If there's one thing about me that you know for sure, it's that I only skip a day of posting when I am away. So, sorry, but I was away yesterday.
I got married, Internet. I married Ben. Sigh. Do you want to know what he said that changed my mind? He told me this:
Maybe you would feel less like his if you were mine.
He told me that the night he came home to find me sitting on the floor in the front hall covered in ashes and sobbing my heart out, and it's a sentence that I couldn't argue with if I tried. I don't want to try.
I haven't slept since forever. I haven't stopped smiling. I...I don't even know where to begin or how to explain or why I feel as if I need to continually justify this rather Elizabeth-Tayloresque turn my life seems to have taken.
A third husband, and all before I am even forty years old? Ben will be forty this December and for the record I am soon going to be a blisteringly ancient thirty-seven. Thirty-seven. Told I don't look a day over twenty-six. Do I believe them? Not on your life.
We started with prenuptial agreements and promises, through most of last week. Priorities. Me finding out that Ben started a trust fund in the children's names and they're wealthy because he didn't know what else to do with his money. And he can't touch my future earnings and I cannot touch his. We're just keeping things the way they are. His lawyers are paranoid, mine are not hopeful but we laughed anyway, after I found out he is way wealthier than I thought he was, and I have far more money than I did the last time we traded financial secrets, which would have been sometime long before I paid off his motorcycle and then to retaliate he put the money back in my account.
The ceremony took place last evening out by the creek on Nolan's farm, near picnic rock where Ben proposed. The children were there. The guys were all there. The woods were full of love and support and we recited our simple vows to Sam and cried a whole bunch and maintained a sort of incredulous joy that leaves me tearful even now.
We ate and drank and danced and cried and laughed and it was the most wonderful night ever. He...he's amazing. Giving and generous and caring and vulnerable to a fault. But instead of bringing out the worst in each other somehow we've managed to harvest the best. None of it is difficult or painful or unreal. All of it is beautiful. He's real. He's alive, he is healthy, he's forthright and passionate about the little things. He doesn't want to fix me, doesn't care if I am weak, he just wants to be with me.
He slipped his giant silver ring on my finger because he didn't have rings and told me I had to give it back, that we'd get real ones. I had to clench my fist all night to keep from losing it and when he noticed, he said we would go out and get them today. After lunch.
He asked if there was anything special he was supposed to know about being a husband. I told him I require a large glass of orange juice every night around eleven and he reminded me he said husband, not butler. I reminded him he said he would be the butler.
We've said a lot of words recently, we've dug deep and dug in hard, and a lot of that is so private I'm not writing about it, just know that we are very serious and this is very important and it wasn't a whim, in spite of our pretenses to make it appear to be one.
Ben is surprised at how this feels, far more wonderful than he ever thought it would, coming from someone who always viewed marriage as 'just a piece of paper'. It's never just a piece of paper. It's supposed to be a lifetime commitment to another person, through thick and thin, something we already have. Now we have the paper to prove it, that's all, a formal promise of commitment. A plan for a future together. No matter what.
He said he finally did the right thing. I said me, too. I'm not taking his last name and he's not adopting the kids until they are ready to have a say in the decision, though he is more than willing right now. We aren't moving very fast at all, despite what it seems.
He seems brave enough to be the man of this house, though sometimes he is as fragile as I am and I wonder how he ever wanted to be with me. He says he always wanted to be with me, that he was always vaguely sad that I didn't feel the same way before. I let him in on a little secret. I did, and quite often. I just never let it find the light of day, I never said anything. There's a ease to being with him that has never existed with anyone else. He's Ben and no one else is.
When I told Ben that he walked out of the room. Too cool to cry in front of Loch, I think. He came back and brought me with him to hold.
Everything's going to be okay.