Two buddies from college in Indiana attended a wedding of a friend at the Milwaukee Art Museum this past weekend. They both spoke about the happiest moments in their lives. Guess which one is which. 🙂
People think I’m the ‘Wedding Grinch.’ But the happiest day of my life was calling my wedding off 17 days before the date. I saved her life and my own in the process. That’s why I always have a smile on my face. I love my independence: I have my family, my friends.
What’s funny is that I had my bachelor party planned from the time I was 7. All I knew is that it was going to be in Las Vegas and that money wasn’t going to be an option. I didn’t know, of course, about Scarface or women or any extracurriculars. I just wanted it to be fun. And when my buddy Matt offered to help, as best man, I told him, ‘Don’t worry. I got it.’
I’m the life of the party. I danced the night away with a 7-year-old at the wedding this weekend. We’re buddies for life now. But happiness is not identifiable only with weddings.
The happiest day of my life? Well, I got married in November. The wedding day was great, but the engagement was better. It’s all about the preparation and the anticipation.
So I bought a ring right around Thanksgiving and called my parents–my dad started crying. I wanted to ask her parents’ permission, thinking I could wait until the next holiday, like Christmas. But my mother told me, ‘No, you’re doing this now. This week.’ So I flew from L.A. to San Francisco on the following Monday, making up a story to my girlfriend that I was on a business trip, emailing her parents to tell them that I was going to be in their neighborhood. I’m pretty sure they knew I was going to ask for permission to marry their daughter, but they didn’t say anything. I did, then proposed two weeks later.
Her dad and mom had been in a long-distance relationship like ours, except the reverse: she was in L.A. and he was in San Francisco. He had brought her down to the beach to propose, but it started raining and she didn’t want to get out of the car. So he proposed to her in the car. I brought my girlfriend to the same beach and proposed to her there–successfully. My father-in-law still jokes about how the next generation makes up for the mistakes of the previous one.
Today is actually the anniversary of our first date.
Brian had to leave for the airport, so we departed, and within minutes, Amy appeared in search of food. “I’ll have the burger,” she told Val, barely having scanned the menu. “I just got here from the airport. I’m very hungry.” I took a risk and bugged her as she waited for her food. We both discovered, however, that we could have talked for much longer; she barely touched her burger until I left. (I won’t lie. It was partly that we discovered we were both Eurasian, she Chinese-Sicilian, me Japanese-Calabrian.) Amy offered a different perspective on relationships and marriage than Brian or Matt.
I waited a long time to get married. My husband kept trying and trying and trying. When I lost my mom–I took care of her for four years–I told her on her deathbed that I didn’t want to get married or have kids. I wanted to travel and . . . When I think of freedom, I think of travel, of having choices. Dancing, too–that’s being free.
I finally agreed to get married. But I was firm from the first date: “No kids.” There’s a social stigma surrounding this, though. People might say you’re selfish. From the perspective of overpopulation, I think I’m being rather green by not bringing another person into this world ‘just because.’ I’m making a choice not to become a mother. There are obviously many women who choose to become moms, but what about people like me who don’t want to give into social norms?
People have told me, ‘You’re not a woman.’ But a female shouldn’t be defined by her ability to bear children. I want to be able to wake up every day and not have to take care of another human. I mean, maybe when I’m old and all alone and wondering why there’s no one around to take care of me, but . . . for now, it’s my choice.