A Social Stigma
My fiance and I are getting married in September of
2001, and we have mutually decided to toss out all aspects of tradition. For some reason,
ceremonies make me uncomfortable. I skipped out on my high school graduation ceremony in
1994 because the very thought of participating in the age-old tradition of wearing a
gown and tossing my hat in the air made me almost sick to my stomach.
I wondered if I would regret my decision. I never have.
Instead of standing there with butterflies in my stomach wondering if that was my
defining moment...for the first time in my life I felt free to make my own decisions.
I decided to do things for me. ME. Not because I should, or was expected to...but to do
things my way, regardless of what everyone else thought.
For the same reason, a traditional wedding is out of
the question. I think spending thousands of dollars on a dress I will wear only once is
insane. I've never worn a white dress in my life and I have no intention of doing so. I
am of no religion, although I am not an atheist, either. Whenever anyone asks me who or
what I believe in, I will respond that "I believe in myself" (stolen, with love, from
I have no friends to speak of moving four times
in three years has left my acquaintances emotionally distant and geographically
scattered. I have two fathers; my Dad, the man who raised me, and my biological father
who donated his sperm. I don't wish to deeply scar either one by having to choose which
one has earned the right to walk me down the aisle.
Instead of the useless pomp, Brian and I are planning
on catching a Caribbean cruise to some remote, exotic island. We will speak our vows in
front of the ship's captain, raise our champagne glasses in a toast to our future, and
watch the sun set beneath the ocean, contemplating the first night of the rest of our
Brian is, without doubt, the best thing that has ever
happened to me. He is almost frighteningly intelligent, incredibly witty, wonderfully
sensitive and unbelievably sexy. He treats me like a queen on the best days, and an equal
on the worst. Both of us work from home, so we spend 24 hours a day together, most of the
time. Not once in the past two years have we grown tired of each other. If I have to run
to the store, Brian will come with me. We are the best of friends we tell each
other everything, and share unconditional love. We inspire each other to be the best
we can be, and if one of us falls...the other immediately extends our hand. He forgives
me for, and even appreciates, my relentless sarcasm...and I his exhausting pursuit of
perfection. He is my soul mate, and there is no question, no doubt at all, that we will
spend the rest of our lives together.
For some, all of the warm fuzzies in the world dissipate
the moment I utter that horrendous phrase, "We met online." Yes. We did. We met because
of a redheaded community I'd just put
together. He ran a well known website at the time, and I emailed to ask his opinion of
my efforts. From that very first email, I knew there was something different about this
one. By three I knew I was in trouble.
After ending a horribly abusive relationship about a
year earlier, I was the biggest skeptic that ever lived. You know the lines...people put
their best foot forward, lie about the way they look, what they do, what they want out
of life. People who fall in love online do so every other week, so they must certainly
be freaks. It's not real it's fantasy, and only people who can't get a date in
real life or bored, married housewives would choose to get involved in online
I had turned down plenty of dates, I'd never been
married, and I was willing to take a chance on a man I felt was absolutely perfect for
me. I'm not a patient woman. I don't like to waste my time on anything. After meeting in
real life and ensuring he was who he said, and vice versa, it didn't take long at all
for me move the 1,100 miles to be with him.
Sure it was risky. I could have been burned, badly.
But if I acted as so many people that I know do, looking upon online relationships
with disdain, I would have passed up the best opportunity in my life to fall
in love with THE ONE, one I wouldn't have met otherwise because he lived thousands of
I was 22, single, no kids, no house, no great career
to speak of. New York sounded exciting. Even more importantly, I knew he was the one.
And I was correct. Now I'm 25 and every dream I've ever had is already realized. I am
living a fairy tale, and have been for a couple years. Sure, the castle is rented, there
aren't any heirs to my vast fortune (or lack thereof), but all that ever mattered to me
was that knight in shining armor. He's so much more than I ever imagined.
Recently someone read
our story on my personal
site and made the scathing comment, "True love? I'll check back in 50 years." You
do that. We'll be here. Start saving, because the traditional gift to send is gold.
* Footnote to my dear friend who used to go by
Lauranna...I also agree with your
perspective, but I believe everything happens for a reason. Your unfortunate
experience strengthened an already unbelievably solid woman, and perhaps
served to repair a forgotten relationship worth salvaging.
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