Anyone can say, "I do"
I can't believe I left out one of the essential points about why Alex and I haven't "taken that leap". Because the reasons I gave about how we have nothing against marriage just like we have nothing against moving to Minnesota are all true but in addition I have to admit I just cannot see making a promise like that. I don't think you can or should unless you are sure that you'll keep it. And I mean really 100%, not 110 or 150 (Once you start going over 100 you're just undermining your whole point. Why only 150? Why not 160? Why not infinity percent?)
I'd feel mortified to break it. Not saying I would, but how would you know, really? You can't. And maybe this relates to caring too much what others think but it's not something I could stomach. Talk about a generalized sense of disapproval. I feel that if I back out of a picnic lunch. Sometimes people say, "Why don't you have a low key wedding? Like your parents did. With a few friends and family members where Alex wears a 35-cent-tie he bought that day and you wear a dress your sister made and everyone eats manicotti afterward?" But even though yes that is more our style and wouldn't include bridesmaids hollering out about how first they were afraid, they were petrified, I'd be afraid and petrified about saying anything at all with that much conviction.
Roo and Moo: people do question our "arrangement", though luckily few harp on it. Recently someone asked me if the reason we're not married is that we can't "make that commitment". I felt annoyed. I want to say I can make it, I just don't know if I can keep it. It's like the Seinfeld bit about making a car reservation.
Agent: I'm sorry, we have no mid-size available at the moment.
Jerry: I don't understand, I made a reservation, do you have my reservation?
Agent: Yes, we do, unfortunately we ran out of cars.
Jerry: But the reservation keeps the car here. That's why you have the
Agent: I know why we have reservation.
Jerry: I don't think you do. If you did, I'd have a car. See, you know how to
take the reservation, you just don't know how to *hold* the reservation and
that's really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody
can just take them.
I feel that way sometimes being compared to those who have "made that commitment" when I feel judged for not doing the same. So far you've shown that you can make it, but the important part is holding to it. Anyone can say, "I do." And it's a little hilarious to me that having a kid without being married is, even among our peers, viewed as somewhat radical, while a decade full of one night stands is old hat, as is a nice little narrative arc of marriage + divorce. Another friend told me he had trouble describing us to friends when we were getting together. "My friend and her boyfriend and her baby." Was the baby related to the boyfriend? Was the boyfriend a post baby add-on? Either way had a slightly trashy feel. It made me laugh and also surprised me which it shouldn't have, I suppose, but I just never thought of it from that angle, how odd it does in fact sound when to me there's nothing odd about it at all, kind of like half-Jewish, half-Irish was always just how it was until it was questioned later in life.
I don't want anyone to think I didn't have fun at their weddings. I had a blast at every one of them, the next logical step weddings and the great romantic love that later plummeted and the ones that are still "going strong". And I don't think anyone I know did it to get attention, or if you were motivated by that, you hid it well. I also think as long as it's an enjoyable and meaningful event then it's not over the top, no matter how many firecrackers go off the first moment you kiss. Here's a question Rhonda (and everyone else please weigh in), is it okay to simply have fun at your own wedding or are you obligated to go from table to table and guest to guest including anonymous +1s to make sure you spend time with them and thank them and yadda yadda yadda? Or can you just be out there doing the macarena and knocking over wine glasses? Because I've always thought the former, but then if you're not having fun at your own wedding, there really is no point to that. It's your party, can you have fun if you want to? What are your thoughts or how did you personally handle it?