Reader, I married him.
Far more than the concluding chapter of Jane Eyre, I realise that this – my whirlwind marriage to Royce – may come as a surprise to most people. I have been very quiet about it these last few weeks: partly, admittedly, for the delightful shock value of suddenly changing my Facebook status to ‘Married’ and enjoying the various responses to the news; partly, also, because I didn’t want to go through the rigmarole of being temporarily ‘Engaged’, a gushy state of being which has never appealed to me; and, finally, trying to decide who to tell and how and when was just too daunting an activity in these fast-moving days before the wedding, when there was already so much to sort through with my beloved partner.
A little about our relationship thus far: we met at a production of Macbeth back in October where, at intermission, I interrupted his conversation with a fellow theatre go-er to give my two cents on the performance. Upon leaving the theatre together, I also burdened him with my life story, because I figured I could do that with a total stranger and not have to suffer any consequences. But instead of being scared off by my dramatic existence, he calculatingly held onto the business card I had thrust at him and sent me a ‘touching base’ email that evening.
Fast-forward a couple of months, I signed up for a six-week course he was offering on using the Meisner technique in classical and contemporary two-person scenes. I was given selections from Betrayal by Harold Pinter and Footfalls by Samuel Beckett. Thanks to his expert instruction and the generally positive attitude of the class, I have since been inspired to get back into acting, a venture I had not been brave enough to revisit for several years now.
Over the course of these weeks, I realised I was falling in love with him. I acknowledged this after having already booked a flight to Tokyo to spend 9 whole days with him while he was there studying Noh Theatre for a month in March. I wondered, should I communicate my feelings for him before the trip, or wait until I’m there with him in Japan? And how would my potentially awkward confession change the beautifully subtle and unspoken chemistry between us? I was determined not to make the same mistakes I had made with previous relationships, and so I held off telling him as long as I could.
Our first kiss took place at the tail end of a two-hour plane ride from Tokyo to Okinawa, a collection of tropical islands where whale watching is the native sport. It was perfect. The kiss, that is. And the kisses that followed were perfect, too. For the whole trip, I don’t believe we spent more than ten minutes apart from each other. And neither of us would have wanted it any other way.
Choosing to get married – as opposed to getting married because you feel you ‘should’ or because it feels like the ‘right thing to do’ – we discussed, is a true act of optimism. Of course, divorce is tremendously common – inevitable, some would say, with the prevalence of the prenup – and people do change and sometimes grow apart over the years. Neither of us can predict how we’ll feel about each other or about our marriage ten or twenty years from now, but both of us have agreed that we’re willing to give this lifetime partnership thing a darn good try.
A few reasons why I am optimistic:
– Even though I’m now in a committed, legally-bound, long-term relationship, I feel, perhaps paradoxically, that I have more freedom and opportunities than I have ever had before
– Expressing love, verbally or otherwise, comes naturally to both of us, and neither of us are hesitant about showing affection, even if it makes us vulnerable; an expression of true bravery, if you ask me
– When I cry, he doesn’t take it personally, and it doesn’t make him nervous or upset. He has even said to me explicitly, ‘I’m not afraid of your feelings,’ which is an absolute novelty, in my experience
– My mother has met him in person and loves him
– I speak about him to other people the same way my friend Nadine speaks about her husband: proudly, glowingly, and without reservation
– We laugh. Oh, how we laugh
From the time we started discussing the idea of getting married, he always put it to me that we could change our minds at any point: even after we told our respective families, even after we designed our pineapple wedding rings (!), even after we booked the date and paid the registration fees. In fact, yesterday – the day after our wedding – he asked if I was still okay with us being married. And I replied that I’ve already ceased questioning our union, that it would be like questioning the fact that my parents are my parents: they just are; just like he is my husband, my partner, unquestionably, and I cannot now imagine being married to anyone else, let alone not having him in my life.
So what now? We’re planning to stay in London for another couple of years, form our own international theatre company with the aim of producing great shows and offering workshops (stay tuned!), and then perhaps returning to North America once we’ve amassed a sufficient amount of street cred from the big city.
Now, to my Ottawa friends: please mark your calendars, because he and I will be visiting for a few short weeks this September. And take it from me, this guy, whom I’ve been lucky enough to marry, is one of the most charming, most brilliant, and most extraordinary people you will ever meet. I simply can’t wait to introduce you to him.