The following is a condensed version of a post I wrote on my own blog about one of the most important and amazing nights of my life: my marriage. Please check out the original post for the full story, complete with the wonderful photos taken by my fabulous friends.
Here is the happy jist of it:
Last month, I got married. To my Wife Rebecca – or Bex, as she is better known.
Truth be told, we’ve been married (on Facebook at least) for many months. But we thought it was time to do our marriage justice and tie the knot properly, with 70 friends and a crate of champagne.
Let me be clear: We are not lesbians. We do not have sex with each other. This is not a legal marriage, nor a civil partnership. We are not going to raise children together. We have long-term sexual relationships with men, and we both fully plan on finding “the one,” being with them forever and having babies.
Many people seem to have misunderstood this point, and a surprising number declined the invitation to our wedding because they found the whole concept so odd. It made them uncomfortable. More’s the pity.
So I wrote this for everyone who was confused by our marriage, to explain why she is my Wife.
Here it is: She is my match.
She is an immaculate wordsmith, and an unparalleled punner. She will banter and chatter with me for hours on end, instead of running out of interesting things to say and sitting awkwardly in silence or tiring of my words. She can destroy you in Scrabble, politely, using only real words (none of those ridiculous ones like “qaid” and “zitis” that you only find in the bullshit Scrabble dictionary). She is schooled in the Greek and Latin classics, works professionally as a journalist, and writes her mobile phone texts and notes on Facebook with proper spelling and punctuation. (I abhor txt spk.)
She has dark brown eyes that you could stare into for hours. She shares my love of wearing inappropriately low-cut tops to the office. She loves food, passionately, and would never dream of denying herself the pleasure of it. She doesn’t withhold her affections, she wears her heart on her sleeve, and she has endless (some might say excessive) patience with friends and family when they step out of line.
We are, as the Brits say, “cut from the same cloth.” Or as Bex puts it, “we are mates of soul.”
When we met, it was love at first sight. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen for a friend so quickly and so easily.
I have other girlfriends I love no less, and whom I would call “my Best Friend.”
But Bex is my Wife. The distinction between Bex and my Best Friends is that, if either one of us were male, we would actually date, marry and have babies. We were made for each other.
We have called each other “Wife” – both to each other and when referring to each other – for well on a year now. So we decided it was high time we actually got married.
The rules of engagement for our celebration were simple: men were to dress as women. Women were to dress as men. Everyone was to take the next day off work.
Our guests kept Bex and I segregated before the ceremony, saying “Brides must not see each other beforehand!” which I thought silly and unnecessary. But when she walked down that aisle and I saw her, looking so beautiful and smiling at me, my skin prickled with goosebumps. I kid you not.
Our mutual friend Hagop, having the honour of being the one who introduced us, was the vicar.
He almost bought a priesthood online, but decided he didn’t need to bother. “It doesn’t matter to me, if I just say I’m a vicar then I’m a vicar,” he said. Fair play.
We enlisted some professional photographers to capture our wedding, which was one of the most incredible nights of my life.
And yet, I had never expected it to happen. You see, I never thought I would get married. I don’t believe in the institution.
Don’t get me wrong: I believe in true love and monogamy whole-heartedly. I dated just one person between the ages of 15 and 20. I sincerely want to be with just one person for my whole life, to have babies and grow old together in passion and in friendship.
But I don’t believe in the concept of “marriage.”
I don’t think a license from a priest or the government makes my relationship with someone different. It’s just a piece of paper.
In fact, I find the very notion that I should have to go through a ceremony with somebody before our love is considered valid to be downright offensive.
It’s a waste of money. My parents, who were paired for three decades, spent the $20,000 they had painstakingly saved on the down payment for a house, instead of a wedding. I think that was incredibly clever. Should any man with wads of cash in his pocket desperately want to marry me (as unlikely as that is, given my propensity to date writers and musicians), I would ask that we spend the money on a home, a holiday, or just give it to charity.
I don’t want a diamond ring. I am very clumsy and I lose things easily – it would just be a stress and a worry. Also, diamonds tend to be mined by workers who toil in horrible dark mines under slavish conditions. Screw that.
Lastly, I can’t be bothered to deal with the anxiety. For many couples, organizing the event and getting their (often dysfunctional) families together can be an unbearable stress.
I don’t believe in marriage. I have never wanted to marry anyone.
But I wanted to marry Bex.
I wanted to celebrate our friendship.
I wanted to pay homage to the fact that in the middle of the night outside a crappy nightclub, two kindred spirits can find each other.
I wanted to rejoice in the fact that two women can choose to remain single and wed each other instead of marrying mediocre males. Instead of getting hitched at 18 to start pumping out babies, we can go to university, work professionally as writers, have our words and our thoughts taken seriously, and on occasion stay out very very late having buckets of platonic fun with each other.
This is, for me, what feminism is all about.
And what better way to celebrate than with 70 people all dressed in drag and bubbling on champagne?
We celebrated in a fitting way, with our best friends, with our modern urban family. Here in London I have found many brothers and sisters, people that I consider family.
Somebody once told my aunt, “You’ve always been gay.”
“What are you talking about? I’m not a lesbian.” She said.
“Yes, but you’ve always lived like a gay person: You make your friends your family.”
So I guess in that way, Bex and I actually are gay.
With everyone in the dress of the opposite gender celebrating the marriage of two straight women who do not have sex with each other this was, quite simply, the ultimate post-modern marriage.
We saw in the dawn, and everybody agrees that we giggled more at this party than we had at any other for quite some time.
This was, as Bex puts its, the “BEST WEDDING EVER – FACT.”
Many other girls, we have discovered, have “Wives.” Many girls have seen our photos and said “Oh my god that is the best idea EVER I am SO doing that.”
Bex and I are going to write The Gospel of Wife to enshrine the concept. Such as: “Wife will always know what to order for Wife in a restaurant when Wife can’t decide what she wants.” Or “Wife will always be able to tell when Wife is menstruating.”
You know what? I love being married.
I love looking at the rings on our fingers.
I am still amazed by the fact that she picked this up for me by herself (after I had said we would need to go together to make sure they would fit), and that it fits perfectly. “Well you gesture with your hands a lot when you speak,” she said, “I have a good idea of what your hands look like.”
I love being able to say “My Wife is on her way,” or “My Wife is going to interview a Duchess next week.”
I love having a Wife.
And I love my Wife.
Maybe this whole marriage thing isn’t so silly after all.