Today is the 34th anniversary of my first wedding day. Break out the champagne! I can’t remember where I’ve parked or my whether my best friend has pierced ears, but this I remember.
I was just 22. He was 21 but would turn 22 the next day, so you don’t think I robbed the cradle (I waited for marriage #2 to do that). We had dated since my senior year, his junior, of high school and by the time we stood in front of the Justice of the Peace in that park in Abilene, Texas and said “I do,” we both had an inkling that we should run away screaming instead. There were so many signs.
I’d wanted a big wedding; he didn’t want to spend any money, so instead we attended his best friend’s big church wedding earlier that day and then headed out to a local park to get hitched. I guess he figured I got to be part of a big wedding on my wedding day, so I should be happy. I do not advise any grooms to attempt this approach–your bride will definitely remember it and hold it over you for a very long time.
I wore a dress that I bought for the occasion but with the idea that I could also wear it to work. It was the color of the sky that cloudy afternoon. Instead of a bouquet, I wore some dead flowers in my hair that I had saved from a Renaissance Fair in summer. Not to mention that I was still recovering from surgery to repair a deviated septum and my usually pasty face was highlighted by two not-quite invisible black eyes. Needless to say, I was a stunning bride!
Oh, a lets not forget the ring. It was tiny and lovely. I would know because I bought it for myself.
I was young and didn’t know now what I know then — if it scares the holy tar out of you, you shouldn’t oughtta marry it. That we managed to stay together for 10 years was primarily because I took up marathon running and was usually 13.1 miles away from home.
In honor of that anniversary, I will celebrate today not by drinking (I’m a cheap drink and would let me have my way with myself), but by paying homage to how much I have learned since then and I would never make a mistake like that again. I’d at least buy a new dress and fresh flowers. Wait, I mean, I would wear comfortable shoes so I could
run away screaming if the occasion called for it.