But on the other hand, I tend to wear it when I go in for chemo, because I don't really need Kevin to come in with me for what is essentially a slightly boring four hours of sitting in a chair (made less boring by working and/or reading and/or playing video games), but I do find it reassuring, having that tangible reminder of our relationship. Of course, he could have (and has) given me other pieces of jewelry that would serve the same function; it didn't have to be a ring.
And I do find myself invoking the marriage at various points -- I tend to wear the ring or mention my husband around older relatives, because I know my being married makes them happier, and why not make them happy? And I've even used it for added respectability; I recently had to write a letter to a judge on a court matter for a friend, and in describing my family, I referred to my husband -- see, we're respectable people, and you should give our statement added weight. Which just seems so wrong, on one level, and yet, the world is at it is, and I am apparently not too proud to make use of what we have to fight with.
Our wedding album came while I was out of town, and I was looking at it yesterday; one level, I love having this tangible symbol of love, something our kids can look at one day, and maybe even the grandkids. I love looking at old wedding photos from my parents and grandparents. And yet, it's so weird, that this is the moment that gets marked, with its own special album, and not the twenty-three years before or hopefully all the years after. There are other photos, of course, but they're scattered in with the rest of our lives, with friends and children and travel -- and isn't that more what should be remembered and celebrated, rather than one slightly odd day?
And what about the other people we've dated in that time, or are still dating? I kind of hate the idea that our getting married diminishes the weight of those relationships, their significance in the eyes of the world.
No conclusions, really, and not sorry we got married either; it's very comforting in some ways, and of course, does offer our family a host of legal protections that are not to be ignored. But it's not an unfettered goodness either. Just strange.