I Do

This post originally appeared on my old blog “The Kill Chair”. I have edited it only to update the number of years my wife and I have been married.

I have three tips for those looking to get married.

Actually, it is two tips for those looking to get married and one tip which can apply to anyone in a romantic relationship of any variety outside of the intentionally transitory. First, however, for those looking to get married:

  1. Elope. People often suggest that small weddings are best, but their definition of small tends to be a bit — big. My wife and I had almost the smallest wedding possible in this area. The rules state that you need someone to officiate, the two people getting married, and a witness for each. That’s a justice of the peace, any combination of brides and grooms totaling two and two more people to sign the paperwork. In our case, the husband of my wife’s witness also happened to be an accomplished photographer and offered to come along and take some pictures. So there were six of us. That seemed about right. Certainly we all fit comfortably around the table at the sushi restaurant after the ceremony. We asked for no gifts (but were given them anyways), no muss, no fuss and no complications. It was a lovely day.
  2. Tattoo rings. After the ceremony and the sushi, we thanked our crew and headed over to the tattoo parlour to get our rings. A lot of places are hesitant to do hands, but we had approached them months in advance and made arrangements. The rings have served us well. They never get lost or fall off. They never need re-sizing or special cleaning. They are unique and matched and have gotten us many compliments over the years. And they are permanent. The pain and the permanence seem to be the two places where people balk. I would suggest that if you aren’t willing to put up with some short-term pain and you don’t see marriage as permanent, perhaps marriage isn’t for you. Shacking up is a perfectly acceptable alternative and carries with it most of the same legal advantages and disadvantages. It can be dissolved with far less hassle, but can last a lifetime just as well.
  3. Quote board. This is the one that applies to any relationship. Start a quote board. Basically some form of document where you write down all the most memorable things said within your relationship. In our case — and I suspect this is far from unique to us — it is always the funny moments that stand out. This is what we want to record. As of my writing this, my wife and I have been living together for seventeen years and married for twelve of those. We didn’t start the quote board right away, but it still holds more than a decade’s worth of funny conversations. When a new quote is to be added, it gives us occasion to go back and re-read previous entries. It is amazing how much you can forget and how repeatedly you can forget it over the years. These periodic reminders of the bond we have had over the years helps to keep us strong and keep us laughing.

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