To My Sooterkin, With All My Heart
As of last Wednesday, 1st May, I have been married to my beloved for five years. The fact I was getting wed at all was probably a surprise to most people who knew me. I did received comments such as “I didn’t think you believed in marriage” and “Hah, I knew you’d change your mind”, even “see, all it takes is the right man, and you a feminist!” I’m paraphrasing the last one, it was slightly more offensive than that.
I never said I wouldn’t marry, but I did say I didn’t think it was likely and that I couldn’t see it in my future, nor did I ever think it was necessary for my happiness to be married. I still don’t. I don’t think marriage is essential for anyone’s happiness. If I’d never met My Sooterkin™ I would not have married and would still be happy, just in a different way and for different reasons.
But oh, I am SO happy that I did meet him. He is the first person with whom I have celebrated any anniversaries, let alone a fifth wedding anniversary (and this month is the 9th anniversary of our first date, spent at Greenwich Park and the now closed Cricketer’s Tavern, sharing wine and kisses and a folk music jam session). We met volunteering for the British Red Cross, so I knew he had a caring heart. He is tall, and slim, with the floppy mop of dark hair and piercing blue eyes hidden behind glasses; I think we look like Jack Sprat and his wife in public in my less confident moods. He is not going to like that sentence but it might get me kisses, which is good.
He adores me and he makes me feel adored. Our relationship evolved organically. I was the first to assume the potential for marriage, in conversation after five months when I accidentally blurted out “well, when we are married…”, realized what I had said and stopped walking in shock, blushing furiously and confused at the implications of my subconscious mind.
I ended up arranging my own surprise engagement meal with friends. I thought we were just going out for a meal; little did I know! I found out long after we were married that he had arranged with the jewelers to place a ring front and centre of a display, because he was sure I would like its unusual layout – he was absolutely spot on and it was the only one I wanted. His engagement ring is worn elsewhere, but on the upper body I hasten to add!
He is not Mr Perfect, that concept doesn’t exist for anyone. He is definitely Mr Perfect-For-Me. It’s hard to imagine a time when we weren’t together, and I know my friends and family feel the same. We match. We did all the major conversations early on, which for us involved future wants and desires, political and social views and other such life-important topics. There were no game changers, no alarm bells, only agreement and inspiration.
I married him because I wanted to. I wanted to include my family and friends in our celebration, because I don’t believe relationships exist in a vacuum; all are contributed to by the wider circle of community in give-and-take. We did the legal ceremony because I wanted him protected in law and because that is the society we live in. There is nothing inherently anti-feminist in the legal act, but there is in society’s traditional definition of the roles the genders are supposed to play in it. Marriage is simply the legal contract; our relationship is how we define it. It is a partnership of choice and sharing. We held a hand-fasting because that shared the emotional centre and resonance of our coupledom.
I married him because I love him, more and more as every second passes. He is my support, my care, my lover and my best friend. I didn’t want my life to pass without being married to him. I celebrate him and my life with him every day. He is the best decision I have ever made.
To my Sooterkin, with all my heart. I love you.
He is going to be very embarrassed by this!