Day 8 happens to be my wedding anniversary. It is weird that it is called that- it is actually my marriage anniversary. They aren't one in the same. I didn't have a conventional wedding. I got married in a small library at a lodge with Hollis, Ryan and Al's parents in attendance. We spent the weekend there, had no rehearsal dinner, used a defrocked Catholic priest, and someone took the cake home (after we cut it) and it wasn't any of us! They offered to replace the entire cake, but I didn't have time for them to make another. (of COURSE I'd remember the cake incident). Other than that- for the reception we played trivial pursuit, drank some champagne and wine and then went home the next day.
I'm truly not being critical here, but what the hell is happening with weddings these days? Are people insane? I believe that one of the reasons there is so much more divorce is that weddings today start out with such unbelievable extravaganzas. Don't tell me about how yours was not. I know not every wedding is a huge blow out costing tens of thousands on up. But I watch some reality tv, and I am stunned every time someone tells the future bride "whatever you want- I want you happy". Well, don't we ALL want our daughters to be happy. But a $12,000 gown is ridiculous. There is no way this isn't some of mom or grandma's retirement fund, and that is going to turn around and bite you on the butt when grandma is OUT OF DOUGH, and you have to fund her assisted living! And why is she out of dough? Because if she wants to spend like that on a 4 hour event just to make her daughter or granddaughter happy, think of how much cash she'll bleed on grandkids, etc. (think of YOURSELF more, granny!!!) An expensive wedding can turn into nothing more than a drunk party for your friends. I blame Queen Victoria. If she hadn't insisted on a white dress, thus setting one of the silliest trends in history that still survives, we wouldn't be in this mess. (And that crap about only virgins wearing white- well, that leaves the flower girls in good shape). But if you spend that kind of money on a dress, then you are going to want flowers. And if you get flowers, well, you need a huge venue to put them in. And if you put them in a huge venue, you have to fill it. And if you have to fill it, you have to feed them. Sometimes 3 times- out of towners party while rehearsal dinner takes place, reception and then brunch. Don't even get me started on destinations weddings. I think people have those so you don't have to go but you'll send a gift.
Not to put a crown on my own head, but I wore one of my favorite outfits that day- a mint green linen skirt and a long silk flowing top. Because I dress without regard to fashion, I still have it. I looked 6 months pregnant but boy was I comfortable. My shoes were ballet pink. Since it was a tiny group, everyone held our rings and made a wish for us before our vows. People got sort of weepy, but not me. I'm the sentimental type, but mostly only for my kids and kittens and puppies. I'll cry like Tammy Faye for that. But this was a very small ceremony- lasting 8 minutes tops, and I'd arranged all of it, so I was just glad it all came together. My romantically inclined husband shed a couple of tears while saying his vows- and I insisted we follow the old Episcopal prayer book not the new one. It isn't much of a tear jerker. We said a few personal words to one another keeping in mind grown children were present. And the SECOND he started to quaver, everyone else burst into tears. Except for me. I kept thinking that this was the man who said we should skip a wedding and go get married at the courthouse. The only thing that stopped me from doing the courthouse was I wanted my kids there since Alex was going to be a really important part of their family, for a long, long time. And I wanted his parents there because even though they weren't together any more, he was an only child. They needed to be there. And we'd been together for FOUR years. So I wasn't going to cry now. Everyone signed the little certificate, and we took a couple of pictures with a regular camera and that was that. I sent out announcements and some people were offended not to be included. No one should ever worry about those people- they have crabby pants. My dearest friends were probably relieved. Saved them a trip to Seattle.
Speaking of gifts, I always send a gift to someone I like. Even if I wasn't invited to the wedding. It isn't some guilt trip. People have said to me "why do you send a gift if you weren't invited"? And I say "well, I send baby gifts and I certainly wasn't there for THAT". I totally get why I am not invited to some weddings. I'm always relieved not to be IN a wedding. And if I am not invited, well, so what.
Most people slap all the pictures online asap and if they don't, some guest will. I love weddings in that I like to hold my husband's hand and remember our vows while listening to someone else commit for a while to someone else. So if I like someone else- or if they used to be a kid who was always at my house-well, they get a present. Invite or not.
So today is my anniversary. 16 years. 20 total. Or as I like to write 16/20. My son was 14 when Alex came into his life. My daughter was 18. You can do the math. About half their lives he has been married to their mom. And he loves them. And they love him. One time Ryan said to me, "Mom, Alex really loves you". And I looked at him and said "Why do you say that?" He said "He always looks at you like he loves you so much". Which reminds me that Ryan is very observant. One time we were sitting in traffic at the corner of Buffalo Speedway and 59 and he (age 9) was watching a street guy sell roses to people stopped in traffic. And he wistfully said "I'll bet if every man bought his wife those flowers they would never get divorced." And I said "Probably not, sweetie, probably not".
So to all my friends who are married out there, Happy Anniversary. Because every day is another day with the person you love. It is always worth the time and effort to love someone else.
Today's picture and views from the keyboard:
Front: Ann H, me, HollisBack: Ryan, Al and John H
India's iMac spaceship