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Before politics, there was love.
Even the priggish old Bible that hurried God's busy hands into the dawn of time honored the proper order of the world. Before God admonished the first people to shun evil, he begged them to multiply. The old world's profession was the dating consultant.
I'm getting married on Saturday.
We met three-and-one-half years ago, too long for God's tastes, too long my mother's, but long enough. Before the third date, I showed her my blog.
"Now I do not know if I want to even see you on Tuesday!!!" she wrote, "Instead of packing and working I am reading your blog!!!!!!! aaaaa! Shame on you!!"
"Pshaw," I replied, "I've wasted 33.3333% of my waking hours over the past four months on this damn blog. Your brief procrastination is but sand in the desert."
"I do love the blogging though," I added.
She has always loved my writing. I'm glad for that. I need that.
The blogging is a different story. We've squabbled sometimes, when I've stayed late in the living room to draft the perfect reply to one last comment while she waited for me to come to bed.
It is tempting to romanticize the writing, to imagine that I'm making a difference in some infinitesimal way, changing the world one pithy word at a time. But the truth is that the word comes before the world. I write for me, whether I have one reader or one million. I need that right word, that last jab, like a drug.
The wedding comes fast on the heels of engagement. Last month, we bobbed innocently in a blue canoe on a green river in a red desert. Just the two of us and the cold water and the hot rocks and the scrabbly little trees hugging the wet sand. The white gold ring hid in a black wooden box, which hid in a gray cotton sock, which hid in a purple canvas bag. Safe.
I tried twice to bring it forth and failed twice. It's wasn't nerves; it was the need for perfection, the right moment, the right line. She talks a lot. I like that, I love that, but it's hard to squeeze the words in.
We left the river and the desert behind us and climbed a mountain, all green and gray. There was to be a lake at the top, perhaps a meadow, I imagined. But we were dizzy, and our toes tingled. Too high, not enough air. We sat on a rock. She kept talking, but I pressed on until the words came out and the ring came out and the tears came out (mine) and she kissed me.
I came home to too much work. There was no time to write, barely enough time to call the people who needed to know.
Now I try to read the blog. I try to read the newspaper. I try to write. It's hard to care in the way that I am used to caring. It will return but not just yet I suspect.
Before politics, there was love, but love never lived in a vacuum. We weren't supposed to be married just yet. There was still time to plan. (It's not what you think.)
The subject line read [Fwd: Proof of dependent]. I was on her health insurance plan for a year already, but the insurer changed. Domestic partners are still covered--same sex couples only. We are not. A marriage certificate is wanted. Politics intrudes.
It will be a lovely little wedding. Our families will witness. There will be beauty and love, which is all you really need, I think.
And now I have some writing to do, a wedding vow. Before politics...