I wore my wedding lipstick to meet my lover

I wore my wedding lipstick to meet my lover today.

I didn’t realise until after I’d put it on, and then it seemed pretty perfect.

My wedding lipstick is minimal, barely there, but glittery. I hardly ever wear makeup, and lipstick even less. But today felt like a lipstick occasion. Today, I put my lipstick on.

As I watched myself apply it, I thought of the first time I wore it, almost seven years ago. The makeup trial before the wedding. And then how I’d felt, wearing it, walking up the aisle to meet my husband.

Today, I walked up the aisle to meet my lover.

As I sat in my seat waiting to take the long walk alone, I recollected how I’d felt, as I waited outside the church to walk and meet my soon-to-be-husband. I felt nervous. I felt more nervous than I had at any time before. I was about to commit my whole life to somebody, somebody I’d only known two and a half years. And I was going to do that in front of all my friends and family, and even some people I’d never met before.

That was the hardest part. To say those vows in front of so many. I was shy. We talked about running away, having an elopement. But I wanted to have a “proper” wedding. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. That my bullies, ten years before, couldn’t take that away from me.

So I walked up the aisle that day, and I married my husband. It was a turning point in my life. It made a statement about who I am.

Today, I walked up the aisle again. I walked up on my own this time. I didn’t meet my husband at the top. I was all on my own.

Almost seven years have passed since I took my first walk up the aisle.

In seven years a lot has changed. I now wonder why it scared me so much that day, to say those vows. I can look back over seven years, and see it was the right thing to do. See all the joy that scary walk led me to. And the fear looks so small in comparison. But I couldn’t see it then. Then I could only hope. Hope that my lover would meet me, too.

He has met me, he has led me. So when I walked up the aisle today, I felt infinitely more confident that he would meet me again. That I would not be alone, even as I felt more exposed.

I spoke at church today. It was Good Friday. I wore my wedding lipstick to meet my lover.

I haven’t spoken in public in seventeen years until this month. Not planned. Apart from my wedding. But just like the bullies couldn’t take away my wedding, they can’t take away my voice, now, either. They can’t take away my desire to talk about the things that have happened to me.

I felt two other people with me today, too. I had my grandmother’s cross, and I thought about her, a woman of faith, and I thought about my grandfather, who passed last year. I thought about him, he also walked up the aisle alone. He also gave voice in church. And then he left, and he didn’t do that any more. But I was aware, aware of that legacy with me yesterday. Aware of those two different examples of faith I carry before me, enshrined in one cross.

I felt them all with me, my grandparents, my lover, and me.

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