One of my most favorite movies in all the world is Cold Mountain. When I tell people that, a surprising number of those folks tell me they’ve never heard of it. I’m shocked, y’all. I mean, it did after all receive seven total Academy Award nominations with one win for Renee Zellweger in the Best Supporting Actress category for her portrayal of Ruby Thewes. Honestly, although the love between Ada, played by Nicole Kidman, and Inman, played by Jude Law, is the driving force for the story, I have to say Ruby was my favorite character. I can go a step further and say she’s actually one of my favorite characters of all time. But I digress. Back to the love factor of the story.
For those who have seen the movie, you’ll know what I’m talking about if I’m elusive and for those who haven’t I hope my elusiveness as to the details intrigues you enough to invest a couple of hours in watching Cold Mountain. The movie is based on a book set on Cold Mountain, a real place right here in my neck of the woods, but truth be told, this is a case of the movie far and away outdid the book. I don’t often say that. The short of it is, Ada and Jude meet before the commencement of the Civil War and carry on a relationship based on one kiss and a series of letters exchanged during that sad time in our nation’s history. In the end, after a mighty struggle, they meet back up by chance and during the course of that night together they wed. But not in the traditional sense. They do so based on a custom from another part of the world in which each person “exchanges” the vow, I marry you, three times with the other.
It is one of the most romantic and sensual scenes I’ve ever witnessed between two people on the big screen. It expresses a desperation of heart that can only be assuaged by being joined flesh, blood, and spirit with another, and right then, right there. And if vowing by that desperation through nontraditional means aids in that process, one must. It speaks to a freedom of expression of desperate love not looked favorably upon in polite society. It speaks from a primitive place inside each of us which transcends legalities and doctrine. It speaks to our souls.
In 1996, my soul was rattled in such a way. It was frightening! I didn’t want to believe that I’d been gifted someone whose heart, soul, and spirit were in perfect alignment with mine and reached out to hold hands through a cosmic connection. If I had to define soul mates, I’m not sure that does the term justice, but it’s as close as I can come to the obscure notion of it. It wasn’t long before we were courting like two June bugs under the sultry summer night sky and one evening, he asked me when my birthday was. Why then, I will never know. Our relationship was young and no emotions had been attached to it or declared, but there it was. A pretty personal question. I told him it was March 6, and he proceeded to go wide-eyed and tell me his birthday was also March 6. I laughed, told him that was the worst pick-up line I’d ever heard, and when he insisted, I proceeded to demand he produce picture ID proof of this.
He did. We share a birthday. I was gob smacked! I was already half in love with the man to begin with and this new information provided by the universe pretty much sealed the deal. I mean, what were the chances?
That was in November. On Christmas Eve, Santa delivered a diamond and we were engaged. I was still frightened, however. Enough so that I tried to pretend I didn’t really want to marry him, that this engagement would be perpetual. On March 6, 1997, I proved myself a liar. At seven p.m. local time, on a Thursday—my favorite day of the week–we were married.
Yes, you read that right. Today is my birthday, MarshFox’s birthday, and our 23rd anniversary.
When I finally relented to the inevitable, every fiber of my being rejoiced. I found myself feeling very much like Ada and Inman are depicted as feeling that night they finally relented to the forces of desperate love and married by a single mantra murmured three times. After twenty-three years, I still feel it. Today, I still find myself reaffirming what I tried to deny for those few short weeks over the winter of 1996, that yes, Marshfox, on this day and always, I marry you, I marry you, I marry you.
Over the years, with him being active duty, we managed to be apart more than half of the March 6ths we’ve been married. Today is no different. He’s on a twelve hour shift over at the local ER. Along with the legalities and doctrine, we’ve figured out over the years the day is a formality because the words I marry you resonate with us every single day. We’ll celebrate tomorrow with a nice dinner and some cake.
While I wait for him to get off shift today, from six to six-thirty p.m. EST this afternoon, I’ll be over on Facebook at the Swag-gering Shout Out Page doing a takeover. I’ll be sharing a bit about me, my current releases, what’s to come, there will be fun and games, and I’ll have a couple of giveaways. Come over and join in the party!