Archived Opinion

Getting married in the time of coronavirus

Getting married in the time of coronavirus Taylor Willoughby Photo

The COVID-19 pandemic hit us all differently. For some of us, it blew to pieces what was otherwise a normal, pleasantly warm spring. For others, it complicated or postponed less routine endeavors like buying a house, planning a trip or earning a degree.

For me, it roared to life during the final weeks of wedding planning, resulting in a delightful (OK, really just stressful) series of twists and turns that have matured sufficiently over time to allow me to bring you this curated list of tips and tricks for preventing quarantine-induced boredom.

  • Get married. This will require a surge of creativity and stamina guaranteed to slice through any stir-craziness that has accumulated thus far as you plan a wedding, then cancel it, plan a second wedding, cancel it, and then at last concoct a much-revised version that does not end up canceled.
  • Come home to a dog that won’t stop wiggling with excitement at the fact that not one but two of her favorite people are in the same room! Petting her! For a really long time! Simultaneously work your biceps and walk the dog as she rediscovers all the crows and groundhogs that are available to be barked at in your neighborhood. Fill the dog’s bowl with dog food, then hold strong as she pretends that nobody has fed her in a week while staring longingly at that fresh-cooked bacon on your plate.
  • Take a deep breath, and then admit that it’s time to begin the monumental task of combining all of your stuff with all of your new husband’s stuff. Realize that you both have a lot of stuff and announce a joint decision to go through all of your respective stuff and get rid of any stuff that’s not necessary. Realize that the definition of “necessary” is debatable but most definitely applies to that cute hat that you’ve had for five years and have only worn once but will most definitely wear frequently in the future because your as of now concealed status as a hat person is surely destined to come out into the open any day now.
  • Decide that it’s too beautiful outdoors to spend any more time under artificial lights discussing whose spatula should be kept for future pancake-flipping pursuits and whose should go to Goodwill. Head outdoors for some restorative yard work. Take in the scent of freshly mown grass and air flavored with the blossoms of tulips, redbuds and dogwoods. Bury bulbs and pamper trays filled with seedlings that will one day grow into providers of tomatoes, peppers, beans and basil. Feel the promise of peace and joy fill your heart in a way that is impossible while the news of the day runs in the background.
  • Put together the grill that’s been sitting unopened since your birthday in October. Prepare chicken, hamburgers, sausages, vegetables, potatoes — anything, really, that should or could be grilled — and let it cook until the smell is irresistible. Pour a couple beers, plate up the food, and watch the sun set while sitting on the front porch that was half the reason you bought that house in the first place. Realize that, like the sun, this season of quarantine and cut paychecks will someday set. Lift a glass, take a sip, and reflect that — while it’s not what any of us wanted or envisioned for spring 2020 — there is beauty to be found in this new life we’re all living, if only we’ll allow ourselves to see it (and keep washing our hands).
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