When I was young, I went through a phase of being rather anti-marriage. I am a child of divorce, which could have been a contributing factor. I am not religious. My opinion on the matter evolved: first I swore I would never get married, then after I joined the high school chapter of Amnesty International, I revised my stance to allow that I could get married if it would help provide a Green Card to someone in need. Even later I went through another phase of not wanting to marry because I didn't want to partake in an institution that was not offered equitably. Finally I arrived at the conclusion that I might marry if I'd been with a partner for ten years or more. Those magical round numbers...
Well, SodaBoy and I have been together a long time. We started dating in March of 1997, so our ten year anniversary has come and gone. We have talked about marriage over the years, but neither of us wanted a wedding. The thought frankly horrified the both of us. So we ignored the issue all together and carried on as we wished, sharing our lives in every other way. We bought a house together last year.
This weekend we went down to the courthouse and did the deed. It just seemed senseless for SodaBoy to go on with no health insurance when we know we want to spend our lives together. I still don't really "get" the whole thing. Nothing has changed. We are the same people in the same relationship, except now he can have health insurance. It's madness really, but there it is: I've bought into the system. The man has won.
The courthouse thing was actually much more entertaining than I'd expected. We had to go through an airport-style metal detector screening to get inside. Weddings are done Saturdays at 8:30 am, and everyone just shows up at the same time. There was one couple in front of us; the groom was escorted through the prison tunnel in shackles by a squadron of heavily armed guards. The shackles were left on during the vows, and he was escorted back out immediately after kissing the bride. The judge sort of laughed at us for having no rings. With the couple behind us, the bride was a no-show. If I wasn't so eager to get to breakfast and a nap, I could have hung out and watched the proceedings all day.