I'd like to issue a sincere apology to my no doubt enormous female readership: As of this coming Saturday, I will officially be off the market. For the I'm-sure-considerable number of you who only read AskMen on the weekends and search for me by name, by the time you read this, I will already be someone else's husband, which will be equal parts upsetting and shocking. It's been a wild ride, women of the world, and I'm truly sorry for your loss. My lasting consolation gift to you and your kind is the knowledge that someday I will produce offspring, and if those offspring happen to be male, perhaps your progeny will have the opportunity to experience (albeit in genetically diluted form) what henceforth only one woman ever will.
Marriage is an odd and confusing thing. It's not unlike when a young boy first discovers that rubbing his wiener feels really good. He doesn't know why, he just knows that it's something he wants to do, and it won't be until later on when he understands the motivations behind his compulsion. Marriage is the same way. At first you just know you want to marry this person, though you may not be able to articulate the reasons behind those feelings. As you spend more time together learning, growing and doing infuriatingly tedious things like stuffing invitations into envelopes with that trifling tissue paper stuff, only then does your love crystalize into something that doesn't completely defy description.
As the date draws near, a lot of thoughts creep in. The concept of permanence certainly comes up, though it's not an unsettling one like so many people assume it to be. If anything, the idea of spending the entirety of my life on earth with one woman is a comforting one, because that's kind of the point of getting married in the first place. The larger, more abstract issues like love, permanence, commitment, etc. aren't really issues at all. None of that stuff gives me any heartburn, which is either a good thing because it means I've made the right decision or a bad thing because it means I haven't given it enough thought. The feeling of warmth, comfort and love I get when I wake to see a puddle of my fiancee's drool on my chest or hear the sounds of her feet restlessly shifting under the covers assures me it's the former.
No, what troubles and stresses me are the little, seemingly inconsequential things. Will we be able to foxtrot properly to our first dance song? Will any amount of practice be enough? Will I ever learn to tie this goddamned bow tie that I so arrogantly insisted upon getting instead of a pre-tied number? What about rain? Oh, god, the rain. There's an outside chance that it will rain in Williamsburg, Virginia the day of our wedding, and it's all I've heard about for the past week. If rain on your wedding day is good luck, it's only because if you manage to survive a day with a bride whose wedding gets thrown off-course by the elements you must indeed have a Clydesdale-sized horseshoe up your ass. If I see Luke Bryan (the country singer whose hits include a song called "Rain is a Good Thing"), I'm going to punch him square in the nuts.
I think the prevailing feeling for both myself and my intended is, "Dear Lord, can we just be married already?" Planning a wedding is an exhausting, drawn-out affair, and since she carried the brunt of the responsibilities I can't imagine the toll it's taken on her. At this point we hardly even want to have a wedding; we just want to be married. When we went to the courthouse to get our marriage license the other day, it was awfully tempting to just go down the hall to the justice of the peace. We didn't, but only because so many others have volunteered a lot of their time and resources in order to make this thing happen. It goes without saying that there has been an enormous financial burden placed on the bride's family, so without my soon-to-be mother and father in-law, almost none of this would be possible.
Apparently it's the groom's job to purchase the wedding bands, but since I'm unemployed and someone wanted, like, 50 tiny goddamned diamonds on her band to match her engagement ring, my family thankfully stepped in and helped out. And that says nothing of the time and emotional energy put into the planning process by people on both sides of the aisle. As the date approaches, making sure everyone's hard work was worth it is definitely top of mind.
For my part, I'm just ready to get it over with, and I don't mean that to sound like I'm dreading it or anything. I'm just ready to be with the love of my life, the girl I used to chase around the halls of my fraternity house when we were in college.
A week from now, I'll be sitting on a beach in the Dominican Republic, sipping a drink, wearing a wedding ring my wife will have surreptitiously glued to my finger to ensure that I get that telltale tanline. Will I regret the disservice I've done to the larger female population (no, I don't mean fat girls), allowing one woman to selfishly hoard the greatest gift to women since they were granted the right to vote? A little, yes. Hopefully I'll become a symbol, a matrimonial Batman of sorts, giving hope to the women out there languishing in unsatisfying relationships with man-children and deadbeats. The husband the women of the world deserve, but not the one they need right now. Yes, I like the sound of that.
Here. We. Go.