Husband and I were married eight years ago yesterday. And though I do feel it romantic and sweet to have been married on Valentine's Day, I also like the practicality of knocking out two holidays with one stone. Ha! AND I don't have to say that valentine's is a commercial farce. I can receive over-priced flowers and over-sized mushy cards guilt-free! Because it's my anniversary. For real, I'm always thinking.
We were married in Vegas. Another practical decision because instead of blowing money we didn't have on a traditional wedding, we decided to spend the money on flying our parents out, putting them up in hotels and taking them to a Cirque du Soliel show. YAH! We also knew that our east coast friends would fly out to play in Vegas -- oh and go to a wedding -- but maybe not simply fly to California for our love union. Me? Always thinking.
My wedding dress was a $30 tea-length salmon-colored halter that I bought from a place called Fashion Time! The material was highly flammable, I'm sure. I bought $250 light peach damask shoes to match because trying to find wedding shoes that go with the color salmon is a biatch. I called a Vegas florist in advance to whip me up a sunflower bouquet and to make mini sunflower boutonnieres for Husband and his father who served as best man. The day of the wedding, with Husband's parents and two-year Maya in tow, we took a cab and picked up the tuxes and flower arrangements. The wedding was at 5pm and our timing was smooth, man. Until my mother-in-law realized that she had left her pocketbook in the cab just as it drove away. Husband BOOKED after the cab, tux in hand, and really nearly caught up to it. He returned dejected and exhausted, rattling plans of to call the cab company, until he realized the pants of his tux were gone. Gone. A victim of the cab sprint. I remember looking at my watch in a very Virgo way and thinking, uh, I'm sure this is gonna be funny someday, but huh huh, FIND YOUR FUCKING PANTS. He traced every step and found no tux pants. So, back in the cab we went to the tux shop and they were more than understanding. Didn't even charge us.
My mother and a few of our friends were coming in on flights hours before the wedding. Until a rain storm hit. I was to get ready in our room and husband was getting ready in his parents'. I had taken my time because I knew my mother would be coming hours before to help me watch Maya. So, I fucked around. Well, not fucked around exactly but I was working on a new short story that I was completely engrossed by so as Maya napped and as I was supposed to be getting ready leisurely, I sat on the cool bathroom tiles wearing only a white bustier and stockings and edited my story. Until I realized my mother was late. Way late because of the rain storm. Then Maya awoke groggy and pissy and I realized I had only 20 minutes to get ready. FUCK. So I drank more coffee - dumb! and tried to get my make up right - UG - and tried to pull up my hair all elegant-like in the ever-classy banana clip. I put on my $30 polyester dress and my fabulous $250 shoes and then dressed Maya who was like STOP PUSHING ME WOMAN, and I wrestled on her adorable yellow dress and lacey socks and the cutest periwinkle sandals, and I combed knots out of her hair, and re-bananaclipped my stupid hair until I was ready to go down to the hotel chapel. And then my mother arrived.
I walked myself down the chapel aisle under the largest crystal chandelier I had ever seen. Husband and the preacher waited for me under a white lattice arc about, oh, 5 miles away. My mind was blanked by nerves and I just really wanted to jog up there and have the preacher speed yadi yadi through the service so we could just be married already. All of the sudden, I didn't want any of these “guests” there. I just wanted to be with my man. It was like these people were imposing on our moment. I arrived at the white arc, finally, and we held hands and I had decided to not listen to the preacher and whatever cookiecutter speech he had planned, and I would just look at Husband until the deal was sealed. But the damn preacher said some really beautiful things about love. Things that pierced me with its personalness; things so beautiful that I turned my head away from Husband to look at the preacher's face. And he meant what he was saying. The words swam between the three of us only, encapsulated us, and when I looked back at Husband, his chin was shaking. At this point I wasn't sure if I'd make it through the ceremony without collapsing under a chair to weep at my fortune.
After the ceremony and after dinner, we went to the Cirque du Soliel show. As the theater dimmed and as the the dream-like music sounded, I felt acutely aware that I was freshly married. I fiddled my thumb against the back of my shiny band and I took deep breaths of a new lucky life. I wanted to stretch that exact moment over holes of the past and seal them off forever. Husband and I caught each other's glassy-eyed glances in the dark and we squeezed hands tightly. When feathered dancers came on stage, we leaned in and connected lips that fit together like the last missing pieces of a complicated puzzle. High above us the acrobats soared to and fro in exhilarating swings that mirrored the exact leaps my heart took that Valentine's in Vegas.