I usually think of us as a boring couple. We eat quinoa on most days; we go to bed early ish; we love staying in; and, we love going for walks to High Park. But, I guess even we have our moments. Sometimes we surprise ourselves.
John and Yoko, as was made famous in this song, were married on a day trip to Gibraltar. She wore tennis shoes and knee socks ( so cool. I’m not that cool… Though I packed my tennis shoes just in case I felt inspired). Sean Connery was married there too. But, I think our trip took the form of a Julie Delpy film. Two recovering neurotics doing something spontaneous and fun, and encountering so many hilarious hiccups along the way. I’m obviously the Julie Delpy awkward type, and Marco has his Adam Goldberg/Chris Rock moments.
We are pretty private, introverted, and love hanging out together. In many ways a huge wedding really isn’t our thing, and this made sense. Us two in a lush garden making promises to each other. Nearly like every other walk to the park, only with nicer clothes and with more formality. (Though, of course, I love every second of planning the upcoming big wedding. So much crafting to think about!!)
Gibraltar is a funny place. The registrars office is the size of a public washroom, and has 5 windows where attendants stand ready to shoo you off to a lawyer before they can see you. Or, at least that’s what happened to us.. Running across the street to the 6th floor office of a navy suited older gentlemen who asked me about the definition of agape, and explained to me how it related to gay marriage ( why o why do I tell people my PhD is on love?). So, 40 pounds and two signatures later, it was confirmed that we were not cousins and did not have any secret spouses: we were free to be married.
Buuuut, they booked the wrong location, and it turned out we could not have the photographer there, and it cost extra for the justice of the peace to travel there. Well… Nothing was going to rain on our romantic parade. I asked the awesome lady, Mel, we rented from if she knew anyone to come take photos and be a witness. She did! And, two for the price of one, she came along too! Voila.
Tuesday morning M drove us up the top of the rock. We walked through St. Michaels cave, saw the macaques, and picked wild flowers and succulents (my faves!) for a bouquet. I lay on the beach and read a little Levinas on the experience of being with the Other, and the irony was pretty obvious. My ethical relation was about to finalized. Meanwhile, M edited his vows.
We were late, of course, getting there. I ran ahead of M to make sure they didn’t leave. The photographer teased me “so, he drove away, and left you!? Uh huh… Sounds like cold feet”. I laughed, “all dressed up and no place to go, I guess”. The justice if the peace asked to see my passport, which i dis not have. sigh… So many hitches to getting hitched.
Marco ran in carrying the bouquet I made for Mel. We went through the procedure: I was not to wear my engagement ring, he was to hold my right hand, we kissed then signed the book that said that I was a spinster and that he was a bachelor, then we could do our “readings” or sneakily say our vows.
It was easy. I was so excited I wanted to laugh. The sun was setting right into our eyes, and it made me want to laugh more. There we were, in the Alameda garden just standing around repeating phrases one after the other. Effortless. And, after all that. I had written my vows over the course of a few days. What do you say to your best friend? How do you concisely include all the things you want be for them, and all the moments that you are so grateful for? For our dates to the hospital, for our endless search for allergen free foods, for film references, for not needing to talk all the time, for using an eyebrow to convey a paragraph, for making things feel possible, for everything else…for the silent promises of a future cultivated now. There we stood in a garden on the rock. Words left my mouth and each one felt so effortless.
After we had a picnic in the beach, and opened a bottle of sparkling wine. It was perfect. Ok, maybe not perfect. I was afraid of a mean looking seagull and Marco shooed it away. Then it was perfect.
But there we were two boring people just sitting around munching on gluten free crackers, sipping sparkling, and having the perfect night.