For those who struggled with math as I did, that date was four years ago. Wow. And it was a day very like this although, fortunately, today isn't as humid as August 17, 2008 was.
On that morning, I awoke to the alarm at 5:00 a.m. Yes, it was a Sunday and crazy early to get up, BUT it was also my (ok, OUR) wedding day. However, as I tried to arise, I was weighed down by the oppressive humidity that morning. 'Swell,' I remember thinking, 'great day to be indoors.'
I remember struggling with my hair that morning for a number of reasons, the first being the poorly- executed haircut I sported before I let Jasmin take over and make my hair fabulous. The second, and probably more critical, was that my hair doesn't like humidity; it gets fuzzy. Is this one of those great benefits of post-menopause or just evolving hair? The answer is still elusive. In any event, plans called for us to meet kids/siblings at the venue for our wedding reception, the site of our first date and the restaurant in which Art tried to proppse to me, Vino Paradiso. The limo was waiting and all, I think the final headcount was 15, piled in for the drive to Cana's Feast Winery in beautiful downtown Carlton.
It was a beautiful time. The cleric we'd hired to do the deed wore three hats: he performed the legal function, he played the guitar AND he sang. Lots of bang for the buck. Really. Better still, he sang well.
Art and I stood - ok, our cleric did too - in the searing heat during the 7 minutes, 23 seconds it took to get hitched. Yes, yes, I know the others were in the sunshine too, but, YIKES! I was wearing taffeta and at the insistence of the designer of my dress, shapeware. Hot, hot, hot. We held hands as we exchanged vows and made promises which was probably a good thing; it kept me from swatting at the fly checking out my now-fuzzy hair, but the fly also distracted me from the rivulets of sweat trickling down my back. (Not very lady like, but there you have it.)
The caterer at Cana's Feast had been a bit freaked out earlier in the week at the ever-increasing head count for our wedding lunch. I'd thought, maybe 10, but the final number came in at 22. (Who were those people? Did I know them?)
Married and fed, we returned to VP for the reception which, I think was slated to start at 2:00 p.m. (If I'm wrong and anybody's reading this, will you let me know what the correct time was?) Within an hour I was begging Tom, the manager at VP, to please, please, puh-leeze turn up the air. He sighed and explained to me the venue was rated for 65 people. Last time he began counting, he said, he got to 200, was scared, so stopped counting. He suggested we ask people to leave. (Really? "Great to have you all come eat and drink on our dime, but you've been here 45 minutes already. Time for the second shift. Thanks for coming.") I couldn't see that happening, but we did manage to move the party out to the sidewalk, which was wonderful. Hot and humid but wonderful.
Art was bowled over by the appearance of his sister, brother-in-law and his mother. They'd told him they wouldn't be able to make it, but had arranged with me to surprise him. As I type these words and recall Art's expression, four years later, I'm crying again at the wonderfully generous gesture my now-brother-in-law made.
Speaking of generous brother-in-law, after hours and hours of half-glasses of champagne/half-eaten plates of food/cake icing that slid down Art's neck/cake that fell into my decollete, it was finally time to go. (gee, it sounds as if I didn't enjoy it. But I absolutely did. It was the best party we/I've ever had. It was just a very long, highly emotional day.) Nasser and Debbie, my new brother-and sister-in-law explained they'd made dinner reservations for all the family/stragglers remaining. (Very gracious, Nasser, but what I really want to do is take off my shoes and this bloody 'shapewear' and slid into the rooftop hot tub in our suite at the Vintage Plaza.) But, to dinner we went. It WAS lovely, but then, since Art, most of life has been lovely. (Note, I said 'most.' I'm difficult to live with, remember?)
Four years later, we've seen so many changes. Wonderful changes, exciting changes and some not-so-exciting changes. We've seen the birth of two beautiful granddaughters. We've watched Conor grow from his six-month old infant self into a handsome (he says he's cute) super smart, curious, active boy. Financially 'fat' times and financially 'skinny' times. (Trust me, in this, fat is better. Just sayin'.) I watch each day for whatever new wonder God has for me. Somedays I see it; other days I'm too busy being grumpy to see anything.
In closing, I'm married to the most wonderful man. He's not perfect, I understand, but he's perfect for me. We work hard to make sure our marriage continues to grow...he's stuck with me for a long time! Thank you, Art. I'm such a very happy and richly blessed woman because of that fateful February Saturday. And it only took you "two-and-a-half-years!" I love you, Arthur. Happy anniversary, baby.