Third time’s the charm

I’m getting married again.

The first time I got married, we started planning a year in advance. We had hand-made invitations and complicated seating charts for almost a hundred friends and family members. We tasted cakes and wines and hors d’ouevres. We agonized over the guest list. We booked a ballroom because we didn’t want to stress for a year that it might rain. (It didn’t.) My dad missed the rehearsal because of flight delays, but my friend Bill stood in for him. The officiant was my college roommate, who played matchmaker and confidante back when M and I were still unsure about ourselves and each other and who knows us better than anyone on earth. We managed every detail except for how to get to the hotel after the party was over. (The caterer called us a cab.) It was a beautiful, wonderful, magical evening, full of love and joy and dancing and tears and more love.

The second time I got married, it was a much more prosaic affair. We met a dear friend at the County offices, where she notarized our forms. We shoved them through the little window in the plexiglass along with a check for $60. The clerk was all business, but friendly enough. She said “Congratulations” as she slipped the Certificate of Registered Domestic Partnership back through the window. I sent a message out via Facebook, inviting all and sundry to a local bar for drinks once we had our paper in hand. To my surprise, we packed the place for hours. I didn’t even know we knew that many people in town.

Today I am getting married for the third time because it’s finally legal in Oregon and, well, for tax purposes. I’m taking a half-day at work – unscheduled – and we’re picking the kids up from daycare a little early so we can meet the judge at 5:00 at the Courthouse. We thought about standing outside in the park or in front of the Christmas tree in the square, but the very real possibility of our three-year-old running off into traffic while we are speaking our vows overshadows our desire for a romantic setting.

We drafted two of our closest local friends to witness. Eric is our children’s honorary uncle. We’ve known him for ten years and he’s one of the kindest, most loyal friends a person could wish for. Rowan is one of those people whose path you cross a dozen times before it finally hits you that you are kindred spirits. It’s an unlooked-for, irrepressible friendship that still makes me shake my head in wonder. We’re counting on Rowan’s husband to wrangle the kids and maybe snap a picture or two.

As much as I resent that we have had to go through these motions three different times, I can’t help but marvel at the people who have stood by us, witnessing either in person or by proxy the promises that M and I have made to each other. A thread of love winds in and out and around the almost 20 years we’ve been together. But it doesn’t just bind us to each other; it weaves us into all of those other lives. Each time we do this, it’s another chance to step back and look at the beautiful tapestry we’re creating. There’s love, and there’s love, you know? And it’s all beautiful and wonderful and magical. So don’t tell M, but maybe I’m already looking forward to the next wedding.



25 responses to “Third time’s the charm

  1. Congratulations a million times over.
    Three happens to my very favorite number so I find promise, hope and magic in it.

    Have a beautiful day! xo

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  2. Congratulations, M and C! We love you all!

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  3. Damn. One more I’ll miss 😉 Love and best wishes and congratulations and kisses all good things to you and M and my yet-to-be young friends.

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  4. What a wonderful celebration! How many people can say they’ve been married three times and all to the same person!? That in itself is magical and all-too-sadly rare. Congratulations and warm wishes for cooperative weather and children!

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  5. Congratulations, M and C!

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  6. Seriously???

    Wellllll….uh….surprise!

    xox Congratulations.
    Your Mom~

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Most people who talk about getting married three times don’t bother to keep the same spouse for each ceremony. Kudos to you for sticking with the one you love. Sorry it took so long for the law to catch up with you.
    Congratulations!

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  8. This post just made me very happy. All the best to you.

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  9. 3 times to the same person is unique, 20 years is an achievement! Well done!

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  10. Many congratulations, Christine and M! Such a heartwarming thing to hear. May all your future weddings be as heart-stoppingly beautiful as this one 🙂

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  11. Amen to this wonderful state and congrats on your third wedding!

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  12. Congratulations to you for celebrating life with such a beautiful love 🙂

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  13. Congratulations! and you both love life immensely which shows in the togetherness for 2 decades.

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  14. Happy Matriumvirate! (Do you like that? I just thunked it up.)

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  15. Congratulations! I hope that no screaming three year olds are wrangled in the midst of the ceremony.

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  16. Next time we’ll bring more duct tape for your darling children 🙂

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  17. Congratulations and I completely understand the struggle to get there. Maybe Paul and I need to plan another one?

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  18. Congratulations! I’ll be sniffling in a corner. There’s nothing quite so heart-filling as a good cry at a happy wedding. I do love love so very much ❤

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  19. At first I thought you were being rather lackadaisical about getting married 3 different times! Then I re-read and realized you were marrying the same person! How nice!

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  20. Congratulations! You are fortunate and I get the sense that you don’t take a single second of your lives together, for granted. Happy New Year!

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  21. Natalie DeYoung

    You didn’t post a trigger warning for this one: for romantic feelings. I am all teary-eyed and need a hanky. Man, I love love–and I love hearing about the longevity of the love you two share (alliteration unintended). Congratulations, again!

    Like

  22. Pingback: Rights and Privileges | Trudging Through Fog

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