Yes, that’s right! Aaron and I are now officially engaged to be married. Total marriage equality has been legal in the Commonwealth of Virginia (the state where we reside) since October 6, 2014, when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal and let the lower court ruling that the state ban on same gender weddings was unconstitutional. Since late last summer, we’ve both endured enormous pressure from our parents (both families) to get married and make our relationship official.
During my Spring Break week (March 8-15, 2015), while visiting with Aaron’s parents in Roanoke, Virginia, we exchanged rings and officially became engaged to each other. No date has been set at this time for the wedding ceremony but we’re thinking for the late summer. Originally, we were going to do the “ring-thing” on Valentine’s Day weekend. However, the President’s Day commitment to our friends trumped the engagement ritual and so we postponed the tradition until Spring Break mini-holiday. Click here to view the post discussing this dilemma: Presidential Nudity.
So, on Tuesday. March 10, 2015, Aaron and I exchanged thin, white-gold bands and became promised to one another. With this simple and private act, over a dessert and glass of champagne, we two became engaged as one. We are now betrothed.
In the few short weeks since this happened, I’ve grown rather fond of the term, betrothed. It’s antiquated and that adds to the mystery and to the mystique. We’re not yet man and man but we’re no longer single. We’re on the journey down the path to legally becoming us. We now proudly and lovingly wear our matching bands on the ring-finger of the hand opposite the customary one. It is our visible “badge” of intent of honoring and publicly professing our love. I’ll share with all here that after we placed these rings on each other’s hands, we both had a few tears in our eyes. No matter how carefully planned (and postponed), it is indeed a very emotional moment.
After we’d finished our dessert and regained our composure, we opened our engagement gifts to one another. Aaron gave me a stainless-steel bracelet engraved symbolizing the two of us becoming one and I gave to him a yellow-gold Orthodox crucifix that matches mine. Next, we paid for our dinner and returned to his parents to share our news with them. On the drive back to their home, we assured each other that neither one of us had told them what was happening over our private meal.
Arriving at Aaron’s family home, we were surprised to discover all the lights off save the front door and the light from his parent’s bedroom. Upon entering the front hallway, we were speechless and shocked when the lights came on and his entire family greeted us with another glass of champagne and congratulations! A huge cake with both of our names on it waited for our return in the dining room. My soon-to-be in-laws had gathered to celebrate our betrothal! Our planned announcement had now been upstaged by the very one’s we were hoping to surprise.
The immediate question in both of our minds was how did Aaron’s parents know about our betrothal? However, the enthusiasm from all of his family (including his homophobic sister) was overwhelming and we didn’t have the presence of mind or the time to question anyone. As the unsuspecting “guests of honor” at this celebration, we scarcely had a moment to ourselves, not to mention interrogate others. Aaron’s father, forever the gracious host, made certain that everyone’s champagne glass remained full. Knowing my limited tolerance for alcohol, he made sure that mine was refilled with apple juice.
Later that evening, after everyone left, we resolved the mystery of our big surprise of the evening. Both Aaron and I had separately confided to David, Aaron’s oldest brother, our news. He’s the one who shared this with their parents who, in turn, invited the rest of their family to join in our betrothal party. I was amazed that Aaron’s siblings were able to keep a secret from the both of us. Usually, any news within their family unit is broadcast immediately to any and all. Both of his parents showed no sign of remorse over this indiscretion and remained elated about our upcoming nuptials until the wee hours of the following morning.
Now, the stressful aspect of wedding planning begins. Initially, we both wanted a nude ceremony but not all of our families are comfortable publicly naked. So we postponed this decision (Aaron strongly advocated this). Now that we have to actually finalize plans, last night, when he returned home, Aaron informed me: Maybe you’re right. It should be “Naked Mandatory.” Who know’s? At least we’ll be legally wed, clothes-free and blissfully happy! At least I have a date for the nuptials that don’t yet have a date!
No Boxers, Briefs, Thongs, Bikinis, or Jocks! Be Nude!
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!