Professor McGregor and I are probably getting married. We’ve discussed it extensively, my dad is scouting out potential venues, and I’ve already decided on a dress (to be fair: I’ve wanted a Dolly Couture dress for years now, forthcoming nuptials or not). He hasn’t proposed, but the only reason I use the word “probably” is because the apocalypse is supposedly nigh. Roving zombie hordes tend to change plans a bit.
Readers, I never thought I’d get married. It always seemed more likely that middle-aged Kate and I would share a rambling old Victorian mansion, collecting pets and rare books with a fervor and throwing tea parties for our bemused, but enchanted neighbors. This didn’t bother me. This, I thought, was a most excellent plan. None of my grand dreams for the future included a husband. Sure, I have a wedding board on Pinterest, but that’s because I live for pretty dresses and flower arrangements. It wasn’t even a daydream, it was an exercise in never-going-to-happen musings.
Now, in less than six months, it’s a thing that’s happening. I’ve met the guy. It’s wonderful.
It’s also terrifying. Why did no one warn me? Pop culture would have us believe that all the angst is in the finding of love, not in keeping it. This is not so! Admittedly, I find anxiety in the oddest of things, but the future seems to teem with danger. What if the things he finds endearing now become squeaking-dog-toy annoying? What if we violently disagree on the names of our spawn? What if I’m struck by a car, resulting in a massive head injury that changes my personality, forcing him to stick by me even though I’m suddenly a muppet supremacist?
It’s not Professor McGregor I doubt, but myself. I’ve never felt this way before, so how can I be sure everything will turn out well? Forever is a really long time. There’s plenty of opportunity for me to accidentally hurt him or ruin everything. I know that he’s funny. I know that he’s cute. I know that he’s eminently practical, which I both need and admire. But how do I know I won’t screw it all up? It’s easy to get lost in thoughts of pink bridal shoes and invitation sets, but the emotional questions keep me up at night.
People claim it will all work out. “What’s meant to be will be!” they shout with happy smiles. But, y’all, horrible things happen all the time. Nobody goes through life in a constant state of happiness. People die, people contract horrid illnesses, people inexplicably fall out of love. We take the good with the bad in life, but it doesn’t make the bad any less scary. I want to be this joyful forever. I want to be free of anxious questions forever. I just want to make Professor McGregor happy forever.
Forever, however, is like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. The path to happiness seems to lie in that sunny meadow over there, but an anaconda might wait in the grass, ready to snack on my heart. I can’t just flip the pages back in real life. Professor McGregor is the adventure I choose, happily and whole-heartedly, but I’d really like some carnivorous snake repellant just in case.