Defending Marriage

How we didn’t end up divorced the first year, I still don’t know.

We were living in a tiny apartment, two people who need and jealously guard their personal space. I was undertaking a long commute, something I hate. He was working for a moron, something neither of us liked. My brother was ill, my grandfather dying, and I was spending all my time on the weekends on the highway up to see them. Tired makes me short-tempered. I was no fun to be with in those days, no fun at all, and we didn’t understand one another all that well.

Whether by attrition, by decision, by desire … Whatever it was, I’m glad we didn’t overthink it, didn’t give in to the temptation to find reasons to quit. When people say marriage is work they usually say it the way you’d say surviving cancer is work, with that dead-eyed stare that says any dreams of happiness have passed you by. Work means pain, means brutal backbreaking grinding pain. But work can be happy, you can feel that you’ve put your hand to something worthy, feel the wheel turn beneath you, feel the plow cut the earth and know your labor serves a purpose, bears fruit, brings joy. You can love what you do, and marriage is something you do.

And love has inertia, it carries you along, when you’re so tired you’re stumbling for the finish line, for the armchair or the bed, for just an hour to yourself. Love, love, love, love, love like the ground you stand on, love like the first and last voice you hear every day, love like the person who always forgets to separate the recyclables and can’t budget his time and leaves her sweaters on the backs of chairs all over the house, love won’t be stopped.

SAN FRANCISCO – A judge ruled Monday that California’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional — a legal milestone that, if upheld on appeal, would open the way for the most populous state to follow Massachusetts in allowing same-sex couples to wed.

May you dance at your weddings with hearts as light as your heels, Californians. May the champagne sparkle and the band play, may your future stretch out before you like a road paved with diamonds.