Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

I debated about posting this, but heck. It's my bloggy I can cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to...

Well, actually, I'm not crying. But it is sad.

A while back some bloggers participated in reminiscing about their wedding days. There were funny stories, some great photos, and touching moments of love that lasted. It's no secret out there that ours (the marriage, the love - if there ever was any) didn't last. And one of the things that pisses me off about that? I had a GREAT wedding. Perfect. Truly. Yep it was August 6, 1988. Twenty Years Ago today.

These are my awesome parents who threw us the most perfect day. I was mom's 4th wedding, so she was pretty experienced by the time it was my turn. Thank GOD! I don't remember fighting about anything. She got a little upset at the price of the dress, but it was actually the deal of the century. Turned out to be a verrrry popular dress - they attended 3 weddings that year, including mine, where the bride had chosen this exact dress (including my future sister-in-law and oh that's a story all by itself....what a near disaster). She was so cool about everything - knew when to book what how and when. I just went along saying, 'Ok, OK" I had a few demands: the cake needed to have whipped cream icing, even in 100 degrees I didn't care. (I never did get a piece of that damned cake, except for the one we shoved in each other's faces). The bridesmaid dresses had to be blue, but I let them choose from about 20 dresses I had pulled out. (they still looked like ridiculous bridesmaids. Sorry sisters. And no I don't have a photo scanned and I have long since forgotten how to use my scanner....). I'm sure my Mom would remember more things I was picky about. But other than the dress, the cake and the blue, I don't remember much. She was da' bomb. (still is!)

The wedding coordinator called us "The Perfect Match." The Catholic church let us off the marriage encounter weekend in part because we scored near perfectly on the "compatibility test." i.e. we answered almost every question identically. After the reception and for a time after, The Country Club referred to our party as the "Smith-Jones Blowout" [duh names changed here to protect the innocent - and the guilty....]

I was so happy. And so young. I remember the photographer trying to take a "serious" photo - one where I was contemplating life and looking out the window. I couldn't do it. The smile just wouldn't leave my face.

Sunny day - a little hot, but I like hot. Aunts and Uncles from far away came to join us, along with some awesome cousins. I had tables of college friends. Ex's college friends and his family made the 350+ mile drive to come to my hometown for the wedding. [back in the day people didn't have "location" weddings. You got married where you lived. Or at least my family did]

We did the big-ass church wedding. I opted for my oldest brother's church across town b/c it was 100 years old and completely spectacular. Plus Father Gene was so cool. He let me play "here comes the bride" even though most Catholic churchs say no - b/c Ex wasn't Catholic and I told him music was important to his religion. I lied to a Priest, That was a stretch, but hey I got to play it. Yes, we got to play "contemporary" Christian music, too. My other musical brother did all the singing. Ave Maria (he kills me with that one - and sang a few other weddings after mine when the folks heard him!), the Wedding Song, and of course he wrote me a song that makes me cry every time I hear it, which, gee, just thinking of it now I'm blubbering like an idiot. "All Grown Up and Movin' away. You're not the little girl of yesterday...."

After the church we went on to the reception where it turned into a "guests vs. bridal party" show down. It started with the First Dance: The band played "Weekend in New England" (I lived there, he drove up on weekends from mid-atlantic to see me....) and while we danced, they made a circle and were doing funny head bobbing and swaying in the background. Funny. (I didn't know until I saw the video my brother-in-law did for us). It turned into war. The guests sang a song and did a routine, the bridal party sang a song a did a routine. We danced, we hooted, we (much to the mortification of my Mother who was trying to show the new Southern In-laws that we were all proper-like) danced on the tables and did the worm. Oh yes we did.

Then they decorated our car with so much stuff and put dried beans and fake spiders in all our luggage and rice everywhere and we drove off to the perfect first night. Then we got up and went off on the perfect honeymoon.

The name "Reggae" for the dog in the Memory Monday below? Because we won a Reggae dance contest on our honeymoon - we were the King n Queen mon - and we got the dog right after returning from our honeymoon.

Really, we did.

And when the girls in the office this summer were all talking about their weddings - seems to be have a wedding summer here - I remembered my wedding day. It was so perfect. SO Fun. And it pisses me off. Maybe some day I will remember this day without being mad.

Until then, I went out and bought myself 2 dozen pink roses, which I ended up getting free when the grocery lady rang up the wrong price (store policy means I got them free). And my parents sent me the most thoughtful, caring card because they are just like that. And I'm going out tonight with a client who happens to be in town and he happens to be one of the most outrageously funny guys (very happily married - I'm pretty sure, from the photos and the stories, I'd like his wife even better than I like him if I could meet her) so I know we will have a great time. And this morning when I was watering my new front lawn that I planted all by myself and Ex drove by with his windows down and pretended not to see me even though I waved and said Hi and all that, I just shook my head. And was glad that even though it was a perfect day for the 'perfect couple' 20 years ago, I know that today I am where I should be...


JO said...

With love to you on a difficult day. Happy 20th Anniversary of some great memories oh so long ago cousin.

suz said...

Wow. Good memories. yes, I would be pissed too.
your parents are a gem, how great that they remember this day too.
I think it may be the step sister got married on this day in 1989. Ended up not being such a great match either. He turned into a dick wad also.

Kalynne Pudner said...

I think the free roses were a hug from God. Even though you lied to the priest -- hey, so did Ex, on a much more important point, no?

joe said...

I still remember that day and being a participant in the "war" between the bridal party and college friends. Sorry that the 20th anniversary doesn't have the magic we all hoped for...I do have to say though that wearing that gown with the puffy sleeves in the month of August must have been tough...hang in there, d-day is almost here.

Alice said...

*many hugs*

: )

just jamie said...

Glad you shared your story, despite the change of plans. Even more glad you ended up exactly where you want to be.

Amy said...

Always remind yourself that everything happens for a reason - even if you don't know what the reason is....

Carol P. said...

Thanks for sharing your wedding with us! Your family throws a heck of a party! I was always sorry to have missed your wedding, in that half-year of weddings (DH's cousin got married next, then JO got married, then my gMIL -- that was a quickie that we didn't attend either, though it lasted 15+ years 'til she passed away in her late 90s -- then DH's brother, finishing up with DH and I on Jan 1). I didn't have enough vacation then to travel back and forth from CA.

I'm glad you feel that you are where you belong at this moment! Hang in there and I hope that each day and each year gets better and better.

Katy said...

20 years...that had to have hit you like a ton of bricks. Don't blame you a bit for being angry, I'd be foaming at the mouth and incoherent so you're doing great!

Try to think of it this way - maybe now or later when you're a little less angry - it's the beginning of another 20 years that are going to be amazing and fabulous for YOU. And have a drink or four, that'll help today!

myra said...

This is an amazing post - love the photos you shared. You were a gorgeous bride. It's ok to be angry. You deserve the time to mourn. I know it wasn't supposed to be this way, but you know what? You're a successful woman who can take care of herself. I'm impressed. You should be too. I'm sending a virtual hug and a glass of chardonnay. Hugs to you my friend.

laurie said...

ah, the pictures are lovely. and you do look happy!

nothing that happened afterward can change that, or should change your memories.

and i agree, you clearly are where you should be.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

But still... you rocked that dress!

Brock said...

Twenty years ago huh?

That means that 20 years ago I was driving a beat up SAAB that my brother gave to me as a present (he paid $50 for it). Anyway I was very happy about the car - because I drove it down to your wedding. Of course the car broke down 20 feet off the Mass Pike in the dark.
The best part is that, after I told the tow truck driver my story, he let me crash at his place til the shop opened in the morning. A fixed alternator later and off the the shin-dig.

(I'm kidding of course - the Best Part is that I made it to your wedding ;-)

p.s. You looked sooooo much better than those pictures let on. Not even close - Trust me.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I love that you bought yourself roses! And see, you were meant to have them! God gave them to you for free!

It sounds like a great wedding. I'm really sorry the rest of it didn't turn out better. But it looks like you got two great kids out of it, so yey for that!

I love your parents and I don't even know them!
PS It's nice to meet you:)

Paranoid said...

It's got to be a little weird looking back on the day knowing how "happily ever after" worked out. But still, I'm glad your wedding was wonderful. No matter what's happened (or what will happen) between you and the Ex, you will always have that. You were happy, you were in love, and that's gotta be worth something, right?

BTW, your daughter looks exactly like you did back then. It's actually really uncanny.

dkuroiwa said...

For such a sad and sucky deal, this really was a great post! That dress was so pretty...but those sleeves....can you say "puffy"?:-D
The pictures were were such a pretty bride...and looked so happy.
Think of how many people in the world never get to feel even part of all that happiness. Sure, it didn't end up like you thought...but really...20 years later...don't you feel as if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing?
Sometimes you really do have to go through hell to get to the good stuff!!!