Sitting in the audience I was grateful for the cool breeze created by the air conditioners in the church during one of my friend’s weddings. Only problem was they had amazing tulle draped from floor to ceiling across the entire length of the stage in front of about 100 or more lit candles. Most of us held our breath and debated whether or not to get up and hold the bottom of the tulle to the floor to keep it from blowing in the breeze created by that great air conditioner. My mind played out the tragedy. Could you imagine? “Do you….WHAT THE….FIRE….EVERYBODY OUT!” Luckily it was caught in time.
I’ve only been to a handful of weddings in my life. And leaving I would often think to myself or verbalize to my husband how I would have done things differently. “The arch flowers looked really fake like we were standing in the floral department at Michael’s. The slide show should have been at the reception because it was way too long. The photographers were like paparazzi. Really? We have to stand around for an hour and a half with only coffee waiting for the reception?” Stuff like that. There is often a lot of things I like too but mostly I leave thinking. OKAAAAY…glad it wasn’t too long. I’m not the type of person who loves to attend weddings and cries at them. I’m just not.
20 years ago tomorrow at 10 o’clock in the morning I walked down the aisle with my dad limping beside me because he had thrown his back out ducking under the garage door on our way to the church. When my ex turned to look at me he raised an eyebrow and smiled. My dress was so tight I could barely lift my leg to ascend the stairs to the altar. I hadn’t thought about that little detail. So there were polite chuckles as my hips shifted the massive bow at the back of my dress while I slowly climbed each step. I also remember taking off my gloves so a ring could be put on my finger only I hadn’t thought of what to do with the glove. Another slightly awkward moment. But basically it was a good day. I did my own hair, did my own make up, he and I drove ourselves back to the house for a backyard reception. It was unpretentious but nice and I had fun.
20 years ago. Hmmm. I’m not sad about it. In fact I forgot about it until I got home after work and looked at my phone. I saw the date January 18 and thought…oooh. Huh. Hmm. Like the day my divorce was final I am somewhat ambivalent. I’m not beating myself up for the “failure” anymore. I’m not missing my ex emotionally or in any other way anymore.
Now that I’ve met this amazing man who has turned my world upside down and we are talking about getting married… both for the second time. What in the world do I WANT? Are all rules off? Can I just do what I want this time?
At first I had no idea even what that meant. What do I want? Size, location, food, size, location, dress, size, location, location, size? First things first. How big do I want this thing to be? How much money do I want to spend? I know all these things have to be thought about but deep in my heart I really want to elope. Cause all that really matters to me is for us to be together. Do we really need a traditional wedding? Would anyone we cared deeply about be offended if we didn’t have one?
Here is where I’m at right now.
I want to get married someplace pretty with my daughter and son by my side. One of my best friends who is a photographer recording the event. My friend Karen who went to Ireland with me and convinced me to email Martin in the first place. For goodness sake she is the one who invited him to spend the evening with us after dinner. Without her there would be no wedding. So she is a must too. And Martin’s kids and maybe his best friend if he can make it. Have a quiet ceremony in the evening with sparkling lights all around on a rooftop or deck overlooking an amazing cityscape or seascape in San Francisco. Followed by a casual, fun, intimate dinner to celebrate the occasion. Followed by a familymoon so his kids and my kids and he and I could bond but also have loads of fun together. We both love our kids and we want them to be a part. We are both dealing with the sadness that they are getting older and won’t be a part of our lives for very much longer as they were when they were young. Martin and I have plenty of alone time. We’ll have plenty of chances for vacations alone too. Upon our return, we come home to an amazing party inviting every single person we know. Open house style. Casual, fun, festive, dancing, and the must have cake.
That is where I’m at right now anyway. And I’d really like to dance to a Frank Sinatra song. At some point.
But this might change as we discuss our dreams and try to match them with practical issues. When it comes right down to it …the wedding doesn’t matter to me at all compared to the life I’ll be beginning. It’s value rests solely on the fact that it marks the beginning of that life. What we eat, where we are, and who attends is secondary to the promises we make to one another and to God.
Wow. I really can’t believe I’m typing this entry. My heart is not on overdrive and my hands aren’t even sweaty at the thought. Amazing.
We have 14 months of affection, admiration and friendship. 14 months of seeing each other at our best and worst at our highest and our lowest moments. And we are still choosing each other. Choosing not to have our dreams come true in each other’s eyes, but to have a faithful, loyal, loving partner in life.
What more could a girl want than that?