How to Get Married


A while back I was gifted with a psychic reading. I’m always a bit nervous before these calls. What will she tell me? Will her voice get deeper and more mysterious as she says that I am going to choke on a Teddy Graham on a random Tuesday night while watching Glee? My mind goes crazy for a moment. Will the invariably hot ambulance drivers come to pick up my body and see the skin of my throat stretched over those little brown sugar legs? It’s terrifying really.

My reading lasted about an hour and, more than once, I had to stop pacing and sit down because of the knowledge this woman had about my life and my thoughts for the future. She was just dead-on, no pun intended. And, to my relief, this amazingly gifted woman didn’t portend my death. No, it was much, much worse. She told me I was going to get married.

After we hung up the phone I scoffed, snickered, ALMOST choked on my Biscoff biscuit, and then fell to floor laughing and thought, when the state of Texas is turned into a glacial iceberg and the wooly Mammoth makes its return in San Antonio, then I will get married again.

But psychics aren’t called psychics for nothing. In a coincidence to beat all the coincidences in the history of the Universe, I got married today.

To my Self.

It’s true. You see I’m about to graduate from college after a perilous 12 year journey (on and off) through the halls of academia. I decided that as a reward for my accomplishment I was going to buy myself a class ring. I searched online, in catalogs, at the CSU bookstore, to find the perfect bauble and they were all BUTT-to-the-UGLY. As I’ve never been very good at complying with the traditional, I hopped in my Beetle, drove to a jewelry store, and ordered a custom-made 2.5 carat black diamond ring.

I decided, then and there, that this ring was going to be more than a class ring. This little rock was going to represent my journey over the past twelve years; through numerous college campuses, over the mountain of divorce, into the dark woods of leaving my family to move alone to a city 3,000 miles away, through the cave of bankruptcy, and up and down the hills of funerals and surgeries for endometriosis.

This tiny black trinket was going to be a wedding ring for a marriage to my Self, to all parts of me; the good and the bad, the positive and the negative, and to the love/hate relationship I’ve had with my Self over the past 40 years. And because the name Melanie means “black” I chose a black diamond which seemed perfect too. Not just the “black” reference of my name, but the attributes of the black diamond itself.

Black diamonds absorb light, rather than refract it. They are essentially like a ton of little diamonds, mashed together at different angles that can’t be carved to sparkle and shine, but they take in light and are strongly luminescent. My  particular gem also has a small inclusion, a flaw, next to the 4th prong. Sounds just like me. Like all of us. We all have so many facets, so many angles to our person, and we all have flaws. And just like a black diamond I want to absorb as much light as possible in my lifetime and to be luminescent, to shine, from deep within.

But one can’t marry oneself without vows now can they? So I wrote them:

I, Melanie, take you Melanie to be my bride, my partner in life, and my one true love. I will cherish our friendship and love you today, tomorrow, and forever. I will trust you and honor you and love you faithfully through the best and the worst, through the easy and the difficult, through achievement and failure. I will be there, whatever may come, and I will ALWAYS love you, soothe you, and support you. I will always be kind to you, no matter how bad you mess things up. When you haven’t showered for three days I will see the beauty in you. When you’re lying in bed with a 700 kelvin heating pad over your one remaining ovary I will comfort you and make you proverbial soup. When your heart is hurting I will hold you in my arms and whisper “Illegitimi non carborundum” (“Don’t let the bastards get you down.”)  When you take the “road less traveled” I will walk beside you in a purple peacoat and galoshes. I promise to be your constant.

Today I came home with my wedding ring and (after saying my vows, shedding a few tears, wiping my snot on my sleeve, and eating a cupcake) I wrote to my friend Lauren to tell her the great news. After some virtual hugs and high-fives she told me about a Christmas tradition her mom started years ago. It was the Single Person Registry and every Christmas morning as an adult Lauren would wake up to a stuffed stocking chock full of gifts; one year it was kitchen stuff, the next year it was things for her bathroom, and so on.  Her mom would say, “Fuck! You need this stuff now, I’m not waiting for you to marry some idiot.”

I feel exactly the same way. The story of Lauren’s mom’s brilliance couldn’t have been more timely as I prepare to move back to Utah in my sleek, black covered wagon to build a home for myself surrounded only by that which I love.

And who knows, maybe I will marry someone else someday, but I’ll always be married to my Self, I’ll strive to remember my vows every day, and each Christmas Eve I’ll fill up my stocking with cherished items from my Single Person Registry.

Looks like I’m gonna need some pots and pans,


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