anniversary

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Take The Money And Run

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Wedding Toes

 

IZ and I marked 23 years of marriage on Sunday. Because it was also Father’s Day we are celebrating later this month. Though, that didn’t stop him from surprising me with flowers and a card. He’s a romantic. Was then, is now.

But the date has me in a reflective mood. And then a friend posted a link to this article on facebook today, ” Scrap the Satin and the Tulle: Why Your Wedding is Probably NOT Going to Be the Best Day of Your Life.”  I found myself nodding along with most of it. Most of it. Because, unlike the author and her premise, I didn’t have any notions that my wedding day would be the best day of my life.

I didn’t even want a wedding.

What started as a tiny little service at City hall, and then turned into a simple garden wedding at a friend’s home, finally morphed into 200+ invitations to our “closest” friends for a ceremony held in possibly the least attractive  church around.

(The downside of warehouse churches: they don’t make for pretty pictures. The upside: they will hold the masses and keep people without an invitation from “peering through the windows” because there is room for everyone to get an invitation! Seriously, this is not vanity. I was told that if I went ahead with my “tiny little family wedding” that members of our church would show up to watch through the windows. I don’t think they were kidding.)

I would have been happy on the beach, exchanging our vows with just each other maybe a friend or two? Or if family HAD to be included, then no cameras and lots of flowers and just those people directly related to us. IZ was not convinced, “Define directly related to us. . . ”  Heart sink.

We planned for 16 months. In part because we were only 19 when we got engaged and there were certain parental forces who were SURE it was just a passing notion. A long engagement was probably seen as a fool proof way of making sure we didn’t stumble into a mistake. A good idea, though I resented it at the time. I’ve seen our pictures from that year. We were children! However,  I took it as a challenge and found myself a quintessential bride walking down an aisle in June. JUNE, for crying out loud: could I have been a bigger  cliche?

I rebelled in my own way. My bridesmaids wore black and sliver. That’s not a big deal now, but in 1990 in our small town it arched a few brows. I resisted every tradition I could find. We walked to “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” and “Variations on a Theme by Handel”.  I didn’t carry roses. I didn’t wear white.

We planned, but it wasn’t the wedding I wanted. It was the wedding everyone else needed. Was I a bridezilla? I don’t think so, but I’m pretty sure I have family members who would disagree!! Did mothers run amok and mother-in-laws create chaos? Check and check. Did we have an inept premarital councilor? Uh huh. But I wasn’t disappointed because I expected this to be the best day of my life. My inner 3 year old just didn’t want to BE there.

At some point in the process, a certain skeptical parent realized I wasn’t giving in about the whole getting married thing and made an offer that made utter sense to me: “Instead of spending the money, you could take the money and run.” He was offering to let me elope.

Now, we did not spend $45,000 on our wedding. I think even that amount would have made my romantic IZ (who desperately wanted a wedding. He cries at Disney movies too. We mock him mercilessly.) think twice. But the 2 grand my father was willing to pony up didn’t even make him pause.

“Are you sure? We could take a lovely holiday with that money. . . or pay rent for 4 months!”

Blink Blink.

In fact, I think that might have been the first time he “blinked blinked” me. I should have known then, this would become his “holding” pattern when he is set on doing something and in no mood to discuss it.

So, we had a wedding.  I walked down the aisle. He fought tears and blushed. I consented to smiling for photos and not complaining about my picture being taken. He stepped on my veil all afternoon. But he also never left my side, holding my hand through all the extroverted exchanges I’m rubbish at. And he smiled. Constantly. In every photo he is the picture of joy unleashed on the world.

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See!

Was it the best day of my life? No. But then, I’m probably not the person you should be asking.

We’re moving closer to 25 years. He asked me last year, “Do you want to renew our vows on our 25th wedding anniversary? Have the wedding you wanted?” I have considered it. I started a pinterest board for the event. I’ve contemplated everything I would do differently: a better photographer, less pomp more party, flowers everywhere. It’s a beautiful vision. A beautiful wedding. A do-over?

Or.

We could just take the money and run.

 

The Good, The Beautiful, The Bliss

This photo was taken for a photo tour of my house a few years back. But I go back to it often, because it sums us up. On the porch, having tea, together. 


In a few short days (Saturday) IZ and I will celebrate 22 years together. Married.  We don’t count those years before because that number is getting ridiculously large!

Wedded bliss? Um, sometimes.

Wedded strife? Um, sometimes.

Mostly, it’s two people committed to striving together. And that in itself, is a beautiful thing.

It’s the nature of marriages, any marriage. You bump into things you weren’t expecting. Life hands you lemons. You make lemonade or margaritas. You squabble. You row. You fight. You endeavor toward intimacy. And it’s not always pretty.

But I choose to write about the good. The beautiful. The bliss. And I will continue to do so, despite the recent impulse of the  blogosphere to bare its soul. While I applaud the willingness of bloggers to get real and share the hard stuff. To forsake, if only for a few moments, the urge to “pretty it up” and make it seem presentable. When it comes to my marriage, I blog the beauty.

I’ll show you my laundry. And the works in progress. And weeds in the yard along with the before pictures and the posts about failed recipes. I’ll tell you that I struggle with my weight and staying on task and being charitable to neighbors who kill my roses.

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Twenty-one: It’s Still Magic

On our 21st Anniversary — June 16, 2011 — Astoria Oregon.

Hello ~ Welcome to Evidently

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