Allow me to blow off some steam with a long, weak Friday night rant.
My GF and I have been together for over seven years now. Uncertainty about the future and lack of funds for the wedding we want have precluded our getting married thus far, but it has been apparent to both of us for some time that we’re in it for the long haul. As such, the plan has always been for her to go with me when I move away for my residency.
The obvious move, then, would have been for us to get married after I graduate. (It’s apparently the obvious move, as about 20% of my class is getting married in the next month and change.) However, we want to have a cool wedding in New Orleans, and we don’t have the funds right now. Also, I’m finishing up med school and graduating, we’re moving to a new state and buying a house for the first time, she’s finding a new job, and I’m getting used to life as an intern; we thought that would be plenty of major life events over six weeks without throwing a wedding into the mix.
Thus, we put off our wedding until December, when our friends and family will be free to join us in New Orleans for a few days to celebrate. We will be living together up until then.
I come from a long line of Southern Baptists. Not that most of the people in my family are exactly devout, aside from my grandmother. What they are devout about is keeping up appearances, largely for the sake of my grandmother. It’s all about plausible deniability.
For instance, Tamara and I have maintained separate residences up to this point, for a variety of reasons. Still, she stays over here probably four nights out of five, and has for some time. Yes, we have sex. My parents are not idiots, and are well aware of this. However, since her stuff isn’t here when she and my grandmother come for an occasional visit, it’s all deniable. Other relatives have outright shacked up, but it has all happened in such a way that it could stay under my grandmother’s radar.
Tam and I, however, are moving a few states away, something no one in my immediate family has done for a while. It’s hard to discuss it without bringing her into it; “We found a house,” etc. My grandmother finally caught on, and suggested to my mother that she might be moving with me. “Uh, yeah,” said my mother, who also dared her to say anything to me about it. “He’s 26 years old, and we can’t do anything about it,” she said.
Then, in every phone conversation I’ve had with her since, she has recounted this to me. “Of course, none of us are happy about it,” she says, “but you can do what you want.” She says the same thing whenever I bring up the actual wedding plans; “you can do whatever you want.” You can almost hear her wringing her hands, wondering what the people at church will think about her son shacking up with some girl and then running off to a hotbed of sin like New Orleans to get married.
Thus, my rant, to my mother and grandmother:
I’m about to start a totally new life. I’m moving to a new city in a new state, getting a new house, a new car, a new job, and I’m even adding a couple of letters to my name. Most importantly, I have a wonderful woman to share my new life with, the same one I’ve shared my old life with, the one I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life without.
I’m really excited about all this. I can’t believe I’ve reached this stage of my life. Even the mundane tasks like chugging through mortgage details make me happy, because I know where it’s heading.
That’s why it’s a real fucking downer for you to clam up and get that little tremble in your voice every time we talk on the phone. Is it too much to ask for you to share in my joy, and keep from getting hung up on this one detail?
I know you don’t like it, but you’re just going to have to deal with it. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had to say that in 26 years, but this is one of them.
So you can keep this up, or you can build yourselves a bridge so you can get the hell over it and be happy for us.
I feel better now.