What does a wedding really mean? What the word wedding signify?
Answers (some vague, others not so much) I've come across so far are:
- Coming together of two families
- Convergence of two individuals into a single entity
- Societal requirement
- Legal contract
- Legitimising physical intimacy
Over the last few months, it has become clear to me that every person has their own definition and understanding; which is quite beautiful as this one word manifests itself in a number of different ways. It becomes not so pleasant when any one of these definitions is forced upon you, under any pressure. The beauty in humanity is we all see things differently. It is this diversity; how no two people think or react the same way for every situation is what I believe our greatest strength. (One may say it is our greatest weakness too, to which I'd say -- read the above again)
What I want to think about is what this means to me. After having dated Jyoti for a better part of the last 5 years (well, 2014 was interesting, for multiple reasons), I realized earlier this year that I wanted to spend my life with her. Wake up to her, go on vacations with her, discuss my day with her, whine to her, and work towards the extinction of birds with her (not an exhaustive list). Ideally everyday. We've come through a long distance relationship, the whole way; and the fact that our want for each other has had an exponential slope makes me very comfortable making this commitment. And that, at the core of it, is really what this wedding is to me -- a commitment.
The want to make this commitment stems from understanding our compatibility. Over the last five years, Jyoti and I took a lot of steps forward, and some backtracks. In hindsight(which of course, is always 20/20), some important and required steps backwards. The fact that there isn't a fight in history we cannot discuss and make fun of is a big positive factor in this compatible and comfortable relationship.
Our matching sense of humor is probably the biggest factor that draws me to her. We make jokes about how Dad would react to some things being discussed in the family. To an outsider, this would be ludicrous, but she didn't have to think about that joke first, or if it would make me uncomfortable. Outside of myself, she is the person that comes closest to knowing what my father means to me, and what humor means to me; the combination of which can never be a bad thing. Her confidence in knowing this without asking me or checking with me first makes us compatible.
Another important compatibility factor is understanding my reasoning process. Anyone who has ever undergone an extended travel or vacation with me probably remembers what a harrowing experience it was, except her. She understands, and sometimes accepts, my unreasonable need to have a plan, sometimes to a ridiculous extent. That said, she also understands deeply that once a plan is in place, going with the flow comes easy. That is why travelling with her (and only her) just turns out to always be a great experience. Compatibility.
I can only imagine how difficult is must have been for her to agree to spend the rest of her life with me, and there comes a quality of her I admire the most -- adaptability. She somehow always seems to know what the sweet spot (yeah, that too) is between being flexible and rigid. For a wannabe Vulcan, it is really a no-brainer to latch on to that! The number of times I've had to concede that I should have listened to her exceeds the next person by a factor of three digits. Come to think of it, we couldn't be any more different; and in this case, it just works.
I understand it's not all going to be rosy going forward (for one, she hates Roses). It's going to be very, very good though. Having brawled through a good part of the last 5 years makes me optimistic that the coming years will be on the other side of the balance. To me, it really began the day I first told myself, and then her that I want to be with her, and that commitment is really what a wedding is to me.