52 fightsI used to be the sort of woman for whom marriage seemed more like an ending – no more first dates, spontaneous driving trips alone, or taking pride in my self-sufficiency – rather than the beginning of a new way of life. I had emerged from my chaotic early twenties secure with the knowledge that I could take care of myself, and I was apprehensive about adding another person permanently to the mix. Unlike some of the more conventional heroines in popular women’s novels, I did not spend my days fantasizing about engagement rings and china pattern selections. To me, marriage ultimately meant surrender, boredom, the possibility of waking up and realizing you had become the kind of woman you swore you’d never be.

But, of course, the moment I proclaimed my romantic independence, I met a wonderful man who was so different from anyone I’d been with in the past, and before I could say “planning a wedding is not my kind of thing” I was envisioning our names together on a gaudy mailbox, feeling jealous when I caught him looking at other women in the street, and nodding yes to his proposal to become his wife. Before long, I had the perfect dress, photographer, and reception location; ten months later, on June 1, 2002, shortly after my twenty-eighth birthday, Matt and I said, “I do”.

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