Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Wedding That Almost Wasn't

Alright, enough of the poor me, my poor learning disabled kid schtick. Quelle bummer, eh?

Today is my 14th anniversary. Sometimes, that seems impossible. It honestly seems like just yesterday that we were starting our life journey together. It seems like just yesterday that we were a young couple expecting our first baby. It seems like just yesterday that we were a young couple expecting our second baby.

The years have flown by. And though we have definitely had our ups and downs, I feel extremely lucky to have found a life partner and friend like Husband.

I've already done the "Husband rocks" thing to death, so to spare you any further treacly, nauseating rhetoric, I will tell you a story. The story of the wedding that almost wasn't.

It's a long story, so grab a cuppa something and get comfy.

I will preface this story with another story, that could, had I been of a mind to look at it that way, been an omen of what was to come. In preparation for our honeymoon we applied for passports. Husband went to renew his driver's license to make sure everything was in order. He was promptly arrested.

It seems that a former roomate of his had assumed his identity by stealing personal documents and procured a driver's license in Husband's name. Then, he had gone on a petty crime spree throughout the state. Check forgery, robbbery, theft, hit and run, fraud. At the time, the fraud division of the GBI was no great shakes, and the burden of proof was on us. We spent MONTHS trying to straighten out the mess, terrified that our passports would be held up, and our ridiculously expensive (and far beyond our means) honeymoon package would be wasted.

So there was that.

Husband and I were on a seriously tight budget. Husband's sister had, after being engaged far longer than we, decided to marry a mere three weeks after our wedding. Thus, all of the in-laws resources were sucked into the swirling vortex of need and obligation and there was nothing left to spare for us. My parents were experiencing a bit of a financial crisis at the time, and though they did what they could, even the most bare bones wedding cost far more than we could afford.

We budgeted carefully and in the end, decided to marry in a small Unitarian church that offered a wedding package we could afford, which included the services of a "wedding coordinator". Taking it down to it's most basic terms, in this instance, "wedding coordinator" would mean a chick who goes to the church and digs weddings and likes picking out pretty flowers. I think said chick was also badly in need of some meaning and direction in her life, but again, different story.

So first off...because a number of our guests were from out of state, the Bachelor party was held the night before the wedding. If you know anything, you know that this was a recipe for disaster. My father got my fiancee well and truly inebriated, so much so, that he urinated in the bedroom of my best friend and matron of honor (and her husband, who was also one of husband's groomsmen) having stumbled there in the middle of the night in a drunken stupor, thinking it was the bathroom. I know, I know...nobody was holding a gun to Husband's head and making him drink but you have to know my Dad. He's a persuasive guy.

Anyway...Husband was not in terribly good shape, even by the next evening when our wedding was being held at 7:00 pm.

One of my bridesmaids broke down on the highway on the way to the church and couldn't get anybody to stop. This was before everybody and their 8 year old had a cell phone. Why you wouldn't stop to help a woman in a coral colored evening gown and high heels is beyond me. She was frantic, thinking she was holding up the service. Little did she know.

My gown was not custom made, but because I have some weird physiological quirks, it needed quite a few alterations. Though I was a size 10 at the time, my arms were a size 18 (not really, but they might as well have been). I've always had weirdly fat arms. It's a family trait, I guess. I had been doing tricep kickbacks for months, but that only seemed to add to the problem. So the arms needed to be let out.

At 5'4" I am short, but not freakishly so. But this dress was apparently made for an Amazon, because it had to be shortened almost 6 inches, which necessitated that the entire bottom of the dress basically be reconstructed. Also, the bust and the waistline needed to be taken in as my torso really belongs on the body of someone much smaller in the caboose. And, of course, the bustle stays needed to be added.

When I picked the dress up at the seamstress's house several days before the wedding, it was draped over a series of hangers and swathed in opaque gray plastic. The seamstress told me that it had been pressed and carefully hung to prevent creasing. She said NOT TO TOUCH IT until it was time to put it on. Foolishly, I never even peeked under the plastic.

You can guess where this is going, right?

At the church, which was really, I think, a former grocery store located in a strip mall, the only place for me to dress was the Pastor's study. As I fussed over hair and make-up, my matron of honor unwrapped the dress. "Hey, I didn't know you decided to replace the roses on the back with a bow." She said this with surprise, but no great concern. I'm not really a bow type of gal. And, with a behind that would put J-Lo to shame, I'm definitely not an ass bow kinda gal.

I replied that I had not, but at that point, I was not yet concerned, merely confused. But further investigation revealed that not only was it not my dress, it was not even finsished. Raw, ragged seams dangled thread, pins poked from the hem and wrists, and yes, the beautiful silk roses that I had loved so much on the original dress had been yanked off and large, floppy bows temporarily pinned in place; one, right smack dab over what would have been the top of the wearer's butt crack. To add insult to injury, the dress was a size 20. There was simply no way I could make it work.

I was paralyzed with shock, but my mother was galvanized into action. She called the store, only to find that the seamstress, who, presumably, had my dress, had left the country for Brazil, or Argentina, or some such exotic and far flung location. She would not be back for weeks. A quick check confirmed that my dress was not at the store.

My mother told the store manager that she didn't care what she had to do, but she better get an effing dress to the effing church in an effing hour, or she would take out a full page ad in the Atlanta Journal Constitution chronicling our disaster at their hands.

It was the first and last time I ever heard my mother say the f word.

So, while I languished in the Pastor's study, clad only in my push up bra, lacy slip and pantyhose, my guests drank all the boxed wine and ate up all the lil smokies and mini quiches. There would be nothing left for after the ceremony, but that was the least of my worries at the time.

While I paced, well-meaning friends and relatives, seeking to soothe my frazzled nerves, brought me glass after glass of wine. Since I hadn't eaten that day due to nerves, it went straight to my head. And by the time the dress arrived, I was every bit as drunk as Husband had been the night before.

The dress was a store demo. It was the correct model, but it was heavily creased and begrimed. The store people had spot cleaned it hurriedly, but the sleeves and the hem were still filthy. The bodice sagged comically and it was far too long. I looked like a little girl playing dress up. But it was a dress and I was spared from having to walk down the aisle in my attractive and pricey but not altogether modest underclothes.

As we stood at the entry doors to the church, my father had an iron grip on my arm. I wobbled and swayed on my 3 inch satin heels and insisted that I had to use the bathroom. "No you don't." he said soothingly. "You just think you do." And with that, he took a deep breath, opened the doors, and proceeded to drag me down the aisle.

From there things proceeded pretty much as planned. I traded my Dad's arm for Husband's and I clung to him with what he at first presumed was amorous zeal. But he soon figured out I was completely snockered and holding on for dear life. He said nothing, but merely tightened his grip. We made quite a pair the two of us; he green to the gills and me flushed and stumbling.

We got through the ceremony just fine, but another disaster was lurking.

The cake, you see, simply never materialized. To this day, I don't know what happened. I think my mother does, but wisely, she forebore to explain right then, and she has not offered an explanation since. She simply directed the "wedding coordinator" to find me a cake, any cake, and be back within the hour. What I got, was a rectangular grocery store confection with orange icing, and the most hideously gaudy wedding topper I've ever had the misfortune to lay eyes on. But it was a cake.

When, finally, the ceremony had concluded, I let out a sigh of relief. I felt relaxed for the first time that day and I was ready to par-tay.

Until I realized that everyone was leaving. Then my blood began to boil. I didn't care if there wasn't anything left to drink but tap water and nothing left to eat but communion wafers...I had paid for a dj and people were going to DANCE, dammit.

My mother rounded up as many guests as she could before they made their escape and implored them to stay for just a little bit. We danced, and acted silly, and tried to forget all the mischance that had occurred. We were just as married, after all, and that was the important thing.

I swore that one day we would renew our vows in a lavish ceremony that I would plan down to the most minute detail and make sure that everything went off without a hitch. But as the years went by, it seemed less and less important. The wedding might have been an umitigated disaster, but the marriage most assuredly is not. So I'll count myself lucky and not spare a moment on regret for something that wouldn't have mattered anyway.

Two days later, we embarked on our honeymoon in Europe; first London, then Paris. And it was everything a girl could hope for. Romantic, exciting, sophisticated, carefree....sigh. When I look back, it is that time that I remember. Just the two of us, high on life and love and experiencing a great adventure.

Happy Anniversary honey.




I hope we have many more years and many more adventures together.

28 Comments:

  • At 8:46 AM, Blogger Veronica Mitchell said…

    Wow. Just wow.

    And that was a healthy thing for me to read after a stifling 90 degree night where my husband ceased to be the love of my life and became instead the fat man stealing half my bed and sweating on it. No doubt he felt the same about me. So thanks.

     
  • At 8:55 AM, Blogger jen said…

    what a perfect, perfect story. all of it.

     
  • At 8:59 AM, Blogger dawn224 said…

    It's a great story - although I'm pretty sure no one expects their wedding to be "bonding over disaster" but it's a great story :)

     
  • At 9:26 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    Happy Anniversary to a couple who can obviously make the best of any situation!

     
  • At 10:32 AM, Anonymous AA said…

    Hey, the dress looks good in the picture!

    But, girl! That is a seriously disastrous wedding story. I thought it was bad that the ring bearer puked at mine. You win.

    I had a huge, lavish wedding and reception. The marriage lasted 5 years. You win again.

     
  • At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Fantastic. I loved it all. It was dramatic and gorgeous and oozing with wonderful descriptions. You are an artist with your words. I was at your wedding, through your words, and it was fantastic. You and your DH are two very lucky people.

     
  • At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Fantastic. I loved it all. It was dramatic and gorgeous and oozing with wonderful descriptions. You are an artist with your words. I was at your wedding, through your words, and it was fantastic. You and your DH are two very lucky people.

     
  • At 11:53 AM, Blogger flutter said…

    Good lord. Good thing you two love eachother :)

     
  • At 11:56 AM, Anonymous pinks & Blues Girls said…

    Talk about fiasco after fiasco! That is seriously crazy!

    Well, the wedding was obviously a good idea. :) Happy Anniversary. Today is my nephew's 3rd birthday. Good date!

    Jane, Pinks & Blues

     
  • At 12:16 PM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    oh, that's funny. my husband always said, and I repeat it to all my friends who are planning a wedding, that as long as you're married at the end of the day it's a success. All the rest is gravy.

     
  • At 12:28 PM, Blogger Natalie said…

    Wow I can't believe you made it! Congratulations.

     
  • At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Andrea said…

    Wow, and I thought my sister's dress disaster was bad, but yours takes the gaudy wedding cake. The shop from which she bought her dress charged her twice, fought paying back the double payment, and then acted as if the mistake had been her fault all along.

    That dress in the picture doesn't look as ill-fitting as I expected from your description. And you don't look snockered.

    But you had great hair. And you're right. You're married and the solid foundation you have is the important part.

     
  • At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think every wedding has its issues, but it sounds like you hit the lottery.

    Mine was simple. My wife couldn't bring herself to leave the back room. I found out later that my FIL had to literally drag her out. Once she made it to the back of the church, everything was fine. It was simply leaving the room she couldn't do. That was 21 years ago.

     
  • At 2:32 PM, Blogger Amy York said…

    That was quite a wedding!!
    But you are right ~ you are just as married.
    When my hubby enlisted in the Army months before we'd planned, we had to do a hasty wedding at the court house on a warm October day. It wasn't what I'd planned and dreamed of and I, too, thought we'd have another ceremony later. It never happened, but it doesn't change the fact that he's the love of my life. :)

     
  • At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Organic Mama said…

    See, if THAT was the beginning, with your amazing attitude and just about the best disastrous wedding story I have heard, you guys are golden. What a great story!
    Oh, and Mazel Tov on the big day.
    My Dh and I will be at 14 years in December and our married life started out with a crazy lavish Jewish wedding where I knew only about a third of the guests, my MIL wore white and one of my bridesmaids declined to wear underwear...

     
  • At 6:01 PM, Blogger liv said…

    Dude. Just dude. That was awful if I may say so. My wedding day was not without hitches, and the exotic honeymoon in a villa in the British V*rgin Islands was more, um, rustic shall we say.

    Happy Anniversary--may you have many more happy ones!

     
  • At 7:48 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    Happy Anniversary to you both! If you could make it through all that on your wedding day alone you were obviously meant to make it for the long haul.

     
  • At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Pgoodness said…

    Happy Anniversary! Yep, after a wedding like that, you were bound to have a strong foundation! ;-) Congrats.

     
  • At 10:11 PM, Blogger slouching mom said…

    What Mrs. Chicky said.

     
  • At 11:23 PM, Blogger mrinz said…

    Happy anniversary to you both - what a day to remember.

    Coincidently it is also our wedding anniversary today (26th Sept - we are a day ahead of you here in NZ)- we have been married 37 years.

    My husband went off to work this morning, I guess he has forgotten, and I only remembered this afternoon!

     
  • At 11:32 PM, Blogger Terri said…

    This was a wonderful post. I laughed and empathized with your frustrations and remembered my own thrown together wedding that, as you said, seemed less and less important as the years went by than the marriage itself.

    My husband and I will be celebrating fifteen years in December. Yes, it does seem like yesterday we were newly weds.

    Happy anniversary!

     
  • At 7:37 AM, Anonymous heidig said…

    From the person who doesn't leave comments - this deserves a Happy Anniversary! Wow!

     
  • At 8:24 AM, Blogger Tracey said…

    Wow! What a great story, though. If you can survive a beginning like that, you were meant to be. And the picture still looks beautiful.

     
  • At 1:27 PM, Blogger Rock the Cradle said…

    You would never guess from the photo what madness ensued. And face it, the two of you made it through. You are meant for each other.

    Happy Anniversary, my friend. And here's to many more!

     
  • At 1:42 PM, Blogger Alison said…

    Happy anniversary! It sounds like you handled the disasters on your wedding day with much more grace (okay, and wine) than most brides would. Congratulations on your marriage--looking back to my wedding 10 years ago, I agree with you that the ceremony is not as important as the life you build together.

     
  • At 10:22 PM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    That is the craziest wedding story ever.

     
  • At 8:47 AM, Blogger Trenches of Mommyhood said…

    That's a wacky wedding story, for sure!
    Congrats and here's to many, many more years.

     
  • At 3:29 AM, Anonymous Kelley said…

    OK, you win. I will hand over my title for worst wedding to you happily.
    While my dress didn't fit cause I lost five kilos (too lazy to convert that to pounds, but it is a butt load, literally) between picking it up and the wedding. And every photo you can see someone with their hand behind my back holding it up...
    AT LEAST it was my dress.

    Everyone got to my wedding on time, but someone forgot to bring the music to the beach and no one would go back to the 3 story beach house that WE PAID FOR for them to have a good time to get it. SO I had to go back and get it, in my dress, while everyone waited.
    But at least I wasn't drunk, just pissed.

    Even though my wedding cake, made for me by my bridesmaids mother, was actually there..... the b!tch charged me 500 bucks for an orange and poppyseed cake that was mouldy, so no dessert.

    But the wedding day is nothing. It is what you do with the rest of the years and if beating down the urge to stab him in the head with a fork is the best that you can do, then it is a good day!

     

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