Brangelina… Bennifer… there’s a new everlasting cheesy-couple-name-combination that’s now immortalized: Flisa. Our marriage on Sept 16 was so amazingly simple that it was genius. But, cue the foreshadowing that my foreign marriage was going to be true to all my other foreigner experiences.
Spoiler alert: I accidentally ended up asking my mother-in-law to wear THIS to my marriage. There is a longer version of this story, about 5 minutes of back and forth apprehension where Charlotte tried to subdue her anger as she thought I was mocking her and I just wondered why she was freaking out about a little flower. Sheesh, I really am foreign.
But Florian (always somehow managing to be the hero in every story I tell) gave me a huge surprise the day before the marriage that made me a feel a little less alone in this foreign land; he flew my sister Rachel out to be my Witness. Let’s admit that Florian is not the best secret-keeper in the world (in fact, up until now, he was in contention for being the worst secret keeper). But Florian is clever and, realizing his weakness for telling me everything, he realized that he could get the excitement of both telling me the secret and really surprising me if he just lied about what the secret was. Because, two weeks prior, Florian had already told me he bought me a new Mercedes convertible as my surprise!!! And then there I was, getting called out of my German class by the main office (thinking we hadn’t paid the bill) when I was caught off guard seeing Rachel standing there IN SWITZERLAND. Sidenote: There is a video of my face when I see her, it’s pretty priceless. And since I’m a baby and I cried, that’s on video too. Thanks. Though it was a dangerous game to play when you tell a woman you bought her a pretty new car, I was much happier to have Rachel there than to have the car. Besides, my birthday isn’t too far away (hint, hint Florian).
The next day, the big day, I’d never felt closer to Florian. We talked through all we had gone through together, the distance, the move, the previously-scheduled wedding, and everything in between. After living together these past few months and seeing how our lives are together, we knew we could never be apart again, ever. We’d both never wanted anything more in our lives. We felt ready to say 100% yes, my life will be better with you in it and I choose you to be my new family. We were both so sure, it made the moment so magical.
At the ceremony we had to have an English translator so that I actually knew what was happening, and yet it still managed to be magical. I didn’t hear most of the poem or the advice or the law because I was busy staring at my future husband and tearing with love. We spent a full 5 minutes during our actual ceremony just hugging and kissing and crying to our song. I managed to say “Ja”, figuring this is as good a time as any to show how I’m embracing my new home, my new language, and my new life here. With that Ja, I gave up my associations with Yes – a home in the US, speaking English daily, and my identity as an American. At that moment I guess I officially became The Real Housewife of Zurich.
The day kind of made me wonder why everyone wants to make such a huge ordeal out of their marriage. The stress of planning a wedding, the pressure of perfection, the fights and following anxiety over your decision if you actually like the other person that much or not, the lack of sleep, the entertaining of guests, all leads to one inevitability – insanity. Or at least exhaustion and insecurity on the most loving and romantic day of your life. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t to say I won’t have a big party and celebration for the marriage, but the actual marriage itself was so much better as a special moment between two people and their closest family, not 300 of our closest acquaintances.