Appellant's Brief

On Our Fifth

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
- Pablo Neruda

Five years ago today, I had an out of body experience. There was a man facing me. He was talking, but I could not hear what he was saying. So I tried focusing. I stifled a giggle when I noticed that his nose hair almost met his sideburns.

The man then said my name and asked, "Did you come here of your own free will and without reservation to be joined with [unintellgible] in marriage?"

I confidently stood up and said, "Objection, your honor. The question is leading." But when I looked around, I could not see the familiar robed figure of the judge. And somewhere in the background I heard a voice say, "I have, father."

Before I could move to strike the answer off the record, the man shot another question. "Do you promise to take [garbled] to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold you from this day forward, for better or for worse ..."

Again, I stood up. Faster this time. "Objection. For better or for worse? The question is vague!"

But the man continued, "for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health?"

Irritated, I again objected. "I vehemently object to this line of questioning, your honor. It is a compound question, and calls for speculation. I also do not see its relevance to the issue."

But what was the issue? I turned around and saw that there were people behind me. Lots of them. Smiling. A few were crying. So I looked around. And to my left, I saw a vaguely familiar face. She looked as if she had been crying too.

And so it dawned on me. I was getting hitched.

Five years later, I feel the need to renew the vows that I took that day. Knowing what I know now, I believe with all my heart that the promises I made that day were inadequate.

I take you to be my wife, and I give you my vow that as your husband, I will
always be with you.

I promise to love you unconditionally, in middle and old age, in good and bad hair days.

In sickness, I will nurse you back to health to the extent our HMO would permit. In health, I will always see how perfect you are for me. I will be your faithful friend.

In sadness, I will kiss your tears and hold you in my arms until the pain goes away. In happiness, I will do all that I can that no harm will ever come to you. I will be your protector.

I do not need you. I choose you.

I choose you today in witness of all the people who love us.

I choose you tomorrow in the privacy of our hearts.

I will choose you, over all others, every day, for all the days of my life.

After 1,825 days, I believe my marriage is, as Anton's favorite song goes, slightly weathered and slightly worn. But even lawyers believe in ever after.

Pleaded by Appellant on Saturday, January 14, 2006 @ 12:40 PM with 3 Objections