Neither Ed, nor I, ever thought we'd be the sort of people who would get married. Even if by some miracle we did, however, it certainly didn't seem like we'd get married to each other. In fact, when we first met, we were quite committed to not having a relationship of any kind at all. The age difference was the most obvious obstacle. Nine years is surmountable, I suppose, but we met when I was nineteen and he was 28, which makes it sound worse than it really is. Both of us were in the last stages of extricating ourselves from relationships that has survived, in one form or another, too long. There are, also, some rather key difference between us. I am an arty nerd, one of the writing types, who wore antennae to a press conference (in my defence, they did light up) and planned to move 3000 kms away within a year or so. He was a computer programmer and mechanical engineer who seemed quite happy in the life he had established for almost three decades in the same city. I love to cook; Ed has three working taste buds ( those that recognize meat, potatoes, and spaghetti). He had worked more than one of the Big Three auto makers in Ontario; I refused to even attempt to get a licence, believing that me in control of several tons of fast moving metal was just too preposterous to be considered. Of course it wouldn't work.
But we met swing dancing. But he wore a fedora and suspenders over a cripst white shirt. But he was in theatre, musical theatre at that, and was a *baritone*, and even had a kickass swordfighting scene in the next musical he was in. But he always smelled like cologne and cinnamon hearts. But he could juggle and solve a rubix cube in under three minutes. But he loved to read. But he liked cats.
We started getting together, first at coffee shops and later at the house he rented, to discuss, inevitably, how wrong we were for each other in one form or another. Yes, we were spending time together, a lot of time, but we were by no means a couple. Fooey and Pshaw, we would say. We are simply having a good discussion that seems to have stretched over some weeks now. That's all. See?
We managed to convince oursleves of this for quite some time. We'd met in late September, and it was indeed not until almost the end of January that the charade wore so thin even he and I saw through it. I believe it was after I had not actually *left* his house for about three days, and was making us lunch in the kitchen (which I'd by then reorganized), and he came down to ask me where his socks were. I told him, we looked at each other. We were...domestic. Comfortable. He was wearing one of those "I Am Canadian!" T-shirts and I was wearing his Denver Broncos cap because I didn't even want to admit I had hair anymore, let alone try and do something with it.
We were quiet for a time. Later, in the car, driving to get me a very large coffee and him some hot chocolate, we finally admitted to each other that yes, a relationship seemed to ahve ambushed us despite our most vigilant efforts, but somethign was still amiss. This was so easy, so much fun, so bereft of bullshit and headgames that neiether of us recognized it. Did something so downright pleasant and natural really count? We supposed it did. I was wearing his favourite hat, after all.
We made no promises, then. I was moving away, and Ed wasn't sure what was going to happen as he switched careers and began job-searching anew. This time, we decided to sit back with some popcorn and see what would happen.
We live in Calgary now. I got into the school I'd had my eye on for two years and after a gruelling job search in Ontario, Ed found a job here nine days after he began searching. We have two psychotic rescue cats who eat moths and hide watches, glasses and the occaisional jump drive when they're feeling peckish. And ten days ago, we were ambushed by something else neither of us ever thought would happen to us.
On July 29th, 2005, in front of a small assemblage of our immediate family three best friends in Windsor, Ontario, Ed and I were married. We eloped with an audience. We had dinner at our favourite restaurant. I had a bouquet from my parents garden; my mother made the cake; my dress was an antique. Ed had a gerbera daisy in his lapel. He smelled like cologne and Dentyne ice. I remember giggling a lot. I remember everyone just glowed when they came to hug and sob and congratulate. I remember feeling so grateful for my suddenly bigger and even more amazing family. And the turkey schnitzel was delicious.
We're home now, married a whole ten days, still a little stunned. Ed hollers "WIIIIIFE!" now when he wants something; I actually giggled and spoke to a telemarketer for a minute because he called me Mrs. Schmutz and that was, indeed, who I was. It's still sinking in, really, that the odd, squarish bit of white gold on my left hands means I am, really, married. I might not get it yet, but I do know that seeing the ring there, already scuffed a bit from trying to hang pictures of a strangely familiar and rather cute couplein wedding clothes, I feel suddenly, almost dizzily, happy.