May. 13th, 2013

thothmes: Carter and O'Neill in wedding dress and tux gazing fondly at each other from the episode 200 (Wedding in 200 - Private Moment)
In May of 1979 my father, the veteran of 3 failed marriages, then living happily with his girlfriend, sat my boyfriend and I down in the living room, and explained that he'd married three times for the wrong reason. He'd married because he'd seen the beauty and the potential in 3 women, and then these women had failed to change in the ways he'd expected them to do. He explained that marriage put certain societal expectations on a woman, and living together without marriage put a different set of expectations on her. As an unmarried woman people would be more accepting of my putting my priority on my needs and my career, whereas as part of a married couple, they'd expect me to subsume a certain amount of who I was and who I wanted to be into the needs of my husband's career. We were free to choose our path, but couldn't we consider living together, just for a little while?

I'd made a promise to my father that I wouldn't get engaged until he'd had a chance to have his say, and that I'd listen to him with an open heart and mind. I kept my word. I took in all he had to say. We both said that his points were very valid, and we'd consider them. My dad, who is early to bed and early to rise (the night owl biology is all from the other side of the family) said his goodnights and went up to bed.

My boyfriend looked at me, and I looked at him, drowning, as I always do, in his black-lashed blue eyes with the best eye-crinkles of happiness when he smiles.

"Will you marry me?" he said quietly.

I didn't hesitate for a moment. I knew this one was the one: honest and honorable, loyal, loving, and true, intelligent, with a quick, clever sense of humor and the ability to laugh at himself and the conviction that people are good and compromise and finding the win-win solution is the way to live, committed to leaving the world better than he found it, and stubborn enough to ensure that I couldn't just out-stubborn him and win, and yet flexible enough to know when to stand up for his point of view and when to give way, and very, very, very patient. We'll skip over the incidental facts that he's lean (still!) and tall, with unrepentant dark hair that is now shading into "distinguished", and very good in bed, because you don't want to know that. [font="unrepentant"]Oh. Oops.[/font="unrepentant"]

"Yes," I whispered. Much huggage ensued.

The next morning my father took it well.

"I wanted you to make an informed decision," he said. "One that's right for you."

"I did, Dad" I said.

"Good"

Which means that on this day in May, thirty-three years ago, we married. Like all couples, we've had our hard times and our easy times, our good days and our bad (and for some reason we have a positive talent for scheduling our bad days on the same day- it's a gift) but I can honestly say that our decision to marry is one we have never regretted, even for an instant. Dad was right to warn me, because when society tried to put its pressures and expectations on me, I could see them as such, and act accordingly.

A year later, seeing how little our marriage had spoiled our relationship, my dad and his girlfriend snuck down to city hall, and found a justice of the peace to marry them. They have been very happy together. She was the right one, the one he loved for who she was, no alterations needed.

Are we doing anything special today? Well, small gifties, but nothing much else. We're waiting for September 13th, when we will hire a sitter and go out for a Very Fancy Dinner to celebrate 33 1/3 years (a third of a century!) together.

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A Few Words From The Wise

Speak to him, for there is none born wise.
-The Maxims of Ptahotep

In mourning or rejoicing, be not far from me.
- an Ancient Egyptian Love Song

But your embraces
alone give life to my heart
may Amun give me what I have found
for all eternity.
-Love Songs of the New Kingdom, Song #2

To Know the Dark

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is travelled by dark feet and dark wings.
-Wendell Berry

Up in the morning's no for me,
Up in the morning early;
When a' the hills are covered wi' snaw,
I'm sure it's winter fairly.
-Robert Burns

Visit to the Hermit Ts'ui

Moss covered paths between scarlet peonies,
Pale jade mountains fill your rustic windows.
I envy you, drunk with flowers,
Butterflies swirling in your dreams.
-Ch'ien Ch'i

Mistress of high achievement, O lady Truth,
do not let my understanding stumble
across some jagged falsehood.
-Pindar

Every Gaudy colour
Is a bit of truth.
-Nathalia Crane

I counted two-and-twenty stenches,
All well defined, and several stinks.
-Samuel Coleridge