On the way home from the bar the other night, Doug started telling his aunt and uncle about some of our play-wedding fantasies.
“We’re gonna do breakfast for dinner,” he said. “And she has this gay friend who would totally wear a dress and be the maid of honor if we wanted, to piss off my mom. And if I had it my way, I’d just wear shorts and flip-flops.”
Michelle and I got into it as well, throwing out off-the-wall ideas, ways to be different, ways to make an impression, ways to keep it simple or cheap or small.
For his part, Kevin just kept repeating: “You guys do whatever you want. You do whatever you want.”
Same thing when we’d been talking about our futures – Doug’s going to school; his dream of being a teacher; where we might live; whether or not we’ll be able, realistically, to raise our children close to their grandparents, who are all in San Diego.
“You do whatever you want to do,” Kevin said. “You do what makes you happy, you do what you want.”
This struck me, more every time he said it. As though it had never occurred to me before that this is my life, Doug’s life is Doug’s life, our life together is ours alone. And no one else’s opinion should matter. Do we want our wedding to be for the guests or for us? Do we want to stay near our parents, at the risk of never being able to afford the life we want for ourselves and our children, just to avoid a few guilt trips from his mother? What do we want, and how will we get there? Have we ever even talked about it, outside of the light fantasizing we do when we go to a wedding or for a walk through a nice neighborhood?
Yes, there’s a game to play. There are always other people to take into account, because there will always be other people in the world. But what Kevin seemed to be saying to us, over and over and in different contexts, was, Don’t worry about those outsiders any more than you have to. If it works for you, do it.
The next night, we went to dinner with Evan and his parents. They’re Jewish, and his dad complimented me on my Hamsa hand.
“Oh, thanks,” I said, touching it. “It’s upside-down. I know the Hamsa is traditionally pointing fingers-downward…”
He said then that my necklace was also somehow symbolic of the Chai, the symbol for life. I’ve spent the past few days trying to find an explanation online, to no avail. But I guess, in light of how the conversation went next, it doesn’t matter.
“A lot of people have recognized this as a Hamsa,” I told him, “so I guess it works for that, too.”
“Hey, as long as it’s keeping you healthy,” he said. “Anyway, it’s a beautiful piece.”
If it works for you, do it.