Ten years ago today. 3 March, 2001. London.
Before we relocated to London from Chicago, we decided to get engaged stateside and plan our wedding once we landed in London. Sounds so unromantic, I realize, that we decided to get engaged. There was no elaborate surprise dinner or bended knees. Well someone may have been on bended knees after we decided to get engaged, but that’s a story for different flavour of blog.
So, we decided to get engaged because we wanted to celebrate our relationship and celebrate the amazing people in our lives. We exchanged the engagement rings we bought together and heartfelt words of love at a restaurant in East Lakeview – a.k.a. Boystown. The gay waiters of Boystown (so redundant) gathered around our table, ogled our sparkling rocks and wished us the very best while they poured the champagne.
Once in London, we had no idea where to even begin in this new country and without a soul to help us. As many Americans do, we hired wedding planners. I’m going out on a non-researched limb and say that wedding planners were not as common in the UK as they were in the US. I’m not sure that they are now either, but I definitely recall raised eyebrows and baffled expressions when I mentioned to British friends that we had enlisted the help of wedding planners. My guess is that it seemed an over the top kind of thing that only royalty or celebrities might have like they have “people” or “staff”. Well, we needed our own people. “What are two Jewish lesbians from a foreign land supposed to do, anyway?” I’d ask. “Indeed,” was the default reply.
But oh what a wedding it was! It’s not just that our guests cleaned up real nice or that the ceremony was meaningful or that the food was actually delicious or that Mama Josie and her band got everyone on the dance floor. There was so much happiness. I’m telling you there was an energy that connected everyone and loved us all up - inside and out. I don’t care how trippy or wacked out that sounds. It’s the truth.
Ok, it’s possible that I’m transferring a bit. It’s conceivable that I had enough happy for everyone. How could I not be outrageously happy? I married the woman who has always brought out the very best in me and the woman who STILL laughs at all my jokes. That would be the same woman, by the way, and not two different women. Not that there’s anything wrong with plural marriage, but it was expensive enough to buy two diamond rings and two dresses! I wore Vera Wang, my friends.
I don’t know what to tell you about the secret to a successful relationship. All I can say is that after seventeen years together (I know what you're thinking. I was just a child!), I am still grateful every day for Gabriella. Even on those off days – no, especially on those off days - I know I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else.
Happy Anniversary, Gabriella. So in love with you am I.