I pass the laminated "Rosanna and Craig are getting married (parking this way)" sign every day on my way to and from school. It has been up for a few days now and I'm not sure if they are already married or perhaps the wedding is next weekend. Either way there is so much hope and joy in those words, even for one like me who eloped at the local courthouse.
On a Sunday, I often find myself getting a little choked up reading through the wedding notices in the New York Times. These aren't the notices that your parents paid for at a rate of $1 a line, found in the Births, Deaths and Marriages column, but full write ups with the back story to how a couple met and fall in love. The people chosen would rarely qualify as 'regular', usually being well known in the arts or politics or even medical fields. The paper now includes same sex couples as well as heterosexual, and mixed race and religion is par for the course.
Of course, what we don't get is a 'what happened next' column which would no doubt be even more interesting, if not nearly as pretty. This reminds me of the lovely book Happily Ever After by my friend Bension O'Reilly, which starts where the fairy tale generally ends.
The couples featured are rarely young and they have usually spent a good deal of time living together. This makes me more, not less, hopeful that these are unions that are likely to have some staying power. Then again, two of my high school girlfriends got married at twenty-one - straight out of university - and are still powering along twenty years later.
It is hard to know what the recipe for success is, or even how to define it. After all, a union ending does not equal failure. It could point to growth rather than stagnation in a relationship that is loveless or even unhealthy. In some instances, a celebration of divorce might be more appropriate than a celebration of marriage.
But still, I can't help it. When I read of the many and varied paths couples have taken to realising that they are (at least for now) the one, cynicism and snark are cast aside and I find myself cheering on the happy couple.
So. Rosanna and Craig, whether you got married last weekend or are embarking on your new life together this weekend, I raise my glass to you. And to all the other Rosanna and Craigs, Rosanna and Roxannes, and Craig and Christophers who will be 'marrying' in the coming months - with or without the stamp of approval of the state or family - I wish you well.