- It's great to click my wedding band against things to listen for resonance. Hollow things that have few truss points, such as a Jacuzzi in a honeymoon suite (which I assume is made from fiberglass), sound great. As a result, I've also learned...
- Wedding bands scuff easily. I had always heard that gold is a soft metal, but I had never had any on hand to test this. Now I literally have some on my left hand and it already has scratches and scuffed bits. I'm glad I went with only 14 carat gold instead of 18.
- The word "wife" is surprisingly immediate. It's only one syllable, unlike "girlfriend", "fiancée", or even "missus". It feels chthonic to say "my wife", as if I'm connecting to an ancient world of possessing people and invading islands. However it's also direct: the woman that wants to be with me is immediate to me.
- The kitties really missed us while we were gone. They're going to go insane in six months when we take a fortnight for our honeymoon.
- People will buy things for newlyweds. We put our wedding registry on Amazon and got an impressive number of the expensive things on it. The one I wanted very badly, the $9 wooden reamer for citrus, is about to get its first use on a batch of oranges.
- I have a bread maker again! I had one in college and it lasted a good while. Then I lost the manual and found it hard to guess the proportions. Perhaps it was falling apart with age, because the loaves would not rise enough and get hard, parabolic, inverted tops instead of yummy crust domes. None of this matters now: the modern version of the same model costs only $60 today instead of the $145 back in 1995. I picked up some white and wheat flour, some dry milk (so the milk doesn't spoil overnight on delay timer) and a jar of yeast. My wife will soon find the joy of waking to the smell of fresh bread.
My best man, dobrovolets, gave a very moving toast. He described my charity and loyalty with my friends. I had never thought very hard about how willing I am to give things, and how much better it is to give to someone that will not take it for granted or abuse it.
Within 48 hours I saw some of this simple generosity in real time:
- I had a 1/8" stereo (Walkman headphone) connector wire that I had bought in July because I forgot to pack one. It was a little short but it never tangled. Two friends really needed one for their long drive home, so I just handed it to them. Their reward was far higher than my cost.
- We needed a simple, battery-powered boom box for the ceremony music. I found one at a local audio shop for $50: it only handled iPods but that was all we needed. Then I mailed it to my new brother-in-law because I don't need it, he has no sound system at home, and otherwise I would pay $50 to put it on the plane.
- I ordered way too many almond paste cookies for the reception. Did you know ten pounds of cookie will only reduce to eight pounds, even when you let the inn's staff pig out on them for two days? So we brought them to a soup kitchen in Portland. That felt great, actually.
I would rather make the most of an object: if I can no longer use it but someone else needs it, then the choice is obvious. It sounds like John Mill or Riccardo's 80/20 rule.
However it also cost us $100 to ship home the gifts we could not fit in our luggage, so there is a selfish reason to be free of things.
So far, I like what has been a small step for a dude but a giant leap for demographics and tax purposes. The jet lag after coming home has been more dramatic than any changes in our relationship.