October 10, 2014 § 1 Comment
I’ve been thinking about the verb join. This is what Webster’s Online Dictionary says it means: a. to put or bring together so as to form a unit b. to connect by a line c. to put or bring into close association or relationship d. to engage in e. to come into the company of f. to associate oneself with.
I’ve never been a joiner in the sense of d, e, or f. I was born into a team of five sisters. That’s enough. I don’t need to commit to any other group. Jeff says I missed out by not playing team sports, but had I been a point guard, I doubt I would have ever passed the ball. I hated when the teacher made us do group work. If you grow up in a group, you learn to fend for yourself, to desire your own company. Squeaky wheels and all that. A friend who also grew up in a family of five says he doesn’t like to share things now because he shared everything growing up. I get that.
Jeff was born to be a camp counselor, a team captain. He really believes that more is merrier. I think it’s just more. Maybe it’s because he grew up with only one much older brother. Maybe it’s because he wanted a tribe to roam the woods with. I always wanted to set myself apart from my tribe, alone in the woods, until I joined him.
Lately, I’ve been joining people in the sense of a, b, and c above. I’ve been marrying my friends. Not that way. What I mean is I got to stand up in front of them and officiate twice this year. I’m a reverend, according to the Internet and the state of North Carolina, the state of Texas, too. My friend Lauren was a little worried her North Carolina wedding wouldn’t be legal, but she married a man, so when we turned in the license, the lady at the desk only asked if she wanted a copy.
It is a privilege for me to join my friends, to help seal their deal with each other in front of their friends and family. We come together today to join this man and this woman (or this woman and this woman or this man and this man). Coming together to join, to become a part of, to come into the company of, to associate with. I’m all for that, now that I know you can join someone and still be alone in the woods from time to time.
I can’t imagine my life without my group of college friends, friends from other parts of my life, the family Jeff and I have created. If I connect them all together, they are a web, a net—that still leaves me space to breathe. I can see how anyone would want that. I can’t imagine being told I couldn’t have it. I believe in joining, in unions, and I’m thankful that very soon in North Carolina and in most of the country, I’ll be able to join anyone who wants to come together so as to form a unit with anyone else.