I will be getting married in early September of this year, far less then three months from now. We will be hand fastened on our deck (which is not yet built) at our finished house (which is not quite finished) and we will be before all of our friends and family (though we have no idea yet where they will all park). We will not be exchanging rings as Joe and I are already wearing our rings. Marriage and weddings have never looked to me as anything more then frivolous and expensive bull shit. I certainly would need a lot more respect for my country and the very religious rules imposed upon me to feel anything but loathing for the amount I have to pay for our marriage license to be approved and bestowed upon us. I never once in my life wanted a wedding or a husband and I still want neither a husband or a wedding. On paper we are getting married and having ourselves a wedding. In real life we have already made our vows and started our journey together that will last us the rest of our lives. The ceremony we will be holding at our home will be for the benefit of our friends and our family that they may join us. It is also for the off chance that one of us may wind up in a hospital someday and the other would certainly like to be legally able to go to their side. Besides funerals and other weddings this will be the very rare time I will willingly participate in something that resembles religious tradition that I both loathe and absolutely hate. Joe and I both look forward to the day when our language and views in the place we live finally start reflecting the growing millennials that no longer participate in the old traditions that still represent the days of exchanging women as property and vowing to obey their husbands as only servants did in the past. With the growing number of divorces I would like to think we are long ready for a change of views and traditions.
As you may have already guessed the only thing on our joining day resembling a traditional wedding will be that there are two people signing a marriage certificate. I have also chosen to take Joe’s last name though this remains a very strange thing for me. I have no ties to my own last name except that I simply, casually and frivolously, just plain like it. I mean, who wouldn’t want to have the last name of a rugged fantastically gorgeous animal? It is easy to tell someone my last name and very hard for them to miss hear me or miss pronounce it or miss spell it, it is an EASY last name and I will very much so miss that. His last name is not easy, it is easy to say but once it is spelled it will almost always be then miss spelled and miss pronounced. I am not, in any way shape or form, looking forward to it as I have already dealt with it and it has already really pissed me off. However, I am taking his last name because, in the broader scheme of things, it is just easier. I am taking his last name because I would rather have his last name then my father’s last name. I am taking his last name because I refuse to do the hyphen thing because I work with legal documents all day and the hyphen thing is an enormous pain in the ass that I am not going to put anyone through. I am taking his last name because I am still keeping my last name professionally as a writer and that, somehow, softens the blow. Mostly I am taking his last name because my mom and aunt made me feel a lot better about all of it, they took their past husband’s last names (and kept them after divorces) and it was no big deal to them. Taking his last name only means I am giving up something if I believe it does. In a perfect world, someday, when two people join together they will choose their own last name and whether it is a completely made up name, a combination of their two last names or something else, it will be their choice together and no one will ever feel obligated to take the name of the other in any way. In the end, I got over it and am taking Joe’s last name. In the future perhaps he and I will do something different and change both of our last names but, for now, legally, I will be changing my last name.
What is in a name anyway? The truth is my last name dictates nothing of who I am and it is only what the changing of a woman’s last name USED to represent is what is bothering me. It is the same with both the wedding and the ceremony, it is what I know it USED to represent that cuts me to the bone. So, in the fashion of how Joe and I live, it is time to forget all of that and take it all as a choice that means only what we choose it to mean. This will be our day to share our joy with all of the people we love and to rejoice in the seeming miracle that is that Joe and I found each other in this enormous world. Despite betrayal, cruelty and all some folks did to see us split a part, Joe and I never got anything but closer. I hope no one attends our joining ceremony who does not share our joy and commitment, I hope they do not feel obligated in any way to come at all. This is our day and I am truly looking forward to it and SO excited!