On our wedding night, Clarissa and I got a call from our roommates in North Carolina saying that our house had been robbed. Someone had thrown a brick through the kitchen window and rifled through our bedroom, probably looking for drugs or cash.
“We’re fine. The cats are fine,” my roommate assured us. “But we’re gonna need to walk through the place with y’all to see if anything’s missing. The police are here.”
Thankfully, nothing of value was taken. As far as we can tell, the burglars couldn’t figure out how to turn on our bedroom lights, as we don’t have an overhead light, but only lamps around the room. It is likely that they fled when they heard our roommates, who had been gone less than an hour, come back.
It was a crappy end to what had been a nearly perfect day: an outdoor ceremony in New London, Connecticut with idyllic weather, surrounded by friends and family.
As one of our friends said as we were leaving for our hotel that night: “Welcome to marriage.”
While Clarissa and I decided to write our own vows, there is something to be said about the traditional ones: “I, Bethany, take you, Clarissa to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.”
For better, for worse, even if both sides of the spectrum happen in the same day.
In the hotel room, Clarissa and I talked about the day, the good and the bad. And in the end, we were overwhelmed with gratitude because even the bad could have been so much worse and the good things far outweighed the bad.
It was a lesson in gratitude, in joy, and in love. We thought about all the people who had traveled to Connecticut to witness our love and commitment. From Grand Rapids and Royal Oak, Michigan, up and down the east coast and as far away as Korea, friends and family gathered to support us. We are surrounded by a cloud of loving witnesses; we are blessed by a wealth of love. The love in our lives overflows all bounds.
We have been married a month. Most of this month we spent on vacation in Michigan, planning a reception there for mid-July. We returned to home to North Carolina about a week ago, ready for wedding activities to be done and to return to normal life.
I don’t know what “normal” married life will be like. I have yet to return to classes and my on-campus jobs. Clarissa is working a summer schedule. Our busy lives are still partially on hold. I assume that married life will be much like the life we were living before: busy, crazy, sad at times, happy at others, but mostly beautiful and surrounded by love.
If a wedding day is any indication of things to come, then there will be lots of unexpected twists and turns. But we are excited to have these adventures together, loving one another, and surrounded by the love of our community.
(Photos by Kincso Borgyos)
Bethany Tap (’12) received her MFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where she also worked as the managing editor of Chautauqua: the literary journal of the Chautauqua Institution. She is currently working on her first novel. She lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, with her wife, Clarissa, and son, Alexander.