Today is a very special day for me. Jerry and I are celebrating eight years of marriage today! Between marriage and motherhood, I have no idea where the time goes. I guess it’s true that life is what happens while you’re busy making plans. Like I keep planning to clean my house. Someday, I’m going to get off my butt and do it. Yes. I see the logic now. It IS true.
I would love to be able to say that I remember my wedding as though it was yesterday, but that wouldn’t be entirely true. It took me 32 years to catch a husband, so by the time it came down to the actual day, I was tired! Wedding planning will take a lot out of a bride, not to mention working overtime to help pay for everything. I do remember that the day started very early, replete with all of the mishaps and disasters that can only happen on the day one is married. However, it was an absolutely glorious South Florida day. The sky was a gorgeous blue, and it was blessedly cool outside (under 90 degrees.) I had dieted down to look svelte in my wedding dress, and had also stuffed myself into the most unforgiving corset ever created, so all things considered, I looked pretty good. At least I think I did. My maid of honor finally caught on after I had taken my 6th Xanax on a very empty but tight stomach, so much of it is a blur.
In spite of the ministrations of my amazing bridesmaids and all of the medication, my nerves were still buzzing like an angry hornet. Jerry, his groomsmen, and our priest were in the sacristy while my bridesmaids and I were in the choir room in the back. Fr. Ralph Evan, our priest, mentioned to Jerry that he wanted to give things a few more minutes, but he was going to check in on me and the girls. Jerry tried to stop him. “Fr. Ralph, you are a brave man. Or a stupid one.” Undeterred, Fr. Ralph came to check in on us.
It was sheer bad timing because one of my flower girls kept pulling the flowers out of her miniature bouquet. Since we aren’t allowed to drop petals in our church, she carried a small-scale replica of my bouquet that actually cost more than my big bouquet. I had asked her several times not to pull the flowers out of it until after we got through the pictures, at which point she could eat it, for all I cared. Still, at the precise moment that Fr. Ralph entered the room, she plucked out the largest flower from the middle of the arrangement and threw it in the floor. And I chose that moment to utter the WORST profanity you can say in the house of The Lord. For our purposes here, I’ll say ‘gosh darn’, and leave it at that. Eight years later, I can still feel the weight of Fr. Ralph’s stare, and I can still remember my bridal party backing away from me to get out of the way of the thunderbolt we all knew was coming. Fr. Evans returned to my groom to be and said, “Jerry, YOU are a brave man. Or a stupid one.”
Things finally got underway. My dad looked so handsome and proud in his tuxedo. Of course he was late to the wedding rehearsal, so he had not practiced walking me down the aisle. He chose the big moment to decide that we should do some triumphant bridal march. I suppose it was triumphant for him in that he was palming me off on Jerry at long last. Coupled with my nerves and the 6 Xanax, we bumped and lurched along like a couple of drunks until I stopped up short and hissed, just WALK Daddy. Apparently, I hiss louder than an angry copperhead, because I heard a ripple of laughter follow me to the altar.
After Jerry and I took communion, we were instructed to sit on two throne-like chairs while the rest of the congregation took communion. I saw a short cut to my throne, and by that time, the Xanax was really working it’s magic, so I turned and went to my throne. Unbeknownst to me, my very long train caught on one of the tall candelabras positioned at the altar. I though the collective gasp was meant for how beautiful my dress looked, but it turns out I nearly knocked the candles over. Fortunately, Jerry and Eileen, my maid of honor, were able to prevent yet another calamity. Once we were finally married, our guests headed to the reception for cocktails while the bridal party and family finished pictures. When our limousine driver showed up, he was very nasty, and Rocky Balboa, er, Daddy had to be physically restrained from beating him up. It was a very exciting morning!
Our reception was divine. Of course, I was being held into my dress with that vulcanized rubber torture device so I couldn’t eat very much food. But wine and champagne went down easily, hence the reason that I don’t quite remember everything that transpired. But I do remember finally leaving and having the chance to be alone with my husband in our hotel suite on the beach. And I must have held up pretty well during the day because Jerry was ready to get that dress off of me and get the honeymoon started. Sadly, there was the corset to contend with.
Have you ever opened a roll of biscuits or crescent rolls? You know how you apply pressure and then the whole things pops open “PWUPHTH” and everything spills out? It was like that when I took the corset off. Sort of an explosion. Jerry looked taken aback but I reminded him that it was legal now…no turning back! I sat down on the bed to get out of the crinolines and stockings, and that was it. I was so lit, I was out like a light.
I awoke several hours later with intense hunger pains. Jerry was sleeping, but I woke him up, saying FEED THE CAT! He told me to order room service and went back to sleep. I went all out with a bacon cheeseburger, French fries, a chocolate milkshake and diet coke, naturally. Let’s just say it didn’t sit too well after strenuous dieting and heavy medication, so we spent part of our wedding night at Walgreen’s, buying various stomach remedies.
I look back on all of this and laugh. Sometimes I laugh because I can’t believe that I lived through it. Other times, I laugh because I can’t believe Jerry actually went through with it. I was online looking up anniversary gifts by year, just to see what eight years will get you. I think Jerry is hoping for time off with good behavior. Anyway, the traditional gift is bronze. Nah. The modern gift is appliances. No way will Jerry buy me another appliance. I insisted on a Kitchen Aid mixer one year for Christmas, and Jerry got me one. Little did he know that I wanted it as an art form for my counter. No way was I really going to use it. I would ask for platinum and jewels, but knowing Jerry, he’d bring me L’oreal #120 Platinum Crystal (because I’m worth it!) Sure, blondes may have more fun, but I’m not complaining. I’ve had a great time.
So thinking back on all of this, I am also looking forward to our future, for whatever it holds, and for however long we have. I enjoy the idea of growing old together, and all the funny things that will happen to us along the way. And while I know that Jerry doesn’t always appreciate my lowbrow humor, and I can’t always understand his arch witticisms, we’re in it for the long haul. Til death us do part, and maybe not even then!
As I've said before, we’ve almost got each other trained!