I can't believe it, but it's been 10 years since Tim and I decided to get hitched while visiting Las Vegas! Here is the story if you haven't heard it already:
We had known each other for a little more than a month; he had just met my parents, and we were very very very much in love.
We got married in the drive-thru of the Little White Wedding Chapel in a Prius that ironically ran out of gas on the way from LA to Vegas. We had to siphon some gas from some fellows we found soaking in a feed trough by the side of the road.
The bride wore a tight black Placebo shirt and jeans. The groom wore a beard and a green shirt with a red "Om" symbol embroidered on the chest.
The marriage was consummated in a $20 room at Circus Circus for a couple hours, then we drove back to LA because we had to meet my parents for dinner.
We kept it our little secret for almost a year, until I discovered I was pregnant with Isaac, and I told my mom not to worry because we were already married. She was a little upset over the unplanned pregnancy, but she blew her top off when she learned we had eloped. So she demanded I plan a wedding in one month. That 10th anniversary will be next June. I'll post wedding pics then.
As for my thoughts on marriage, my motto is still "Marriage is not for the weak." It is something you really have to fight tooth and nail to protect, and not from external forces, but from the internal conflicts. It is a bond that is created from the deepest parts of two people's souls, but once created, needs to be treated as its own autonomous entity -- because at the worst of times, the worst parts of you (bitterness, jealousy, boredom, insecurity, vanity, etc.) will try to sabotage it. I don't know why, it doesn't make sense, but it happens to everyone.
When the Doomsday Device does trigger, all I can suggest is to slow down the pace: set up a reminder to call the lawyers 6 months from when you originally wanted to call them, and if you have been absolutely miserable that whole time, then do it. Nothing faster than that (unless, of course, your life is at risk). Treat marriage-time as epoch-time; slow and steady. In other words, in honor of Intergalactic Towel Day: DON'T PANIC.
RE: What do you think other couples can learn from your marriage?
MO: To the extent that there's a lesson learned from another marriage, the thing that I tell lots of young couples is that marriage is hard work. Even the best of marriages require a lot of work — even if you're married to your soul mate who has very few flaws. Building a life with a person other than yourself, and raising kids and dealing with all of the bumps and the bruises and the joys and the pains that go along with life, that creates the natural state of marriage, and it's a challenge. I say that to people not to discourage them, but to say that you will inevitably hit those bumps. Don't view that as a shortcoming of yourself or your spouse or your marriage. Don't give up on it. Just understand that you're going along the path that everybody else goes on. Go in ready for the work.
To Tim: Thank you, thank you, thank you. See you tonight.