November was ground zero for a whole new Ben Brown existence. I'm talking about life-altering, mind-blowing changes here. This was a paradigm shift in the entire Ben Brown experience.
November was when independent Ben did his last dance and gave up to the new Ben. Married Ben. November 17, 2001. D-Day.
The questions I got asked every single day were: Are you worried? Are you nervous? Did you know that two out of three marriages end in divorce? Are you ready to get married? Don't you think you're a bit young?
My answer: I'm in love. Leave me alone.
2001 was all about growing up and gaining perspective for everyone, wasn't it? Maybe the electoral system isn't so infallible, maybe electricity isn't unlimited, maybe the US isn't invincible. That's what you do before you get married, right? You grow up and gain perspective, and then you commit yourself to a new way of life. A new, improved, more reasonable, more charitable, kinder, less selfish way of life. This isn't about not ogling boobies. This is the kind of thing where you have to throw yourself off a cliff in order to save someone else.
That's what 2001 was about, I think, for everyone.
My parents arrive at my house the day before the wedding. My dad his oldest son is getting married, and he's got this nervous rash that he is convinced is skin anthrax. My mother is mortified that we haven't yet ordered the cake or the flowers. Me? I'm a tiny island of serenity. I dish out hugs and reassurances. Everything will be fine, everything will be fine. I mean, inside, I'm about ready to die from exhaustion and an extreme case of nerves, but it's all about presenting an eager, positive face in these situations. No one wants to have that talk where your best friend says, "You don't have to do this, there's still time to back out." Seriously, that talk would be no fun for anyone.
Hours before the wedding, our city is literally struck by a tornado. The judge calls us and asks if we want to move the wedding inside. I look at my fiancée. She shakes her head. "We'll stick with the park," I say. "It's a risk worth taking."
The thing about tragedies, the thing about disastrous circumstances and uncontrollable events is, everything always works out. In the face of insurmountable opposition, people find a way to exist. Our greatest evolutionary step was being able to crawl out of the muck and keep going.
From exactly ten minutes before to exactly ten minutes after the ceremony, the sky in Austin was blue, the clouds were fluffy and white, and the sun shone down on us in our spiffy clothes. I didn't even get my rented shoes wet.
After the vows and the rings and the kiss, my new wife and I stepped back from the cheering throngs, I leaned my forehead against hers, and we looked into each others' eyes. For a little while, it was just us, together, in love, looking at what I'd call a pretty bright future. Don't you think?
This New Year's, I'll be forgoing the traditional resolutions. I've got more important promises to keep.
How was your November?