There use to be a time when Mark, or I, would sneak little gifts to each other on the 16th of the month, every month, to celebrate that we had been together for X number of months. It was cute, and a bit silly. At some point we stopped doing that, and now we might give each other a peck on the cheek to celebrate the “anniversary” of the month. If we even remember. But in a little over one month, we will have been together for two years, and on that day we’re getting married.
Most friends are either openly incredulous about us getting married, at such young ages, or they’re suitably twee about the whole thing and think it’s the most romantic thing in the whole world. But it goes a little bit deeper than mere post-card romance for us.
My parents weren’t much older than us when they married. My aunt knew she would marry her late husband at sixteen. My mother had decided by eighteen that my father was going to be the one. So, it is not this big thing, the age. It goes a little bit deeper than that attachment to a specific age where you can’t marry until you’re at least thirty-five.
Before we headed out into the countryside yesterday we did three things that brought all this crashing down on my head, making me fall into thought about it. We went to the jeweller’s and bought the rings. We settled for a couple of quite plain but elegant gold ones. No stones on them, just engraved names. Stylish and minimalist, just as I like it. Nothing ostentatious here.
The other thing we did was to, for the first time in my life, go to a proper tailor to get a suit that’s made specifically for me. I had to endure a lot of pointing, and prodding as the woman got the measure tape out. We have both settled not on black, because black is boring, but a light beige and soft orange set. You didn’t think we could wear white, did you? That would be such a lie, wouldn’t it?
After, we went to see the venue – and this is the point where our plans merged from official marriage business to summer frolicking with friends because the venue is out in the open outside the town, at a place where Mark spotted earlier. It looked desolate, and abandoned, but the man responsible for it met us there and told us how he had planned it. Apart from a few minor corrections, we didn’t have to say much about it so that meeting was quick.
But even so, the marriage bit bled into the carefree summer bit, and I once again had to try to explain to my incredulous circle of friends about why, and as always I can never open my mouth and give an articulate response that explains. Words have limits. Words are little frail things that break under pressure, if you don’t take care. Words are shallow and bleak little representations, and words can simply not contain the absolute rock solid certainty that I have about doing this, because when I look at Mark I just know. We have been together for two years now, and have rarely been apart for more than a few hours. Over that time, the certainty has only gotten stronger.