Tuesday, June 26, 2007

If I knew then what I know now...ah, screw it, I still would have messed up...

(BTW, the bride on the left is not me, but it might has well have been. Read on...)

I just realized that had life taken a different turn for me and if my first husband had NOT left me, I would have been married for 15 years.

How weird is that?

June 27 would have been my 15-year wedding anniversary. I would have qualified for crystal, glass or watches. As it is, I only qualified for linen/silk (four years) or cotton/china tableware (two years). Hey...if I add 'em up, I COULD get candy or IRON (six year present)! Yeah...nothin' says "Love ya babe" like some iron.

I was an early '90s bride all the way, too. I got engaged in 1990 and started planning that summer because I wanted a June wedding. Life threw a curve ball that autumn when Husband #1 (hereafter called MW for brevity's sake) was called up to serve with his reserve unit in Desert Storm. That time period was so strange...I was so screwed up.

I was frightened about his safety while in the Middle East.

There was also immaturity of my own, PLUS loneliness and uncertainty about the future

OH...let's see...there was also the fact that my sister got engaged after me and I was very jealous of the attention paid to her.

There was also the fact that I was kind of doubtful about whether or not I should get married in the first place. However, I rationalized it by constantly reminding myself, "Hey, at least he WANTS you..." (not a healthy mindset, BTW)

I also wasn't all-the-way-over the previous boyfriend, EW (he dumped me because his mother said he should be his own person). It was always a joyous occasion to see him on campus with his new girlfriend, acting the same way around her that he did around me. Yeah, rip my heart out, schmuck-o. Stomp on it with golf shoes too, why don't ya?

And did I mention the fears of NOT having any marketable skills for the job world? Yep...that too.

So YEAH...I guess you could say that whole "getting married and being a grownup" thing scared the pants off me.

There were some girly-fun parts, to be sure...for example, bridal showers. I must say, other than the dippy games you almost have to play at those shindigs, you do rake in the loot. I had three showers hosted for me...two miscellaneous ones and a specific (bathroom) one. Lots of towels, lots of kitchen stuff, lots of stuff PERIOD.

My dress was beautiful too. It was long-sleeved, off the shoulder, satin brocade in a very pale pink. I wore a pretty veil with little ceramic flowers hanging off of it as well as seed pearls (Ruthi and I shared a veil since our weddings were so close together). I even had matching shoes! (Go me...)

The music was nice. Two of my former music teachers performed, and my cousin Mike from South Carolina played jazz piano prelude music. The songs weren't typical...that was one area of the wedding I didn't let MW TOUCH.

Many of my college friends were there, as well as a few high school ones. The families were getting along back then, so there were good parts to the day.

There were strange parts too:

  • MW's aunt Kathy did my hair and makeup, and she nicknamed the hairspray she used "liquid cement". She wasn't wrong. I had to shampoo my hair out three times to get it all removed.
  • I got totally LOADED the night before I got married. And of course, in a small town, you also wind up running into most everyone you know. (BTW, this does include the county attorney.) Small town life also requires that word of your inebriation passes through the denizens like shit through a goose. So when you're picking up something the next day and someone comes up to you asking "SO HOW'S YOUR HANGOVER???", this is simply part of the process.
  • One of my musicians (Mike J., former voice coach) actually showed up more or less on time. This should have been documented or something, as he's famous for showing up two minutes before the ceremony...but hey...I was busy.
  • My mom felt that I was not pulling my pantyhose up correctly, so in her great haste she YANKED 'em up and ripped great big holes in each leg. Thank god I brought extra hose...I banished her from the dressing room for a little while after that.
The ceremony went by in a blur. MW and I released the guests from their pews because we figured that'd be the only time we'd get to say hello to them. We had the dinner, the dance, etc.

But the next day I felt so...LOST. MW and I had breakfast with a couple of our friends from college, we picked up all our presents, and then unwrapped them. That alone took a few hours.

Once that was done, I remember thinking, "Now what?" I also remember feeling like I had to get back home to Mom & Dad's so I wouldn't miss curfew. It was so disjointed and empty. Our phone wasn't even working yet, so we had to hoof it over to Mom & Dad's shop to use the shop phone.

So when I think of my first wedding day, I usually do so with a mixed bag of feelings. It was happy, it was sad, it was scary...and now...it's over.

I really don't miss MW either. I just wish I'd had the courage to say "No" to a bad idea back then...who knows where I'd be now if I had?