Ben Bateman, Will You Marry Me?

You freak me the hell out. I love you so much that I believe to my core that I could live forever with you and never marry you and never love you any less. And I thought that was the plan.

I mean, sure, we’re going to pay lip service to this sexist, classist society that would seek to side-fuck it’s way into our family structure, which is personal and should never be the subject of tax law or special rights or any of the bullshit it currently is. We’re going to go to their City Hall and pay their little legitimacy fee so we can operate in their system the way we want to, but let’s get real, we’ve been married this whole time.

We’ve been living together, we’ve been devoted to each other and we’re more married than some married people we know. We’re the real thing. You’re so real a thing for me that I didn’t even believe in love before I met you. You’re the proof that I wasn’t even looking for.

I married you the day I decided I could trust you with my broken heart, that I could let you see this pile of dead meat inside of me and that you wouldn’t make it worse. My heart is so healed now. I don’t believe I’ve been this happy, or this real of a person ever.

You are so good, I knew from the start that I wanted to be good myself so I would always be good to you. I don’t think I’ve been living up to that lately. I try to take emotional responsibility for myself and solve my problems like a grown-up, but I’ve freaked out on you a lot over the last few months. This wedding stuff is seriously scaring me. I thought that full legal marriage was a trick we’d play on an otherwise inept and bigoted system, but as time passes, I’ve became worried that the trick is on me.

My fear has dominated my thoughts. What if the only thing keeping me from turning into my mother is the fact that we were never legally married? Every marriage in my family has been unhappy marriage. What if I tell the world how I feel about you and you leave me like everybody else did?

No one has ever been my family to the extent that you are my family. Being with you feels as safe as being alone. Most of the time, I am terrified that people will figure me out and either they will ask me to leave, or they will leave me. This has been especially strong since we moved to Portland, where every friend is a scary new friend and where I have no history and no roots. You figured me out a long time ago, and to my astonishment, you not only stayed, you told me you liked it.

I think you might actually revel in the fact that I can be pretty scary sometimes, but that you are amongst the incredibly small minority of people to see my custardy insides and know that I am just a fat, angry little cream puff. I’m pretty sure you taught me how to be compassionate. And I’m pretty sure I taught you how to be direct.

This might not be a big deal to people who dreamed of their wedding, who imagined the clothes and the colors, and the everything. Who had a road map for how to treat someone when you wake up one day nearly sick with the realization that you plan to get old with them. That they know the worst thing about you and you them and you love each other more for it. But I never planned for this because I didn’t think those things were real.

I’m not going to be a good wife, but somehow I don’t think you want that. I’m too angry and too manly to be the kind of mother to our future children that your mother was to you, but you embody so much of her gentleness and kindness that I can’t imagine they would suffer. All I can give you is my sincere promise that I will work with you and not against you, that I will support you in whatever you do, that I will take responsibility for my own emotional health, and that I will give you the space and time to do the same. I will tell you I love you every night when we go to sleep, I will be your sounding board, and your voice of reason when you need that because I know you would do that for me, and I will be your shoulder to cry on just like you are for me when I need it.

I don’t have anything in this world except myself, and that is already yours. Whatever happens, wherever we go from here I had to tell you this. And I wanted to say it on the blog because I was afraid to say it, and I didn’t want my egotistical fear to keep me from being completely honest. I love you so much that it scares me, but I’m not going to let that stop me from showing up for you today, on our wedding day, and every day after that in whatever fashion you need.