Today is John’s and my 7th wedding anniversary. A couple of months ago, on October 24th, we celebrated our second wedding anniversary. Let me explain. John and I have been married twice. To each other.
John and I started dating (or whatever you want to call it) on New Year’s of 1992. We got engaged on December 31st (New Year’s Eve) of 1993. Then for several years, we talked about planning the wedding, but each time we started the plans, there was some sort of obstacle. Work schedules were hectic. Money was tight. Crucial family members were planning to be away on long trips. We once got as far as picking a date, only to find that John’s niece had just announced her own wedding the same weekend across the country. We didn’t want to compete for family members to attend, so we opted not to schedule for that date. For several years, when someone would ask when we were ever going to get married, we’d say, more or less jokingly, “some time before the year 2000.” We weren’t really in a hurry to get married.
At the end of 1999, I was planning to quit my job soon to have a bit of time off before starting grad school. Which meant, among other things, I’d be losing my health insurance benefits. We’d talked about maybe having a civil ceremony, in part so that I could get on John’s health insurance plan, and then later schedule the party wedding where we’d be able to include family and friends. But we hadn’t acted on this plan. Then the last week of December, we decided to make good on our threat to get married before the year 2000. We thought we’d wait till the last possible day to squeak in our wedding before 2000. (Which also coincided with the anniversary of our engagement.) We found a Justice of the Peace in a nearby town who was available to marry us in her home on December 31st. We applied for our marriage license in our Town Hall, and duly went for our blood tests. And so the morning of December 31, 1999, John and I were married. The only ones there were John, myself, and the Justice of the Peace. In her living room. No other witnesses. (Massachusetts doesn’t require them.)
We told close family members, but the plan was to schedule the more ceremonial wedding before we made a wide announcement. We expected to do this within the year. But. Time passed. As it is wont to do. In fact, several years passed. And we more or less casually told people about our marriage along the way. People pretty much no longer expected us to have the “big” wedding. But I was determined. I wanted my party. A ceremony. Food. Music. And I wanted to have our loved ones with us to share in our celebration.
So, on October 24th, 2004, John and I got married again. This time with our friends and family with us.
This past October 24th was, therefore, our second wedding anniversary. It was both the anniversary of our second wedding, and the second anniversary of that wedding. (A nice little example of syntactic ambiguity where both parses apply…)