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I will soon be married. It will be a modest affair, compared to the scale of many mega-weddings, those maelstroms of stress and grandeur. But there will be vows; there will be a ceremony; I bought a new suit. My beloved wife-to-be now wears a ring, and in about a week I will wear one too.
My younger self would have scoffed. My younger self would have cursed my present, spongier, mid-thirties self. For in the rage and venom of the young dwells bizarre wisdom: it is truly good to be determined and fortress-like. It is, yes, a certain surrender to do that which is done, and has been done, and to follow customs, and to consult a committee of else when the self remains pure, strong, chiseled. My younger self envisioned a life of steely solitude interrupted by bouts of waywardness, thinking it better to wake up to no ass than the same ass every day, forever.
That younger self is in many respects right: boredom kills the soul. But a marriage is not a surrender to the humdrum, but rather an induction to wisdom, to growth, to an opening. It is a different sort of leap, and if the ass is good, then the ass will remain good.
One should not marry to appease one’s parents or to check off a box in a tax return. One should not marry in haste, or out of spite. One should not marry as a joke. And one should not marry simply out of passion. One should not necessarily marry at all, with all considerations considered.
To marry is to admit that most human of human things: it is good to not be alone. To wed is not just being in love; many humans fall in love and stay in love without any binding contract. To wed is more than love. To wed is to say: we are doing this together. Wedded, our troubles and challenges, our joys and furies, are ours together. It is a legality, yes, and for many there are churchy aspects involved. But in all respects it is a foreclosure on the outside; to marry is to fashion a bond. And to confirm that bond in print. To wed is to lock spirits.
My younger self would indeed have scoffed. Impudent, horny, angry: he would have sworn against marriage. But he missed the point. To marry is not to dim the rage. To marry is to double the rage.