Sunday, August 12, 2012

Our dodeca-tetragonal matrimonialunaversary!

Today is my dodeca-tetragonal matrimonialunaversary!

See, when Jon and I started dating, I was a teensy *hack, cough* bit...skittish.

(Read that as "like a cat being leaving claw marks in the carpet as she's dragged, spitting and hissing, on a sixteen-month trek to the vet.")

I pretended I didn't even notice when we'd been formally dating for a month. (Jon did the same.)

When month two came around, we very casually acknowledged it had been two months. 'Nough said. ("But I'm going on a mission so don't get serious about me and I'm absolutely not going to kiss you so don't go getting any ideas!!!!!!")

Poor Jon.

Month three rolled around. Other couples in our ward were starting to tally up their relational durability. ("Today is our six-month anniversary!") This annoyed me enough to overcome my natural reluctance to use any word (such as "anniversary" or "baby") which might remotely be connected with marriage. I pointed out to Jon that "anniversary" implies a YEARLY event. "A couple might celebrate their half-year anniversary," I argued. "Or their semi-anniversary. Or even a semi-annual anniversary. But a single digit number of months coupled with the word anniversary sounds idiotic. Especially if it's a prime number."

I proposed suggested the creation of a word which denoted a monthly occurrence. "Monthaversary" sounded stupid, too, so we agreed on "lunaversary." (Given that I was as mercurial--oops, wrong astronomical body, try again--as completely FREAKING LOONY as tradition has long associated crazy people with the moon, it seemed fitting.)

Happy lunaversary.

Next month: "fourth lunaversary" was okay, but still lacking a certain ring. Cheerfully cannibalizing (often inaccurately) Greek and Latin words, we celebrated--cautiously--our quatra-, quinta- and hexa-lunaversaries. (Also septa-, octa-, nona-, deca-, and undeca.)

Our twelfth lunaversary presented further problems. By now I was wryly mocking myself for my verbal peculiarities, but still entered into the spirit of the occasion. I absolutely refused to use the word "anniversary," even though it was appropriate in this context. Therefore I insisted that we simply mark it as yet another lunaversary. (See, if we were counting in months, that implied that it wasn't, necessarily, going to turn into years.)

I'd always liked dodecahedrons (twelve-sided dice), so I stole that. In the happy spirit of "English doesn't just borrow words; no, English chases other languages down dark alleys and beats them up, then rifles through their pockets for loose vocabulary."

We celebrated our dodecalunaversary!

Granted I was fighting a rearguard (but still valiantly stubborn) battle with the Holy Spirit the whole time, because God was telling me to marry Jon and I, foolishly, thought that maybe that wasn't the best idea.

(Yes, yes, I long ago admitted that God really is smarter than me. And apologized to Jon.)

Well, there was further drama. I ended up not serving a mission. I finally calmed down enough to consider marriage. Then I had to coax poor Jon into proposing to me, since he was (understandably) scared to utter the word "ring" or "commitment" within a four-mile radius of me, lest I run shrieking into the woods like a rabid rabbit.

(Naturally, I had to coax Jon into proposing to me without being tooo obvious about it; I considered it unladylike to do it for him. Or even drop too many hints.)

In retrospect, I wish I had relaxed and enjoyed my courtship a little bit more. Ah well. Youth. What can I say?

Sixteen-odd months after we started dating, Jon carefully,  cautiously, timidly broached the topic of maybe thinking about possibly getting [bracing himself] engaged some day?

He was rather surprised when I responded by giving him a job interview rather than hitting the rafters. ("Theoretically speaking," I said, "If we got married and had a sixteen-year-old daughter who got pregnant, how would you handle that?" "Before or after I killed her boyfriend?" Jon queried, and I laughed, acknowledging that was a perfect answer.)

Then, another problem: He formally proposed on February 12th. Our wedding date was set for precisely six months after that. Heretofore, we had celebrated our lunaversaries on the 25th of each month. So which date reigned supreme? Was this a large enough landslide to shift the calendar, as with B.C./B.C.E. changing to A.D./C.E.?

Should we count the lunaversary of the day we started dating, or when we got engaged, or when we got married?

We settled on different terms: courtalunaversary (when we started dating), trothalunaversary (when we formally became engaged) and mari- or matri- or matrimonial (depending upon my whimsical mood) for when we got married. It was awesome saying things like "We've been dating for nineteen months, engaged for three, and married for negative three. Our Demotrimarilunaversary!"

Well, today, August the 12th, 2012, marks the twelfth anniversary -- I can say the word, now -- of the day we got married. That's twelve times twelve months, or twelve squared.

We celebrated by going out yesterday and running errands. For five hours. WITHOUT CHILDREN!!!! It was sooooo romantic. It felt just like being in college again! Except without the "Gail is a maniacally skittish mouse who ought to be medicated" part.

Therefore, I am pleased to join my sweetheart, my adorable, geeky, long-suffering Jon, in celebrating our dodeca-tetragonal matrimonialunaversary!


Jon said...

Point of correction: We began dating on October 25th, 1998. My proposal was not on our sixteenth lunaversary. You had said I was forbidden to propose any less than one month after we initially began discussing the topic.

Valentine's Day was coming up two days after the one month mark and I figured that you'd be expecting it then, so I deliberately pulled it in by two days to catch you by surprise. Rabbits are much easier to catch if they're not given a chance to bolt first.

Anonymous said...

What does "dodeca-tetragonal matrimonialunaversary" mean?

I'm going to guess it means "one hundred and forty-forth month after getting married.


Gail said...

Jon--we did, indeed, begin dating on October 25th. It was very late last night and I was in a hurry. My apologies.

Have I not apologized enough now? Must I spend the next gross of months still atoning?

No, even better, I shall simply go back and edit to make the little problem disappear.

Gail said...

Eric--a rough gloss goes thus:

dodeca = twelve

tetra = four

tetragon = four-sided geometric shape (like a square)

tetragonal = adjective describing above square; my horrible attempt at saying "squared" as in "a number times itself"

dodeca-tetragonal = twelve x twelve = 144

matrimonial = relating to marriage

luna = moon, approximately one month. Yes, the lunar calendar does not track all that well with a solar one, sorry about that. More poetic.

-versary = the plagiarized ending of the word "anniversary". I quote "anniversary
early 13c., from L. anniversarius "returning annually," from annus (gen. anni) "year" (see annual) + versus, pp. of vertere "to turn" (see versus). The adj. came to be used as a noun in Church L. as anniversaria (dies) in ref. to saints' days."

So there you have it. A lunar month, here used poetically to denote a solar month. Plus the Latin past participle of "to turn." A turned month, as in "as the seasons turn, winter to spring, so too do we celebrate anew, every thirty-odd days, the momentous occasion on which we 'sort of kind of started officially dating--I guess.'"

Your translation was accurate, just not as poetic.