Nine years (+1 day) ago, Nice Tall Guy and I were officially married at a courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia by Judge Pinkie Toomer. We were planning a wedding with friends and family the following summer, but for practical reasons (i.e. so Nice Tall Guy could take advantage of in-state tuition for the graduate program he was attending), we decided to make it official before the next semester started.
So, we have a wedding anniversary and this other day we’ve taken to calling, Pinkie Toomer Day.
I remember when we discussed whether or not to do the courthouse marriage, we were concerned it would take something away from our actual wedding day. We wanted to downplay it so much that we didn’t tell our parents until several days afterwards, when we were out visiting for Christmas (“By the way, we went to the Courthouse last week and got married.” To which Nice Tall Guy’s Mom pragmatically replied, “I can’t believe you waited that long to do it!”)
But the funny thing was, despite our best efforts to not make our courthouse marriage a big deal, it was (and still is) a really special day. A few thoughtful friends surprised us by attending the courthouse “ceremony”, and adorning me with a wedding veil and a bouquet of flowers. And though I can’t remember the specifics, Judge Pinkie Toomer delivered a beautiful speech about love and commitment. Afterwards, we went to the newly-opened aquarium and then had a decadent dinner. It was lovely and special and silly and different, and just ours.
And over the years, I’ve realized that Pinkie Toomer Day’s power is in its unexpectedness. Sometimes when you’re not expecting to find meaning, joy and beauty, those moments carry the most magic.
Happy Pinkie Toomer Day to all, today and everyday.