I met my husband at an age when a lot of girls were getting their first crushes. Though we didn’t know it at the time, our paths first crossed in the hallways of our junior high during some of our most awkward years. By the time we reached high school, we at least knew one another’s name, and by the time we had both graduated (he’s two years older than me), we had acquired a hidden infatuation with one another, though both of us refused to admit it.
My husband is the tall, dark and handsome type, and in high school, I was far from the only girl who noticed this. But I wasn’t interested in boyfriends or relationships, so though he had my attention, he didn’t have my complete focus, at least not yet. It wasn’t until the first week of my freshman year of college that the stars aligned long enough for us to admit our admiration for one another, but once our feelings were out, we were inseparable.
Many years later, after years of intoxicating highs and heartbreaking lows together, I awoke from a nap to a diamond. The first (and only) person who I had ever truly loved proposed to me on a Tuesday afternoon after work.
Most girls dream about the day they get proposed to, expecting it to be epic and breathtaking and romantic. My proposal was all of these to me. There wasn’t a string quartet or rose petals, but there was fettuccine Alfredo and The Wheel Of Fortune, which to me is perfect.
We had such big love for each other that everyone assumed we would have a big wedding to match, but we honestly could have cared less about how or when we said our “I dos.” All that mattered to us is the person we were saying them to.
For us, the hard part was over. We didn’t have an immaculate, fairy tale wedding to plan, but rather just a day to pick so that we could both ask off of work. I didn’t stress over a wedding budget or venue or dress. I didn’t lose sleep at night worried about bridesmaids dresses or deposits or guest lists, and I didn’t once feel like I was drowning in the stress of planning a “perfect,” fairy tale wedding because our quirky little imperfect life together gave me more warm and fuzzies than any Jennifer Aniston movie I’ve ever seen.
Our relationship isn’t perfect. We aren’t perfect, and our many years together have been a far cry from what most would consider romantic, but none of that mattered to us. We weren’t marrying each other because we had a perfect union. We were marrying each other because we were already well aware that neither of us is perfect, but we loved each other anyway.
We eloped on a Tuesday morning in November. It wasn’t big or fancy or expensive or flashy; it was simple — a man in a $20 tux, a woman in a vintage $20 dress — both drunk on spontaneity and ridiculous, undying and unfathomable love. It was small and simple and spontaneous, yes, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t perfect. I guess I get why some people want their big day to be, well, big, but we just wanted our day to be about us — not the guests or the pictures or the dances — just us.
When some women hear about our wedding day, they question our motives. “No, I wasn’t pregnant,” I tell them as I deflect their questioning stares. I explain that although I watched all of the same Disney movies they did growing up, I had no interest in feeling like a princess. I didn’t want a shining moment or a pretty dress or a knight in shining armor.
All I wanted was a future filled with mornings of waking up with messy hair and bad breath next to a man who would kiss me even when I haven’t brushed my teeth and think I’m perfect even when I haven’t washed my hair or put on makeup. I wanted a man who would love me even when I’m being a jerk and who wouldn’t judge me for eating pizza for breakfast; someone who could stand up to me just as fervently as he would stand next to me; someone who didn’t care whether or not I was a princess; someone who would love me through the good, the bad, the ugly and the awkward. And that’s exactly what I got.
Our wedding might not have been big, but that doesn’t mean that our love isn’t.