Two full days yet till the wedding, and I’m quite excited.

On a superficial and selfish level, it means an end to all the planning (which Jackie’s been doing most of), the errands, the worrying about budgets, all the build-up, all the questions, hopefully all of the useless and unfunny advice. It means a vacation, which I’m in sore need of. It means we can finally clear our apartment of all the decorations and pictures and floor mats and other things that we need for the day of the wedding. It means a night in an awesome hotel in Coronado, and 8 nights in awesome hotels in Hawaii. It means a day of ATV-ing on the big island, a luau, kayaking & snorkeling with the dolphins.

It means a release, and a hell of a lot of fun.

It means a lot more than that though. I first met Jackie at Danielle’s father’s funeral; just in passing, no real interaction. I remember her looking elegant in black, and having to trade off babysitting a puppy that’d been brought for some odd reason. After that, I full well forgot about her, and met her again six months later at my sister’s place. She’d moved in with Danielle, and Becky invited them and I to her place to hang out, have dinner, go swimming. I mostly remember being distracted by her posterior that evening; her shorts were just a smidge too short.

I saw Jackie a few times over the next several months, and on a whim one night Rob, Jocelyn and I decided to grab a bunch of people to go ice skating, and called Jackie and Danielle to join us. Ice skating became a regular thing, then hanging out at Rob’s place, having a few drinks, meeting up for dinner, the normal stuff friends do. We were always proper; Jackie and I never saw each other outside of that group of people, but I think everyone saw where it was heading.

Yes Karen, Jackie had a good bit to do with our breakup, but she wasn’t the only reason. A relationship over e-mail and IM wasn’t fair to either of us, and though I regret being such a coward about breaking it off with you, I’m completely convinced it was the right choice.

Jackie and I have been together since April 23rd, 2001. I can’t remember our first date, really, because by the time we were officially together we were completely comfortable with each other. I remember going to Ruth’s Chris steakhouse for my birthday, I remember Rob hitting a possum on the way home (the poor thing). I remember double dates with Rob and Jocelyn (Sammy’s!). I remember meeting her best friends for the first time in Mission Valley. (Was it at Chevy’s?)

I remember her sitting with me when dad passed away, holding me while I bawled like a baby. I don’t know how I would’ve made it through those months without her.

Jackie and I have been together for five and a half years now, and while I won’t presume to speak for her; I’ve never felt as.. complete, or content as I have in these years. I love her with all of my heart; with everything I have inside me. I will love her for as long as I live.

Not everything is all rosy and perfect, of course. We both have our bad days, and bad moods to go with. I’m given to laziness, so she has to nag me on occasion. We fight, but we’re so close in temperament that the fights have never been out of control. And for all that people tell us marriage is hard, that things change: so what? If it were easy, we wouldn’t cherish it, wouldn’t value it.

Really, the difficulties involved - the missteps we make along the way - are what make it interesting.

  • Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age

I love her, and she loves me, and whatever else may come; whatever trials, setbacks, failures, successes, windfalls, jaguar attacks, earthquakes, apocalypses, floods, surprises, babies, kittens, etc., we’ll make it. We’ll be together for the rest of our lives.

And Saturday, we’ll pledge it formally in front of all the people we love.