Once Upon A Time

It was a slightly overcast day, but with enough sun to count as sunny. I woke up, smiled a bit, and headed to school and my then job as a tutor for the school. It was the end of April, and I was looking forward to the end of the semester. Ben, working in the same department, saw me as I walked in. I asked him what was on his mind, and we began to talk about the same topic that we’d been casually mentioning for ages: marriage. I thought we could just do a courthouse run when we went to get our marriage certificate, but the courthouse hadn’t offered them, and so we were still looking for a solution. I pulled the number up for the courthouse of the municipal we were in for classes (which was the next district over, and therefore a possibility). The judge DID perform marriages-by appointment only!

When would we like to be married?

I wanted May Day-a religious holiday about fertility and thusly good luck.

They only did Friday’s.

May second? Booked.

May ninth?

That was fine. We were scheduled for 9AM. Perfect.


The date was two weeks away, with plenty of time to break the news to our families that we were being completely serious (they’d known we would for about a year, but until we had something concrete it was always just up in the air.) We’d tried a December wedding, but it hadn’t panned out.

Fast forward to the Friday before our wedding-Friday, May 2 at 4:56PM. The Judge had been overbooked! And he wouldn’t even able to do our wedding!! No appointments available before our marriage certificate expired. Thank you.

It was the end of the business week before we were finished with our conversation. I could call no official until Monday, and that might be too late. So I began to try every minister, high priest, high priestess, pastor and anyone I had an email address for in the closest three counties. Most, as I had assumed, needed more notice. One had asked if we could drive forty miles to their Sabbat that same night, where they would love to do so, with less than an hour to get there-we passed, but I would have loved to!

Ben had been calling people with the same fervor, and emailing his professors (who are well known to be better connected than college students!) and lo and behold-one of his professors was ordained! Was he free on Friday the 9th? Yes! Would he be willing to do so? Yes! Perfect!

It wasa sunny Friday, the flowers were all blooming in the trees and it seemed like the perfect day for happiness. My parents and siblings, Ben’s dad, Ben’s best friend (and his parents) and a couple lost stragglers came to the classroom. My dad stopped off and bought pizza for everybody before we got there. In walked the professor, complete with a stole and robes, a brief case, and a guitar case. I’d never had Dr. Emens, but he seemed a nice enough fellow, and he was certainly doing us a kindness.

We had a traditional wedding, complete with prayers, vows that were based in a religion I had left, and the exchanging of rings. Then, at the very end, Dr. Evens sat down and asked if he could play a song for us. He chose “Good Riddance (Time of Our Lives)” by Green Day. We paid him, signed the things we needed to and then headed to our honeymoon-weekend (where we watched three seasons of Game of Thrones and the owner of the place we stayed picked wild flowers-which I dried (because they were my wedding bouquet).

It may not have been traditional, it may not have been the big and fancy wedding that everyone always thinks about, but it was unique, it was prophetic and it was the start of a wonderful marriage. And it was all completed at 4:30PM Friday, May 9, 2014.

Now, two years later, it is rainy (which I love!) and I’m sitting at the kitchen table with my huge cup of coffee, thinking about that day. I remember that I sat there thinking that I wasn’t nervous at all, that I knew I was making the decision that I’d made in my head a long time before.

There are some things you didn’t get with that version of the story.

I was 21 (and had been so for 5 months exactly). Ben was 20 (and had been so for a week under 5 months). I was asked within five minutes of getting married if I was going to have kids/when I was going to have kids/if I was already pregnant. 

Ben told my dad (and I later adopted the same reasoning for the people who asked why we got married so young:

I didn’t want to start our lives separately and have to make room for the other person. I want to start from absolutely nothing more than love and build a life together. I want to start out together poor and watch as our riches grow.

I’d always told people that when you know you love someone, you shouldn’t feel like age should stop you from spending your life together.

I chose to hyphenate my name because at the time I thought I wanted to go into academics and that way, if I published any papers, you’d know without a doubt it was me. I may not be directly going into academia, but I don’t regret splitting my name. Because it gives me an identity all my own. I use either name as I please, both for formal occasions and I am content.

So happy anniversary, my love. It’s been an interesting, epic, bizarrely perfect two years and I look forward to collecting more with you.

Thankfulness, Day 18

I’m not sure if I’ve done this topic, but you know what? If I have-there was a good reason. And since I’m going for it now, there’s adefinitely good reason.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

Not the TV show, the real life people.

I consider myself to have a limited selection of friends, not because I’m picky or high maintanence, but because those are the people I trust. I’m friend-ly to everyone, but I reserve that title for those who truly mean it. And right now, as the time would have it-I have 3. That isn’t to say I have abandoned all the others, but right now, my life is blessed with those three and it will come a time when the number increases.

I was the weird geeky outsider who managed to retain some popularity as a high schooler. Not entirely sure how that works, but I think it had something to do with me being nice to people. Everyone knew I would help unless I needed time for myself, which I tried not to take often (except as a freshman. But you all know that story.) Still, by the time I started college, I had really only a couple friends left. I would say after graduation I went from 5 or 6 down to 2 or 3. And when college started, that number went up to 7 or 8. But now, I have three-one that I met in college, one that I didn’t really talk to until after college started but I’d known her since high school  and one that I’ve known for practically our whole lives.

The thing is, that length of time really doesn’t change all that much with friends. It’s about who they are as people. I may not see them all the time, or hang out every week, but if a text arrives, I shall answer it. If a phone call comes in, I shall do my best to remember where I put my phone before it goes to voicemail. My friends know I’m always down for coffee and wine (but I never D+D). I love heart to heart, meaningful conversations-sometimes lasting until bizarrely odd hours of the night.

They are the people I tell things to, that  complain to, that I listen to. They are the people (apart from my husband and family) that give my life meaning. And the thing is, we’re not all carbon copies of each other. I don’t want them to feel exceptionally put out there, so I’m going to call them A, B, and C. And I’ll pop in a little synopsis of me just for focus.

Me: I like coffee (a lot). I am an anthropology major with my eye on international affairs. I lived in a very small town with dirt roads and I used to work fast food.

A: Known since college started: In a love/hate relationship coffee, is dating a guy I helped set her up with, majored in history with an interest in law. Lives in a small town and has worked food for a little while.

B: Known since HS, met in college: Lives on coffee, is married with an ADORABLE little girl, works for Dave and Buster’s, really great artist.

C: Known FOREVER: Committed relationship with coffee, very devout Catholic, nursing major, lived in a small town and used to work in food.

Now you wanna know what’s crazy about all this? Even though we all met at different times, we all live within a half an hour of each other (or at least we did before 2 of us moved). Three of us went to the same high school, I took driver’s ed with C and only two of us frequent “curse words” as common vernacular. Interesting that we all could have known each other at various points in our lives, but it was at those particular moments that we met and stayed. And I am beyond blessed to have the three of them, who understand my level of crazy and have no problems adding in their own. Honestly, I would be lost without them.