Friday, June 26, 2009

The Big Day

As is frequently the case when I bother to acknowledge my poor neglected blog, I am sitting in Athens at Walker's waiting on something to happen. My surroundings look rather normal. My large Dancing Goats coffee with a shot of vanilla is on my left along with my keys, sunglasses, iPhone, and cashless wallet. My bulky computer bag, spilling over with peripherals necessary for the expedient arrangement of music, is on my right. The coffee shop or bar is half filled with other people who were too early or too late to be wherever they should be. And they are more or less oblivious to what is happening at my table.

What is happening is some combination of trembling and nervous motion. I have always wondered why people got nervous before their weddings. I always attributed it to some sort of concern about the result of doing something permanent. I have thought that it must be a similar feeling to that of signing one's name on the loan document for their first new home. The magnitude of the event, the feeling of potential doom, or a hybrid of the two seemed to make sense.

What I think I'm realizing is that the feeling is less about the event and more about the details - the worry that the caterer will arrive on time, that the musicians will be prepared, that the church will be unlocked and the air conditioning will work, that you don't accidentally bring up someones divorce or someone else's alcoholism in your toast. The nerves are all about the insignificant minutiae of a day that is all about a large thing.

I have always worried that, when and if this weekend ever arrived, I would be wracking my brain trying to find reasons to go through or not go through with the ceremony. I have worried that the inner struggle would not be about the ceremony but would rather be about if the ceremony is a good idea.

I am very happy to report that this hasn't even entered my mind. In a strange way, the most urgent yet completely insignificant issues are about everything but the woman who will be my wife in a little over twenty-six hours. Please don't interpret that to mean that she is either unimportant or has not been considered in this process. In fact, she has been so thoroughly vetted, theoretically torn apart and reassembled, and tested that I simply am not worried about the big questions.

I have known for quite some time that this is where we were headed. And as you would expect of me, I have tried to find any and every reason why we shouldn't get married and have come up empty. I don't really like to claim that any deity does anything for any reason that I can understand. It seems awfully presumptuous of me to insist that God, the Universe, or The Matrix has anything specifically in mind for me - at least it seems presumptuous to do so out loud. So I will simply insist that this is as close to perfect as it gets.

We fight - not frequently, but we do fight and we do so with sharp words, deft flanks, and lethal aim. We get irritated with each other, she with my tendency to leave my life lying about on all available flat surfaces and me with her seeming belief that life is tidier than I have learned that it is. We have conquerable issues that we do not pretend to control but that we know will have to be managed forever.

For every deficit that her flaws create, there are ten advantages to which those flaws are essential. What I identify as naivete is the trait that permits her to walk up to a stranger and ask a question. It's the trait that sees the beauty in my work when I have paralyzed myself in thought. It opened my ears to music I had not heard before, and brought me the additional love of a dog without whom I now can not imagine living. It says "why not." It gets me out of bed. It sees green when I see black and plenty when I see famine.

I don't always do a tremendous job of telling Meghan how completely changed I am because of her. While I know I need to do a better job of this, I believe I am currently proving the point that words suck at doing so. Fortunately for me, it would be awfully difficult for her to back out at this point. So I don't mind telling anyone who bothers reading this that I am more terminally in love than I ever imagined I could be. I will do my best to play it cool around you, but the truth is that it's that really gross, sappy, "awww"-inducing, quit-your-job-and-leave-town, run-out-in-front-of-a-bus, permanent, Saturday-under-the-covers kind of love. And what's even better, it's not love in spite of something. Under different circumstances, Meghan would have been the girl I would have cheated with.

And I wouldn't have felt guilty about it either, because it would have been the right thing to do. Thankfully, that won't be necessary. As of about 2:25pm tomorrow, I will have gotten it right the first time... after thirty-five years of false starts.