really– presented a ceremony remarkably tailored to us, speaking of great friendships and the magical happening where the best of those friendships culminate in marriage. My lone, tough-as-nails bridesmaid cried, as did Maxim’s one cynical groomsman. Maxim and I stood in formal attire and matching Doc Martens, overwhelmed, not knowing what to expect from a life with one another, but sensing the rareness of the foundation we’d already laid beneath us; it was one of both purpose and passion shot through with immeasurable promise.

At three ay emm, as we whispered inside jokes and stroked one another’s faces, Maxim said to me, “We should do this once every ten years. Get married, I mean.” He reasoned that it was too special a thing to do once a year, but magical enough to merit doing more than once. I found that idea, like many that he has, to be wholly brilliant.

So last year, we went (not to the mountains, but) to the beach with our children, some of our best friends and their children in tow. It was seven in the evening and the day was just starting to break; the two of us stood facing the ocean, holding hands. How apt a metaphor for marriage: Two people, holding hands, facing the ocean in front of them.

Our friend D is also our pastor, so he faced us to do the ceremony, ringed by his family and our children. With their backs to the Gulf of Mexico, Scout held the rings, Sam picked and sang ‘Golden Days‘ and Mathias stood silently wide-eyed and observant. Everyone sported some shade of yellow and bare feet.

Twice married to one another, twice evenly-shod in the process of doing so. Not planned, but entirely fitting.

This time we didn’t just repeat after the minister….we turned to face one another so as to spill all these woefully inadequate words. But, like the first time, they were steeped heavily in the notion of friendship and the love that abides in that space when the ‘in love’ isn’t quite enough to make it through the day. The ‘in love’ helps you to motor along enjoyably, but the ‘like’ is what pushes you over the humps. This is, I think, because typically when there is ‘like’ there is this amazing thing called ‘respect’.

I can only give you the sweeping gist of what it was I said there, dug in up to the ankles in white sand, and I can’t be especially exact with the words. That is, except for one part that I remember pretty much verbatim: “If anyone were to ever hear my whole story and then wonder at how I survived myself, they would have to look to you for their answer, because it rests no further than you.”

We traded new bands: Thick and wide and heavy, his in silver and mine in gold, they were stamped with a tree and inscribed inside with the words Grow Strong. The ocean seemed so loud to me then, the air so infinite and we so small. When D released Maxim to kiss his bride, he did so. From out of nowhere there erupted a volley of hooting and hollering and cheering.

Unbeknownst to the two of us, people and people and people had lined up reverently behind us: They were on the beach, on the boardwalk, on the balconies of the three beachfront condos nearest behind us. It was cemented in me then, the knowledge that people respect happiness so much that they would choose to be part of it if at all possible, even if on the fringes and vicariously. I am not usually comfortable being a spectacle in times of such honest and raw emotion, but I was silently humbled and grateful that so many strangers would offer these specks on the beach such hopefulness and enthusiasm in the face of what was a deeply meaningful moment to us.

It was just a minute ago, that beach wedding, and here we are creeping up on another June thirteenth. This is the one that makes eleven years, and I imagine I will awake astounded once again, saying to my spouse one more time in awe and disbelief, “Not only do I still love you, not only am I still in love with you, but I still liiiiike you, as well.”

This is no mild thing. It is, to underdescribe it by a long damn mile, a sheerly amazing thing.

5 worked it out »

  1. Coelecanth 5.14.2009

    And once again we come round to my favorite chorus:

    Shared pain is lessened and shared joy is increased.

    Thank you for sharing that.

  2. sarah 5.14.2009

    simply beautiful.

  3. Jenna 5.14.2009

    Very nice. I agree thats its the “in-like” that helps cement the whole mess. happy month before 11.


  4. Chris Robinson 5.16.2009

    It is so nice to hear of a couple growing stronger through the years. These days it seems the difficulty factor of just maintaining needs to be measured on the Richter Scale. I think I am speaking for everyone when I say: I want to see photographs.

  5. red 5.21.2009

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