Our official journey began on August 2, 1997 in Las Vegas. That was our wedding day and my official entry into married life. Tim and I said, ?I do? in Clark County, Nevada. The clerk declared us 'best friends for life' in a ceremony with just the two of us. That declaration was more profound and welcomed than one any priest could have made.
Our wedding cost a total of seventy-two dollars, this included the license and ceremony. I should also include the cost of what I call 'our wedding planner.' His name was Jake and he was a taxi driver, he charged us fifteen dollars and we tipped him fifteen for his extra duties, it was a special day. When we arrived in Las Vegas from Boulder our car started to over heat from the long drive through the hot desert. We decided to park it at the hotel. We hailed a cab and set off to find a place to get married. We had a deadline; our honeymoon was scheduled to begin the next day. The cab driver drove us past several different chapels giving us details about each one. After a brief survey of chapels we asked him to drop us off at the justice of the peace. The chapels just seemed too cheesy and besides, I had no real affection for Elvis. He dropped us off in front of a large, very official looking building to get the license and he directed us across the street to a small brick office where the ceremonies are held. I had the distinct feeling that he has provided this service a few times before in his career.
I soon found myself waiting in line behind a frail elderly man with a huge smile on his face; he stood next to a young girl, she looked equally happy. The man wore a red velvet jacket and the girl wore a shimmering red dress with spaghetti straps. It was a dress that would seem appropriate for her to wear to her high school prom, possibly next year. She had white flowers in her hair. I tried to decide if this effect was to make her look older or younger. My first thought was that somebody needed to call the police immediately, this just isn't right. I started making up stories in my head about what could have brought the pair to this point in their lives. All the while I was hoping that an elderly lady, the one he was actually intending to marry, would show up soon to ease my distress, she didn't. It later occurred to me that they could have been having the same thoughts about our presence in line. “My God, look at that couple, she has on shorts and a tee shirt, and he has on blue jeans! That is just not right.” Our judgments invade and overrule our thoughts at times.
A few weeks earlier I had called my mother to tell her I was getting married, in Las Vegas. She was silent for a moment. She was in shock. Not because I was getting married in Vegas, but because I was getting married. I had spent the majority of my adult years railing about how unnecessary the institution of marriage was and how only men benefited from marriage, not women. Women lose their identity, name, literally, and...