I was waiting for the right time to share this, but today is such an amazingly beautiful day — warm and sunny here outside Phipps Conservatory, with the miniature daffodils in bloom and a single red tulip already spilling open among the green beds, and inside the agave plant in the cactus room (Jeff's favorite room in the Conservatory) is in bloom for the first and only time its whole life, sending up a flower-topped stalk forty feet into the air, so high they've had to remove a pane of glass from the greenhouse ceiling... aw, hell, I decided, I'll just blurt it out! Jeff and I are getting married!
In fact, we're getting married next month! I know, I know, you Pagans out there might point out that traditionally Beltane (or May Day) was considered a day of ill-omen on which to be married, associated as it is with rather more ephemeral and (gasp!) even illicit love affairs and heady-passionate tumbles in the dewy grasses. But you know... we're tired of waiting! For the past week, Jeff's youngest daughter, age five, talked about little more than her mother's up-coming June wedding to her next husband, and how pretty and expensive the dresses would be, and dropping incredibly casual hints to us, such as, "When are you and Daddy going to get married? You love each other enough, don't you?"
I guess Jeff took his daughter's hints to heart, because this morning I rolled groggily out of bed to find him already downstairs, preparing a luscious raw vegan breakfast (complete with a few lit tealights blessed by my Kildare-flame candle and a few twigs of blooming, bright yellow forsythia from the backyard in an adorably tiny glass vase on the table) and, before I was even fully awake, he was down on one knee. To be fair, he's spent a lot of time on his knees lately, having broken his foot about a month ago and finding crawling around the house easier than using the too-short crutches to hobble around on (he's gotten to know the cat better this way, too)... but this time it was, you know, the big Down On One Knee, the real deal. Apparently, he'd been saving up for a ring for the past month or so, but he's always been terrible at keeping secrets and, anyway, neither of us knew my ring size. So as of this morning, I wear proudly on my finger the white, ratcheted band of one of those plastic ring sizers they send you free in the mail.
And after enjoying a delicious berry breakfast, we got to talking about what comes next, and well, we started to wonder... why wait? We can hop down to the County Register or whoever and get a marriage license and, after a quick informal ceremony, be done with the whole thing. None of this big white dress and half a dozen bridesmaids and $500 wedding cake nonsense. Anyway, we're Pagans, which means we can chuck half the wedding traditions right out the window to begin with as being stuck in an anti-feminist and archaic form of purity-obsessed Christianity.
Can we plan a wedding in a month? Who knows! But one thing we can be sure of is that come Beltane, we'll be on our way to husband-and-wife-hood regardless of whether the florist can scrounge up enough calla lilies or the photographer knows how to highlight our new matching hubby-and-wifey tattoos (I'm thinking a single tiger lily in a heart with each other's names emblazoned across, maybe on the bicep, or the forearm?).
And the best part is, for only $15,000 or so venue fee, we can hold the ceremony in Phipps Conservatory itself, among the blossoms and foliage we have come to love so well! It's a dream come true! But one thing's for sure: April is bound to be a crazy month for two fools in love!