A snapshot from just about 15 years ago.
Matt and I have been together fifteen years today. We are not married—a fact we don’t try and hide, but we also no longer correct people when they assume we are. He is my boyfriend, my husband, my mate, my friend, and my partner depending on who is introducing us.
Though we don’t have a desire to get married, we decided we wanted an anniversary party to celebrate fifteen years. I think we both thought if we didn’t get our families together in some way that one day we would regret it. And I’m learning in life that we should never say no to celebrations. Any excuse to celebrate is a good one.
The problem is when you send out invites to your closest friends and family who may have always hoped you would get married, some of them decide you are having a secret wedding. I immediately got an email back, “Are you guys really getting married?” No. And that’s the last I’d heard of it until a few weeks later. My mom was over and she said, speaking rapidly, “Two friends think you are having a secret wedding. And they can’t make it to the party, but if you are getting married they want to be there. I hadn’t even considered a secret wedding. Are you having a secret wedding?”
“No,” I responded.
My mom: “Oh, my God, you’re having a secret wedding!”
Me (somewhat frantically as the conversation seemed to spin out of control): “Wait? Didn’t you just hear me say no? I said ‘no.’ We’re not having a secret wedding.”
Mom: “But your face said you were having a secret wedding.”
I laughed. I have no idea what my face looked like in that moment. But I suspect what she read as ‘there is in fact a secret wedding’ was me chuckling to myself that more friends were suspicious. There is no secret wedding. I told my mom that anyone who came to the party expecting a secret wedding was going to be disappointed.
There will be no wedding at this party, but plenty of love. In that Matt and I are both lucky. We found each other, and we both were raised by families who love us overwhelmingly. They have all accepted our decision even if that isn’t their dream for us. And, in that we are grateful. To be loved and accepted by your family and a partner in life, in the end, there is no a greater gift.