A Tale of 4 Weddings

In all honesty, I’m not a big fan of weddings.  Never have been.  If I had my way, I would have eloped.  Even my own wedding is rated “Meh” in my head.

And by wedding, I mean the actual ceremony.  My marriage (completely different) is pretty awesome.

I attended Charlotte’s wedding this weekend….her and Harry were so happy.  They are perfect for each other and the love that radiates around them and from them is not only true, but of the Lord.  It’s such a blessing to see that, to experience that.  I kept mulling over the wonder of it all because I have had the opposite feeling.  And if it’s one thing I get, it’s vibes.

The 1st wedding “nice.”  Okay, it was terrible.  When I left with a carload of friends in silence, one of them said out loud: “So, how long do you think it will last?”  An collective sigh was heard in the car.  The words everyone was thinking were said out in the open.  “3 years.”  “5 months”  “8 weeks.”  The correct answer came out to be 2.5 years, after much drama (I was barred from speaking to them, I was a threat!) and children.  Luckily, the less stable one made some pretty serious errors of judgement and the more stable parent got full custody once the divorce was finalized.  I understand the kids are thriving in a new marriage relationship that is not only grounded, but loving.  I no longer have any real contact with either spouse: one I miss dearly; the other, well, if we see each other again it will be too soon.

The 2nd wedding I had an up close and personal seat to the relationship.  It was rocky at best.  The fights.  The tears.  The driving half way across the state to break up only to make up and become stronger.  It was such a 1 sided relationship – I didn’t like it.  I stated my feelings, but as I was in a non-committed/messed up relationship at the time, and I was pot calling the kettle black.  By the by, a ring came, and a year later, a wedding.  The wedding was a good party and I remember having a good time.  As I walked to my car, alone, I had a feeling it wasn’t going to work.  When a couple struggles in a dating relationship on a regular basis, I didn’t think marriage would fix anything.  Nonetheless, I figured they’d have divorced before their 5th anniversary.  I was wrong.  They’re closing in on year 10 – or is it 11 now? – with a few kids living the American dream in the suburbs.  They’re both really happy.  I know they’ve had their struggles, some serious ones, but they overcame them.  How?  I don’t know.  I can only assume it was persistence.  The wife and I talk….but not deep like we used to. It’s life, as the French say.   We’re in different worlds.

The 3rd wedding was the real humdinger.  I got some seriously bad vibes about the whole thing: it’s a bad match of personalities.  It was like serving tomatoes covered in chocolate – 2 things in and of themselves that can be good, just not together.  On the other hand, who I am to say that chocolate covered tomatoes are bad?  I certainly wouldn’t eat that, but I’m sure it strikes someone’s fancy.  The date I brought to this wedding echoed my same sentiment, which made me feel worse – it wasn’t just me making this stuff up in my head.  I’ve heard through the grapevine how things are with them currently – they’re still together with no kids yet and it’s not a healthy union.  “They’ll work it out,” I was told.  I would never want to see a marriage go down in a blaze of glory, but if this couple did separate, I would not be shocked.  My contact with them is minimal at best, and honestly, unless there is outright abuse (which is not the case), the inter-workings of their marriage is none of my concern.  As the minister said, speak now or forever hold your peace.  My silence remains.

So there I was, at Charlotte’s wedding, seated next to my husband and we were both freezing (it was a windy, cold, beach wedding and I thought a strapless number was a good idea).  I couldn’t have been happier.  These 3 past weddings kept rolling around in my head and I knew this one was the exact opposite of those.  This wedding made my heart sing.

I whispered to The General the same thing I whisper at all wedding since ours: “I hope they’re as happy as we are.”

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The Louisville Affair

I have something to confess.  I have a crush.

His name is Louisville.  He lives in Kentucky.

Granted, this wasn’t my 1st time meeting him.  I’ve met up with him (as friends) over a few weekends many years back when I was single.  There wasn’t a spark, it just was a nice common meeting.  This, however, was the 1st time I saw him as a married woman, and I must say I never noticed how handsome he was.  It was always dark when I saw him before….this time, in the fresh morning light of late August, he all of a sudden became interesting.

Louisville was a sweet man.  He smiled at me.  He played the most awesome songs on the radio (you know you’re with Louisville when you’re blasting “Lose Yourself” by Eminem in your newly rented Chevy Alero with the speakers phasing out).  He made me feel beautiful.  And best of all, he made me laugh.

“You see that exit there?” he drawls as I zoom by.
“Uh-huh.”
“You totally wanted that exit.  Your hotel is just down the street from that.”
“Whoa, crap!” I said.  “I’ll just turn around at the next exit.”
Louisville starts to laugh. “Dude, there is no turning around.  We’re going to INDIANA!”
“Oh, but I hate Indiana!”
Louisville smiled as we cross the Ohio River.  “Trust me.  I know where this road goes.”

And sure enough, 10 miles into Indiana, I turn around.  I found a Steak n Shake, so we stopped in for a quick breakfast and a milkshake.  As Lousville and I return to Kentucky, I dropped him off so I could spend some time with Alice – my friend from college.  Hanging out with Alice is always an adventure and this time proved no different.  Adventures for the day included crazy conversations, bakery runs, a solo Wal-Mart run for the most random items ever, and prepping the church for the wedding.  Because their janitor was a moron, he didn’t clean the floor properly.  And by properly, I mean at all.  So, I volunteered to mop the floor.  I haven’t mopped a floor like that since I was in high school, but it all came back to me rather quickly.

From there, I headed back downtown to this swanky joint to meet up with Louisville again before my friend/roommate Lydia would be joining me.  I changed into a sexy black dress and took some pictures with him (I totally showed them to my husband, too.  He didn’t seem to mind.).  There was a world festival going on right next to my hotel, so Louisville and I checked it out.  It made my heart so happy to walk hand-in-hand with Louisville, wandering from booth to booth with no plans or sense of direction.  He rolled his eyes when I commented that Germany was not represented outside of the beer tent.  Getting hungry, we decided to walk down 4th Street to where the action was.  We found a cute English pub that claimed to serve authentic English food.  It was so good, I still think about the Welsh sandwich I had on a pretzel bun.  Perfection.  We both ordered martinis and toasted the evening.  After being awake for so long, I needed to rest before heading out for the batchelorette festivities – which included this non-alcoholic sangria made by yours truly.  It rivals the real deal.

After some careful persuading (“Louisville, I’m married, you can’t come up to my hotel room.  Seriously.”), I agreed to meet him at the hotel gym early in the morning.  I snuck out before Lydia was awake.  While the view was breathtaking (it was on top of the hotel, some 18 stories up), it cost $5.  I told him I wasn’t going to pay that to run on a treadmill.  He winked at me.  “Pool?”  With my string bikini on under my gym outfit, we went to the pool.  It was closed for another 40 minutes.  “I’m not going to wait around, time is short,” I told him, as I had plans to straighten my hair for the wedding.  “Follow me,” he whispered in my ear as he lead the way.

I followed him outside.  “Where are we going?” I asked.
“Downtown,” he replied.  “You said earlier you wanted to explore the city a bit more, so let’s do it.  C’mon.”

Without a second thought, I took off in a steady jog, heading west on Main Street.  It was awesome.  I wished Wilmington had the money/foresight to fix up our downtown as well as this one was.  As I was running, Louisville started laughing at me.

“What?”
“You just ran over an on-ramp to I-65 and you didn’t even look behind you.”
“I did?”  Sure enough, he was right.
“You’re in the city now, gotta watch yourself.  Stop daydreaming.”

We wove down Market Street when the terrain turned into the industrial side of downtown.  So many restaurants here I wanted to try – so many drinks that have not been drunk.  I suddenly wished The General could materialize and enjoy this gorgeous city with me.  I felt almost guilty for having this awesome adventure and he wasn’t here to experience it with me.  Louisville and I jogged until the terrain changed and the people looked a less bit friendly.  We headed back to the hotel.  “I’ll catch you later, ” Louisville said with a quick peck on the cheek as he took off down the street.  I sighed a happy sigh.   This guy was getting under my skin.

The day of the wedding was perfect – so perfect, I really didn’t even notice the rain.  Alice and her groom were wonderful together.  Their ceremony rivaled my own (I liked her wedding more than my own!).  I was so happy to be a part of it!  That night, I spent the evening catching up with old friends and making new ones.  Louisville was in the lobby.  “I love how the lights of downtown dance in your eyes,” he said sweetly.  “Louisville,” I said sternly.  “You can’t come up,  I can’t go out on the town with you. Lydia and the girls are up there. And oh yeah, I’M MARRIED!”

Despite the fact I got next to no sleep in this city, Lydia and I awoke at the crack of dawn to drop her off at her car and for me to head to the airport.  I was a little sad I didn’t get to say good-bye to Louisville.  I arrived in the terminal (by using the kiosk in German, I was so proud of myself), and there he was, handsomely dressed with a big smile on his face.  I gave him a big hug.

“I sure am going to miss you,” I said.  “I didn’t expect this to happen, but it was so wonderful, and – ”
He cut me off.  “Shhhh, it’s okay.  I’ve been here a long, long time and you’ll be back.  And I’d love to meet your husband.”
“He’s totally coming next time.”
Louisville nodded.  “Until then.”
One last hug, and he was gone.  By this time they had announced my boarding zone.

And just like that, Louisville was gone.  I smiled at the city below as we reached our cruising altitude.  Oh, Louisville!  I look forward to our next liaison.

The royal couple stole my wedding idea!

Let me 1st start off by saying I don’t like weddings.  I regret not eloping on a beach with just The General and me and 2 random people to sign as witnesses.

Anyway, despite this fact, I got up at 0600 to watch William & Kate’s wedding.  Why?  Well, 2 reasons: sheer curiosity and it was in London that I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life with my General. Also, for the last big royal wedding I had my view obstructed by an abdominal wall:  I spent Summer 1981 vacationing in the womb (great warm weather, excellent food and room service!).

So here are how they stole my wedding ideas:

  • I, too, was married on a weekday – a Thursday at 1300.  Odd?  Yeah, I’m just that crazy.
  • I used an Angelican ceremony format and edited it to make it my own.  It’s so poetic and it flows beautifully.  It held that London connection for me, too. And we’re non-denom. Well, the General is a disenfranchised Catholic that’s another story.
  • My sister was my “attendant” — I did not have a wedding party.  I didn’t feel the need to torture my friends with shoes and dresses and make them fly half way across the country for a 30 minute ceremony.  It seemed mean.
  • English composers populated my wedding (in sound, not body): Lawrence Juber played selections from Wings and The Beatles on a 6 string classical guitar.  Rachmaninoff wrote my processional.
Okay, so maybe they didn’t completely do there’s like mine (totally rocked a French bustle; American ones make me cringe).  I had 40 people, not 1200.  The mansion we were married in was built exactly 100 years before we met, not 1000.  I didn’t have any wedding showers or luncheons or portraits or souvenirs made in our honor.  They didn’t shut down Wilmington and it wasn’t projected onto a big screen for all to see.  In fact, none of my Dad’s 6 other brothers or sisters came.  And most of all, I don’t think I was a trend setter by any means!  Here’s a glimpse of my dress.  It’s about as much as you will ever see of me in a picture.  Trust me, this is my better side.