Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Love and Marriage

Nearly 12 years ago SOB and I got married. I pretty much knew when I was 17 that it was going down like that, but we were respectable and waited until we were 23 and 24. It was a fun day, but not without it's faults. At the time, I had a lot of anxiety, and the medication I was taking made me quite zombie-like. When I look back on our wedding photos, all I see is a girl with a blank, vaguely pleasant looking face on. Good, but not great. See below for an example, plus a photo of all of my lovely bridesmaids! 

Additionally, and this may ruffle a few feather so consider yourself warned, there was a large part of me that wasn't too thrilled with our catholic wedding ceremony. At the time I was recently graduated from a Jesuit university, but for years I had been having doubts about the faith in which I was raised. I just wasn't sure what I believed in anymore. I knew, however, that I believed in this relationship with SOB, and so it didn't matter to me where we got married. 

As time went on, though, I really began to think more and more about catholicism, and religion in general. I spent the better part of a decade thinking about it. I spoke with clergy, the priest who married us in fact, about my ambivalence towards religion. I spoke with therapists. I spoke with friends. I spoke with family. I spoke with the man to whom I had committed my life. Finally, after many, many years of literal soul searching, I finally came to the realization that I was an atheist. 

SOB had kind of been there all along, just waiting for me to catch up. He never once tried to sway me to the "dark side", but there I ended up just the same. 

A few months ago, by some serendipitous chance of fate, in the two minutes I get alone in the car I heard Penn Jillette on the radio. He was talking about a crowd funding project that he had going on, and as soon as I got home I checked it out. Scrolling through the list of items, I noticed that one of the things up for grabs was to have Penn marry you, or renew your vows. Now you may or may not know this, but Mr. Jillette, besides from being an amazing magician, is also quite the outspoken atheist. Having watched his show Bullshit, having heard various interviews with him, and having read several of his books (two of which are titled God, No! and Every Day Is An Atheist Holiday!) we were fully aware of his godless slant, so to speak. We thought, what a perfect way to renew our vows and shed the shadow of the religious ceremony that had shrouded our union for more than a decade! 40 minutes later it was a done deal.

After a few months of planning and scheduling, the event finally went off this past weekend, and it was everything we could have ever hoped it would be. Thanks to his beautiful and gracious wife Emily, we have a short video of the ceremony. If you are sensitive to swearing or atheism in general, please don't watch. I won't be offend. You might be, though. 

Once before, I have stood with you before family and friends; once again, I take your hand as my partner. I believe in this marriage more strongly than ever. We have evolved and transformed together. We have endured together, laughed together. We are raising a beautiful family together. It is with joy born of experience and trust that I commit myself once again to you.  The best is yet to be.

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