Reader, I married him

I told the floral designer I was wearing a garnet red dress and let her surprise me. I was really pleased withh the result! (Note, that's my right hand, so that is not a wedding ring. We don't have rings yet.)

So Bullock and I finally tied the knot after eight years and two months of being together and five years and five months of living together. We’re slow. Plus, we had our misgivings about the necessity of the state recognizing our relationship.  But a few months ago we were sitting down to put our financials in better order — in particular, to finally make sure we were each other’s beneficiaries on a whole lot of things, since we *weren’t* married — and one of us said, “This would probably be easier if we were married.”  And the other said, “Yeah, probably. Do you want to get married?”  And the first one said (OK, *I* said), “I’m 100% sure that I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I have my misgivings about marriage as a legal institution, especially since it’s only available to heterosexual couples in most states, but I guess I’m over 50% positive about it as an institution.*  So OK, yeah, let’s do it!”

*As one of my friends and colleagues put it later, her favorite part of marriage is that it allows you to legally choose who you want as family.  I like that part, too — now, if only everyone could get married.

Anyway, we decided at the time, vaguely, that we’d do a simple civil ceremony in the next few months — just the two of us — and throw a party (like a reception without the ceremony) later on down the road.  We roughly had October or November in mind as the time to get married, but as the semester wore on, time kept slipping away.  And then we made the offer on the new house and set the closing date for November 30 (just a few more days! squee!) and realized, oops, we better get married before that, because doing the title deed, and blah, blah, blah, will be much easier if we’re married.  And then the *only* weekday we both had free — because we have opposite teaching schedules and we each had various service and other commitments on all the Fridays in October and November — was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  Luckily, the courthouses were open that day, so that’s when we did it — Wednesday, November 23, 2011.  Definitely something to be thankful for!

We celebrated later with dinner out at one of our favorite local restaurants after coming home to take some formal pictures with Bullock’s home studio set-up (the picture above comes from that set).  It was just us all day — we eloped, essentially — but we do want to celebrate with family and friends at some point.  Just not in the middle of a semester!  (I don’t know how Flavia did it!) Even the simple elopement took a lot out of us. We’ve been taking it easy this holiday weekend since. We spent Thanksgiving alone together, too:  Bullock made turkey breast sous-vide style with butter, salt, and pepper, along with cranberry chutney and more traditional mashed potatoes with turkey gravy (he used turkey parts baked in the oven for that — you can’t get gravy from the sous vide machine), and I contributed Brussel sprouts sauteed in butter and garlic with a splash of red wine vinegar. (In case you haven’t noticed before, Bullock is the real cook around here.) We drank one of our favorite wines and sat in front of the TV and watched the Star Trek: Next Generation marathon while we ate — we’re kind of low-key like that.  So no traditional honeymoon trip as of yet. There’s just no time!

So, if you’ve been wondering where I’ve gone to and why I haven’t posted lately, between the usual semester craziness, plus buying the new house, plus getting married…well, it’s been an eventful semester!  Obviously a *good* eventful semester, but a little crazy-making, too!

21 thoughts on “Reader, I married him

  1. Hearty congratulations! That’s wonderful news, and I love the Thanksgiving associations. I also wore a red dress to my wedding. I hope you & Bullock will always be as happy as Sir John and I have been for our first seven years.

  2. Congratulations! I hope you have much happiness for many years.

    And isn’t it amazing how much easier certain things are with marriage? It’s really stunning.

  3. Thanks, everyone!

    NicoleandMaggie – Yes, everyone *over the age of consent*, with both parties definitely consenting! (I hope that was clear when I posted.)

    Dame Eleanor – I always joke with New Kid that we were separated at birth, but maybe you and I were, too! 🙂 Red dresses for weddings *rule*! In some countries, red is the traditional color of weddings, in fact. But I felt a little naughty — and liked it! — wearing red. 🙂

    Susan — Yeah, the ease and automatic nature of some things with marriage is part of why I was always uncomfortable with it, and yet also why we did it. I admit I’m taking advantage of privilege here — the privilege of being heterosexual and of having been lucky enough to have met someone I wanted to marry. But why should it be easier for two married people to buy a house together than two friends? Or two sisters (which I’ve done, btw — it’s not *that* hard, but it did involve a lot of extra forms)? Or a gay couple? And if I’m single and need surgery, why shouldn’t my emergency contact/person by my side be my best girlfriend. As someone who was utterly single for about a decade of my adult life (basically, through grad school), the tilt toward families and couples even in our very laws has always bothered me. I wanted to hold out and not get married — I really did — for these reasons, but it was too easy to give in to simplifying matters.

    And OMG, it’s so damn easy in this state. You can get the license and get married on the same day, each stage of which takes about 15 minutes. And voila! You’re married! You can even pay a minister $20 to do it– they wait around the courthouse lobby — if you want a same-day religious ceremony. And yet this state voted to keep the “sanctity” of a marriage between a man and a woman. Sanctity, my ass! It’s a legal formality.

    I really wish we separated the legal and the religious function entirely in this country and had dedicated civil registries for marriage.

    Sorry for the rant, all. It was kind of simmering under the surface of the main post, but I *do* want to spend my life with Bullock and didn’t want the main post to seem ambivalent about *that*.

  4. My congrats are focused on the idea of finding somebody you want to spend your life with (ungrammatical and all). That is truly wonderful. And the dress & flowers are glorious. That the state interferes is just… odd. And then the whole ‘we get to control your choice’ thing is irritating beyond belief.

    The way you guys did it is excellent – you found each other, lived with each other, committed and then tidied up the legalities.

  5. When I got engaged (and then married), I found “congratulations” to be an odd thing to hear–like, “Good for you for finding someone who’ll take you on for life!” I mean, no one “congratulated” me on falling in love (and why should they?). It was all complicated by the fact that I got a book contract about 6 weeks before my wedding, and I kept assuming that that was what people were congratulating me on, as that seemed far more appropriate. So I’m having a hard time writing this comment, because what I really want to say is….congratulations!

    Here’s what I’ll congratulate you on: the joy of being with a person with whom you want to be for the rest of your life–legal privilege notwithstanding.

  6. Heu mihi, YES! I feel exactly the same way, but I don’t want to make my friends and family feel bad by pointing out the weirdness, since they’re just being sincerely happy for me, so I’m glad you brought it up. In a way, the traditional (American) expression that you’re supposed to say to the bride — “Best wishes!” — makes a little more sense, as it speaks to the future rather than the supposed “accomplishment” of having been lucky enough to find someone. (Of course, “Best wishes” also makes me think one is saying “Yeah, good luck with that,” so it has its own issues.) But what has me a little wigged out is that Bullock and I have been together and committed for many years now and the constant round of “congratulations” makes me feel a little like no one thought it was a “real” relationship until now. I’m sure they *don’t* really think that, but the standard “congratulations” is making it seem a little bit that way.

    Maybe we should all switch to the Spanish “Felicitationes!” (or Anglicize it, as Bardiac did above) which makes a whole lot more sense. Or just go with “Best wishes” for bride *and* groom.

  7. Dr. V — Happy news!

    And I did wonder (when I saw this news on FB) if you all had settled on the new house yet; yes, being married does make the paperwork easier in buying a new house. When D. and I bought our house, it was actually the seller’s realtor who asked, “Are you two legally married?,” which was a question no one had thought to ask us yet and that it hadn’t occurred to us to say, since it hadn’t been an issue/option when we bought our first house back in Small City. And when we said “yes,” the attorney said, “Ah, well then …” and put away a few pieces of paper and charged us $30 (I think) less for the whole ordeal. Not that this is a reason in and of itself to get married, but it does make some of these legal things easier.

    When my dad and his wife got married a couple of decades ago, having lived together for several years at that point, my dad’s mother said to his now-wife, “Welcome to the family,” which we all thought was a bizarre thing to say, since it was so obvious that she’d been in the family for years and years! Getting married had simply formalized and legalized what had already clearly been true.

  8. What Now — Hooray for your legal marriage! (I’ve probably said that before, but just want to reiterate it.)

    Anywho, as for the extra complications of buying a house with a non-legal spouse, yes, I remember all the extra paperwork when my sister and I got our co-op in NYC. NYC real estate is especially complicated on its own, but we also had to sign all sorts of stuff to make sure the other inherited in case of the death of one of us. And here in Rust Belt, every professional involved in our buying the new house has been relieved to hear that we’re married before the closing and all have said that it would make things easier.

  9. Congratulations! I had to laugh about the discussion that led to it–sounds familiar. We’re about to celebrate another anniversary and agree that we have no regrets. All blessings your way!

Add to the Discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s