Many years before she got married to (the late) actor John Bale, Gloria Steinem explained her refusal to get married:
"I can't mate in captivity."
From when I was very little, I knew I didn't want the things that society said most people should want. I have never wanted to have children, and until I met my husband, I didn't want to get married.
Until he met me, he didn't want to get married, either. (Or so he says. He's no fool!)
I am not a maternal person. People finally stopped saying, "You'll change your mind one day" about having children right around when I was 27.
I am also a person who needs a lot of space, a lot of understanding, and a lot of time alone. I'll safely say my husband also fits into these categories.
I think we would have been happy just living together, but when an unfortunate anti-gay-marriage initiative popped up on our state's ballot in 2004, we realized how screwed we'd be if we just continued living in sin. E.g., we wouldn't necessarily be able to visit each other in the hospital, leave income/property to each other, etc. (Mind you, this inequality sucks the big one. Support marriage equality!)
That, and Mr. Riot Kitty said, "I want to show my commitment to you."
We had sort of a funny wedding. Neither of us are conventional or bother much with tradition. We only had our immediate family, and we were married by a clog-wearing lesbian judge whose office was in the juvenile detention center. (I didn't know about the location until minutes before the ceremony, but it provides a good laugh now and then.)
My relatives were upset that I wore a red dress and didn't want flowers or a cake. Not to have every tradition ignored, my great aunt ordered me a small bouquet - I found out about this when the florist called and said it was ready for pickup!
The day of the wedding, I had to take off my heels and all of my jewelry to go through a metal detector to pay the county's fee (while my family and future in-laws and future husband waited), then throw everything back on and walk a few blocks (in mid-January!) looking for the right building. Thank God my mother-in-law found it, and my dad, who would have normally had a fit, didn't, because, hell, I was right about to get married and that would have been a spoiler.
The next day there was an ice storm - how's that for a sign? :)
So three years later, and although I am 31, I still don't feel grown up enough to be something like married, but I stop and think about it sometimes and I still can't believe it. Have I become a conformist? Nope. I just fell in love.
At times I also stop and pause - literally - to consider the fact that a handsome, whip-smart, caring man with a great sense of humor - and who loves my cats - is legally required to sleep with me every night! And I thank the powers that be for that every day.
He puts up with me when I get the winter blahs, when I get cranky before I have coffee or have dealt with too many Republicans.
No relationship is perfect, but we are both puzzled when other people say that "marriage is a lot of work," or "marriage is difficult," or "marriage requires sacrifice."
The only sacrifice so far, I think, is when one of us eats the last piece of chocolate.
Happy anniversary to us!