what does marriage mean?

Last Saturday, I attended my friend’s wedding.

I’m friends with her new husband. I like him, too. She looked beautiful, of course. Brides always do. I thought, would I like to be that beauty, some day?

She told me that she wanted a big, elaborate wedding because she didn’t get it for herself the first time. She wanted something different, which made sense. I asked her if she thought it would be different, after. She just shrugged. It doesn’t really change anything, she said.

She looked beautiful the day of– surrounded by family and friends from around the world. A magician created a literal magic that infused the celebrations. We celebrated till near sunrise; flitting from bar to bar; dancing our little hearts out’ and, finally eating tacos at a place that also happened to be a famous strip club, because, why not?

I am supposed to want marriage.

As a woman, and almost more so as a queer woman. (“What do I want? What everyone wants. To get married.”— Jenny’s Wedding) But I don’t.

I loved the wedding. The camaraderie among so many friends I knew and got to know. The music, the flair. I knew my friend loved it, too, though she didn’t get married purely for the wedding. But perhaps she did it for no reason but to bring friends and family together?

My other good friend, incidentally, served as maid of honor. She is unmarried. Like my partner and I, she and her partner have kids (who adore me! and I cherish that innocent love). Like me, they aren’t her biological children, but they are her family. Unlike me, she is their only mother. “Why do I need marriage,” she queries. “My commitment to my partner is no less.”

Besides, people already call my partner my “husband.”

It doesn’t help that we’ve been together forever and he’s my only primary relationship. I’ve had him called my husband, my fiancé, more times than I care to recall. Sometimes it feels nice, I’ll admit. Other times, I’m annoyed at the assumption that we need to be married to be important to each other.

Might I in the future? I don’t know. My own married friends tell me it’s not important. They don’t crave marriage for themselves– it’s not a consuming passion, but a “nice to have.” They don’t care what I do. They won’t treat me or my relationships any differently.

My munchkins already tell me I’m family. Any of them would be happy for me, whatever I chose, but they are all perfectly happy with me as it stands.

I imagine getting married to M, or to a future love.

He’d show up to my wedding and all three of us would celebrate, intimately, later that evening. I’d have the dress, the hor’devours– but most importantly, I’d have the love of two of the most amazing people.

I’ll have that love with or without the flowy, white dress, champagne toast, vows– and legal piece of paper.

Or maybe I’ll just do it all- the flowing dress, champagne, and cake– sans the piece of paper.

….could I just have the wedding and not the marriage?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top