OPINION COLUMNS

The (wedding) bell tolls for… me

By Jimmy Alford | Published Saturday, June 1, 2013

Twenty-one days … that’s how much time I have until I’m no longer a single man.

It’s about time.

I’m not chomping at the bit to get married. I look forward to it, but I’m more relaxed about the whole idea. I have waited longer – nearly 30 years – than all my siblings and cousins who’ve been married.

Wedding gifts are arriving in the mail. Rings, dresses and tuxes are all picked out, and I’m getting advice from all directions, as well as a few jeers from the peanut gallery.

My cousin Angie said marriage “changes” things. She didn’t elaborate on how or why. Never having been married before, I have no idea what she is talking about. It’s hard for me to imagine what could change.

Now when we start having kids, I can see that a lot will have to change. Less going out to the bar and to the movies, more diaper changes (which right now is at zero, thankfully), and new ways to make complete messes of any room, vehicle or cell I find myself in with my kids.

But does marriage really change things that much? Nicole and I have been together for five years – really we could be considered common-law married. What does exchanging vows and signing a contract do that would change my life as it is from Friday before the ceremony to Sunday after the ceremony?

It has to be the ceremony itself. That, I could see being a game changer. Honestly I wish we would just take all the money we are about to spend, go down to the justice of the peace, get hitched, then buy a boat or a motorcycle or something … something other than flowers and overly priced cake.

The money is only a small part of what is turning my hair gray. Nicole is the breadwinner, so I can’t complain too much. The major pain is all the details.

Details pile up exponentially when you decide to create your own invitations. Nicole, of course, was the editor, as she should be, while I was the grunt worker quickly punching buttons and coming up with multiple revamps. Then there are centerpieces, and table clothes and the caterers.

I’m sure most of you folks out there who’ve been married for a few years or more are rolling your eyes and shaking your heads. Stop it. It’s a little different when you’re looking down the barrel of this thing.

I don’t dread being married. I love Nicole, and I believe we will happy. All I can do is try my best and be a good person.

Getting married would be great if it weren’t for the wedding.

Jimmy Alford is a Messenger reporter.

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