Flash Back Four Years…
I've been fretting about the decision my fiancé Jim and I made to write our own wedding vows. My best friend said, "Don't worry, your vows will be amazing." Therein lies the rub. Because I'm a writer, people will expect my vows to include phrases more epic than "therein lies the rub." Even worse, I have to come up with something personal yet somehow not pornographic.
And Jim seems serious when he warns that on our wedding day he might be saying, "Holly, I was going to recite some really meaningful, emotional vows, but…oh wait, that's right. I'm a guy." Either that or, "I wouldn't leave you in times of trouble - we never could have come this far. I took the good times, I'll take the bad times, I'll take you just the way you are."
I wish Jim and I had been born Neanderthals without this annoying facility for language. It was a time when you could get away with just taking care of your partner in the biblical sense and then carving him something nice in the cave wall.
There should be vow templates, with blanks to fill in. If you wanted to be truly honest in your vows, this could work: "My dearest [Blank], I love you dearly. How grateful I am for the day when we met at the [blank], drinking [blank] until we [blanked]. We have so much in common - like the way we both love to [blank], not to mention [blankety blank]. And even though that horrid woman is about to become my [blank]-in-law, I know I'm in for a lifetime of happiness. I don't even mind that you made me sign a prenuptial [blank]. Not one [blanking] bit."
That may be kind of negative, but I have the opposite problem. Jim does things every day that are so wonderful that any set of vows I write today would have to be edited tomorrow to include these new wonderful things. How sappy is that? I may be too easy to please. I weep in awe of his love for me if all he does on some days, despite my nuttiness, is something like, say, not leave me.
The worst would be if Jim's vows turn out to be "better" than mine. If they are, it had better be the last time he one-ups me. A woman wants her relationship with her husband to constantly remind her of her great abilities and talents, not of how she comes up short. Maybe I should tell him, "Never mind, let's just use canned vows." And then I'll be the only one with eloquent, personalized sentiments to read during the ceremony. Oh how he'll laugh!*
Flash Forward Four Years
*Whoops, apparently not. I'm still sleeping on the couch for that one.