Tonight Mirs and I spent the evening with our favorite couple who are to be wed in August. We watched the Celtics forget how to rebound and make actual baskets and lose to the Lakers. While we were watching the disgraceful loss of a phenomenal lead I started thinking about love and marriage and what it all means. I was engaged once, did you know that? If you’re a dedicated reader you should! At 21 I was engaged to marry a man named Barry. That’s all we’ll say about it, really but I can say with complete certainty that there was no love in the marriage (wedding) I was planning with him.
Seeing these two women tonight, though, it’s clear what love looks like. It’s not that my life is absent of love because it is not. I love Mirs with my entire being and I’m confident that she’s the woman I want to spend my life with-we’re not there yet, though. As much as the little girl who’s been planning her wedding since adolescent wants to come out at 30 I have a greater appreciation for what it is to love. Real Love. It’s sometimes quite messy, it can be unpleasant, and seemingly unbearable. It’s also constant, changing, sincere and deep. There is something comforting in the love that I share with my girlfriend because it seems even-a wonderful ebb and flow. Balance.
At 21 the idea of Marriage had nothing to do with marriage at all and everything to do with the wedding. At 30 I want nothing (well not really) to do with the wedding and want to focus on the marriage. Studying Judaism has been amazingly eye-opening in terms of marriage and the contract that binds the couple. When I think of marriage I think of family, structure, laughter, happiness, hardship, strength, and courage. I think of having children, watching them grow, and growing old with one person. I always joke to Mirs that when we’re very old that we have to find really hot nurses to care for us. It’s objectification, for sure, but the beauty of old age is that you can get away with far more than you can when you are young. Joking aside, I imagine walking around the property I share with Mirs (oh yes, there’s property) hand-in-hand on a cool summer evening. I think of her teaching our children how to throw a curve ball, shoot a layup and how to plant a garden.
It’s this image of togetherness that I immediately see when I hear the word marriage. In Jewish wedding vows there is no “for better of for worse” mentioned. It’s rather about a partnership between two people. There is still the small girl inside me who wants the dress, the cake, the walk down the aisle. Now, though the dress is vintage and simple, the cakes are cupcakes with our names in sugar frosting script and our parents walk us down the aisle to a chuppah made of cloth we found at a thrift store on our travels.