There are times when I question the cliché that you are unable to truly love another person until you are capable of loving yourself.
Loving my husband is practically an involuntary reflex, something that simply seems counter-intuitive for me NOT to do. Even if I were not his wife, he is simply a downright loveable and decent individual. As for myself, regarding the whole self-love thing, well… Let’s just say that I have come a long way, but it’s been an awkward and clumsy process with some progress but a lot of relapses.
In any case, I had the privilege of meeting my [insert long slew of various and immensely positive and “wordy” polysyllabic adjectives here] husband, Fede on October 24th, 2009. It’s odd, despite spending the first 26 years of my life in the “before time,” it’s sort of a blur to me. Although I recall having an existence, in all honesty, it was a inconsistent, erratic, and personally troubling period of time as some sort of rolling stone in perpetual quest of something that I didn’t know what to call and was incapable of describing as I had never experienced before… I’d even be bold enough to compare it to a the desire of an Old-World explorer for a quest to discover faraway lands that may or may not have existed, and others at the time may have considered to be pointless, mad, or the product of naivety. Maybe I’d find something/someone to end this compulsive insatiability, but maybe this was something that never existed in the first place.
Especially in the beginning of my relationship with Fede, I admit that I had a part of myself emotionally at arm’s length- Meeting this guy was the most uncomfortable form of security and well being that I had ever known. While I had immediately always recognized this man’s sincerity and lack of pretense, I was equally wary of a heterosexual male who was kind, considerate, honest, compassionate, funny, intelligent (amongst several other admirable traits) who was not already taken “off the market” ages ago and could really be what he appeared to be at face value. Jaded and personally insecure creature that I am, it took me a long time to realize and see him for who he really was.
Forget being the metaphorical explorer in search of the conventional bounty- Land, spices, gold, whatever… As far as I am concerned, I had found the equivalent of the Fountain of Youth, the Seven Cities of Gold, and a herd of Pegasus combined (and he’s cute, too!).
We got married on September 26th, 2011 in Argentina, where we both reside (I had arrived about two and a half years prior). Honestly, it was the best day of my life, it more than exceeded my expectations. My in-laws were incredibly generous and hosted a catered event for some close friends and family at their home. They took the time to set up decorations, arrange flowers, and think through a million other details, big and small.
While I still am immensely grateful that they clearly put a great deal of consideration and effort into it all, regardless, it still would have been the best day of my life. What does it really matter if you have an extravagant, decadent, over-the-top, multi-million dollar wedding with all the bells and whistles when the person that you’re legally, spiritually, and emotionally choosing to commit yourself isn’t exceptional (or worse, is just “good enough”)? The judge who performed our 15 minute civil ceremony spoke very, very fast (perhaps a result of him repeating the exact same words for all the ceremonies before us).
However, one of the very brief snippets that I was able to catch in my second language was the most valuable. He told us that, yes, we were getting married, but apart from the legal aspect, nothing was going to change. That really didn’t seem like a warning to us, rather a huge relief coming from someone who had probably seen it all, and then some. I’m not going to say that some aspects of my life haven’t changed since that day- Instant Argentine permanent residency (which some might consider to be more of a liability than a perk), implied legal rights if, God forbid, the unthinkable should happen to either of us, and the fact that he can’t legally marry anyone else. Details, schmetails. I was more joyous at the thought of a dated and documented “milestone” in our lives together (amongst others) that further solidified us as life partners and as a family.
Truth be told, I can confidently say that I did NOT marry my “male equivalent, ” my “white knight in shining armor,” or my “soul mate.” No way, man. Not just for the fact that I find those labels to be unimaginative and painfully restricting, but the fact is, I honestly didn’t wind up with any of those things… and THANK GOD! If I had, I can guarantee you that, in one way or another, it would have had a very tragic ending… Not even in the romanticized “Romeo and Juliet” way (although for anyone who has really sat down and read the most famous classic Shakespearean work (and UNDERSTOOD it) realizes how completely messed up that story was!). Nah, it would undoubtedly have been more along the lines of something gruesome and cringe-worthy that would have resulted in at least one of us having an shameful mug shot on the evening news. Even I have enough insight to know that I dodged a major bullet on that one!
So… Now what? The story of Fede and Violet does not end here. We didn’t ride off into the sunset, and we’re not even nearly at the point to think about assigning this whole experience a label of an open and shut case of “happily ever after.” Not that we’re not happy, but because this is just the end of Act I. Make yourselves comfortable, ladies and gentlemen, because now the plot thickens even further- new conflicts arise, new forms of symbolism will be discovered, and new characters appear (namely that of our first child born in April of this year, Sebastian).
My life with Fede is not a fairy-tale; it never has been. Fairy tales are predictable and unrealistic anyways. Like any worthwhile cinematic masterpiece or work of literature, what we have is complicated. It’s messy, not always pretty. There are adversities, conflicts, and personal demons that can come back to haunt us (well… mostly me). But that’s what makes a story memorable. I’d go to a movie theater and pay money to see something like that. Hell, I’d “like” its fan page on Facebook. By this point of my life you couldn’t drag me kicking and screaming to see another Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty, not for anything.
… But this modern-day romance? Stay tuned!