The thing is, you can’t fake newly married. It’s not really a honeymoon unless it immediately follows your nuptials. I know we make our own rules, and who’s to say? I say. I know a couple, due to schedules and rain seasons, who took their honeymoon just before tying the knot. Another couple with a destination wedding who then traveled to another island for their private honeymoon.
Truth: I’m not one for following traditions, unless it works in my favor. I love the idea of cooking (and much more so planning) an entire Thanksgiving meal, but I was always bothered by the "tradition" in my family for the men to watch football while the women took care of things in the kitchen. It always pissed me off watching my mother cook for days, and then clean for days. And I didn’t just see it in my mother’s house. I’ve seen it in almost all the homes of friends, aunts, and cousins, too. The men hanging out watching football, eating cashews before dinner or a plate of fruit before dessert. And the women are clearing plates, cleaning up, fussing with coffee filters, making two pots. Decaf and regular. And tea. Re-setting the table after clearing it. I hate that tradition. I’m full too. I want to lie on the couch and unbutton my pants, but instead of football, I want to watch Christmas movies,or When Harry Met Sally. Again. Now, I happen to be very lucky. The Suitor does, especially lately, all the cleaning and cooking. I’ve been too sick and tired to move. But he’s always been helpful, and I’m very lucky that way. But if he wants any say in what our formal china will look like, I whine that he shouldn’t care because "he’s the boy."
Now back to this tradition of the honeymoon… I’m a romantic. A honeymoon is for repeating the phrase "my husband" and looking down at your finger too often, twisting your new ring. It’s for falling even more deeply in love, like the kind at the beginning where you stare and learn each other’s bodies. Their birthmarks, the direction of their cowlick. You learn their breath again and somehow know what their body looks like better than they do. You memorize their eyes and moles and tan lines and smells, of their scalp and neck and odor. You cannot recreate the "just" part of married. Let’s just call a delayed honeymoon what it is: a vacation.
We don’t know where we’ll go on ours yet. We are getting married this September 16. October 4, I’m doing a reading at BookPeople here in Austin, and then mid-October I’m on tour in Chicago (Oct. 10 Borders) and San Francisco (Oct. 12 Book Passage). Before then, we’d need to brush away to Greece. Or somewhere. I’m a little nervous about being in a foreign country pregnant with twins, just in case. But it’s our last trip before the kids come. It’s our last chance to memorize each other, and I want that time away to get to know him, all of him, as we are, just the two of us, outside our home, our state, our country. Because soon we’ll be filling Christmas stockings and having Thanksgiving feasts, bickering over the fact that I’m cooking too much food. Before we have that life, I want to hold onto this one just a little longer, that newness of a lover I’ll grow with, in scents and tastes and skinny dipping moments.