16 years ago today, I walked down the aisle to my groom and pledged, with traditional vows, to live the rest of my days as his bride. In honor of our anniversary, I’m going to expand on our vows a bit.
I am a sucker for traditional vows, and I wouldn’t do it any differently if I had the choice. I seriously love the sound of a young bride or groom nervously utterly the words that all the brides and grooms that came before them said.
However. I’m an old married woman now, and I can’t help but reflect on what our vows might have said if we knew even a fraction of what the coming years would hold for us.
For instance, my husband could have said, “I promise to love you when you’re in your trying to find a natural deodorant stage.” And my twenty two year old self would have been like, “Um, ew.”
Or perhaps I’ll love you in stinkyness and in health?
To quote Ross Gellar, “The word you’re looking for is, aaanyway…”
So, anyway. If I’m being honest, I think our marriage vows could have went something like this:
I, Angela, take you Eric, to be my lawfully wedded husband.
To have and to hold from this day forward. Even when I feel yucky and fat and I’ve been taking care of kids all day and really don’t want one more person touching me.
I’ll be your bride for better, on those days when the sun is shining and I love your face. And for worse, on the days when everything about you bugs me for absolutely no reason.
For richer, for we’ll be richer than we could ever have imagined. In love. You get that right? We’ll be rich in love. Trust me, I know the idea is a little iffy right now, but we’re not going to be wealthy, like, ever. But we’ll have each other and most days, that won’t make us want to barf.
And for poorer. Because, honey, you’re the only one I want to scrounge for change with so we can buy dinner on the last day before payday.
In sickness and in sickness and in sickness. And in sickness. It will be harder than either of us imagined to live with a chronic illness, and sometimes we’ll get it wrong. Sometimes I’ll complain too much and sometimes your compassion will wear thin. But we’ll end every day as best friends and that will always win out.
I promise to forsake all others, especially those charming, flattering guys that think they know the way to steal my attentions… I’ll never forget that you are the one that carried me to the bathroom after a particularly rough surgery when I couldn’t walk. Do those guys really think they have a chance?
I promise to love and to cherish you just as much on the days when we’re cranky and worn down and trying some crazy protein diet as I do on the days when we’re kayaking in La Jolla and brilliant rainbows are shining, just for us.
I promise to be your wife, your lover, and your very best friend.
‘Til death do us part.