Anna & Elise

 (c) Catalina Kulczar, 2014

(c) Catalina Kulczar, 2014

Since the night they met, they haven't spent any night apart, not really. In fact, after Elise proposed to Anna, the two women made it a point to have an involved engagement. They made it a point to prepare themselves to spend an entire life together, to learn the big things and the little things, to get used to their individual rhythms. This is, after all, the couple that decided the first version of the proposal (on a rainy West Village corner using a straw wrapper) needed redoing, resulting in a second proposal on their living room couch with a proper ring and a bouquet of thistles. 

But for Anna, it was also important that the people around her understood that her commitment to Elise was a serious one, that it was not just a phase, that Anna would not eventually move on and "try something else". She had met Elise, she had fallen in love, and she wanted to marry her. There was absolutely nothing different about her love for Elise from anyone else's love for their partner, and the long engagement was the time to prove that. Besides, there was something about a long engagement that seemed to honor the LGBT relationships of eras past, when a simple professed commitment was as close to legal legitimacy as it could get. 

 And so Anna and Elise took their time, and two years after the second proposal, got married. By that time, they had lived together, had spent just about every single night together, and had proven to themselves that they would endure. Everything was practically old hat by that point--or so they thought. Surprisingly, but perhaps understandably, there was still something very serious and sacred about the actual act of getting married, something that would be difficult to put into words, but would carry an unspeakable weight.

 It was their right to marry that carried that unspeakable weight.