…again. That was the question.
My decision to take that leap of faith for the second time was not made without a great deal of intense soul searching, much hemming and hawing, and a lot of biofeedback inspired positive “self-talk.” The responses have varied widely. From both sets of children, (three and three) thankfully, an enthusiastic, “Cool. When’s the wedding?” From my friends and relatives, slightly less enthusiasm, i.e., usually a long, pregnant pause followed by a weak “Uh, that’s nice,” or an even weaker, “Really? No kidding,” or worse, from the less diplomatic, “WHY?”
Whatever happened to a simple, “That’s wonderful. Congratulations!”
Truth be told, there’s a reason for their reactions. I’ve been known, on more than one occasion, to spout such clichés as, “Been there, done that,” or “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” No one who knows me well ever thought they’d hear the words, “I’m getting married,” come out of my mouth again in this lifetime, and that included my new fiancé. I am not the poster child for “happily ever after.” Once I got over having been tossed off the marriage train before it pulled into the last station, I discovered that, like my protagonist, Carrie, in my “Other Deadly Things” series, I liked my independence and my author/identity. I was no longer defined as someone’s wife, no longer walked in anyone’s shadow. (I am occasionally introduced as Ken, Bob, or Doug’s mom, but my sons are my pride and joy so I can live with that.) I am not lonely. I have a career that keeps me busy if not rich, I’m fortunate to have a loving family and caring friends, and I’ve been living with this man for four years without having once been tempted to kill him off in one of my books. (Well, maybe once, but that was very early on in the relationship.)
Then why, I’m asked, at this stage in your life, change your status? And there’s the name thing, someone pointed out. Will you change your name? Probably not. It’s the name under which I write, and even though it was my ex’s, it is also that of my sons, and I’m used to it. Plus the thought of having to change the name on my driver’s license, my credit cards and other myriad documents requires more energy than I can muster. My fiance’s ego is strong enough that he’s not bothered by this—as a matter of fact he’s encouraged me to keep things as they are in that regard. I kind of like that about him.
Will being married alter my career goals? I can’t see why, but that will be completely up to me. I have found that demands on my time have increased , but that’s only because I’ve never planned a wedding before. (The first time around I was in my senior year of college so that job fell to my mother.) I have discovered that planning a wedding, even a small one, requires time and thought. And lists, and phone calls, and choices and more choices. But it’s kind of fun and all that will be over in a few months anyway.
So the bottom line is that I’ve changed my mind about marriage. I have no answer as to what in particular triggered the metamorphosis, but isn’t it a woman’s prerogative to change her mind? There are no stars in my eyes as there were the first time around. But that’s okay. Stars blur your vision. You could say I’ve evolved. Like Carrie, I’ve gotten over my hang-ups about trust and I’m happy to jettison that old baggage.
Uh-oh. Wait a minute. Did I just say, “like Carrie?” Have I decided to get married because in Book Five, “Slippery Slopes and Other Deadly Things,” Carrie and Ted are on their way to the altar? And the same for Samantha and Doug in “Ablaze?” Have I caught “weddingitis?”
No. I may be involved in my characters’ worlds, but I haven’t totally lost touch with reality. I’m getting married because I’ve come to love and admire this man and he seems to feel the same about me. I occasionally kiddingly refer to him as, “Honest Abe,” honest to a fault, but I’m really not kidding. He is. This can be a little daunting at times, but given my history, what a refreshing change.
Finally, there’s this. How stupid would I be to go on saying “no” to a man who genuinely thinks my books are “wonderful,” my cooking (even the occasional failure) is “amazing,” who good-naturedly puts up with sharing our bed with at least two felines, and who tells me that every day is his lucky day because he’s with me. I may be a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them.
****Author’s note: This guest blog originally appeared on December 12, 2013 on The Perseverance Press Authors’ Blog, Get It Write.