Eight years ago today, October thirteenth was a Friday. There was a full moon. We chose Friday the thirteenth, full moon, on purpose.
The day was beautiful, cool in the morning, warming to just a touch past tolerable in the afternoon.
I woke after a good night's sleep, nudged the woman sleeping next to me, got up, got dressed. It was early, yet, but we had much to do.
We enjoyed a lovely breakfast, prepared by the owner/cook of the B&B we were staying at. T joined us, although tradition frowned upon that. I often scoff at tradition.
We took separate cars to Mum's house, where a tent waited - tables decorated by the woman who had spent the night with me, because I am traditional enough to tell the groom he has to sleep alone the night before; dance floor taking up way more space than I think it will need, because I am certainly not going to be on it more than strictly necessary; flowers on the head table, sent by the uncle who couldn't make it but wished he could; DJ set up, ready to go; side tables at the ready for the potluck reception.
While our guests arrived and mingled on the lawn or insisted on finding something to help with, T dressed upstairs (the sword gave him some trouble, but he managed, and the boots he borrowed from me did just fine), in Mum's guest room. My maid of honor (the same woman who decorated the tables and slept with me for the sake of superstition) and I had the basement. It was a simple thing to prepare - makeup (which I hate wearing, but I'm glad I did for once - I can look at the photographs without wincing), hair pulled back, a flower or two and some blue ribbons from the bouquet twined in the knot (thanks to G, a woman I'd worked for many years past, still a friend), dress, rope sandals. Ready.
My friend A played his flute, the only music we needed. His (then) wife L was kind enough to act as our photographer.
Down the path we processed, first T and his best man (the brother we almost never see any more), then Dad and Stepmum (decked out in renaissance garb as part of the fun)(we specified renaissance or resort casual garb, but we wouldn't have minded jeans), then Big Brother escorting Mum to her place - she was resplendent in her plum gown and white chemise.
I made them wait a tiny bit. I'm evil that way.
Maid of honor, K, dressed in a green version of what I was wearing, only with different sleeves. Hey, we had them custom sewn, and I wanted to make it easier on the seamstress!
Finally, Dad walked me down the path to the arbor where T and I would say our vows. I wore white because T wanted me to (I told him we weren't fooling anyone)...otherwise, I would have been head to toe blue. I wasn't nervous, afraid, or even particularly excited - it was simply an affirmation of the lives we'd been living for the last few years, to me. T, I believe, was something of a wreck. I am fairly certain he was shaking in my boots. Dad was The Father of the Bride, and everything that went with that...and bless his heart for wearing the handsome slacks and shirt with a cloak over them, a combination of mundane and Renny garb.
Judge A (who had performed Big Brother's wedding in almost the same spot two years earlier, at the end of October, with only Mum and I attending) waited there at the end of the path, just in front of our makeshift altar that held candles, chalice, incense, holding the vows I'd written.
Our ceremony was wholly pagan, but made mundane friendly.
Under the clear October sky, blessed by the afternoon sun, shaded by the arbor Mum built, we said our vows, exchanged rings, bound our hands together, and were married.
We stepped over the (borrowed from the B&B because I forgot mine) broom, and it was done. Time for the reception, to drink a few toasts, dance the obligatory dances, sample the wonderful dishes brought by friends and family who were proud to bring their best to the wedding (I was too cheap to hire a caterer, and why should I when I have friends who can cook so well??). We laughed with the people who love us, danced once or twice, ate, mingled, celebrated. The cake matched my dress (a white-on-white brocade, satin lined Renny style dress with silver rickrack trimming the sleeves and the front panel)(in case you needed to know that). The Groom's Cake was a red-velvet armadillo, because T saw Steel Magnolias one too many times. I still have the head and arse in our freezer...I'm thinking if we make it to ten years, I'll burn the dang things.
Every year on our anniversary, we try to get away for a bit of quiet. Tonight, we'll go to a fondue restaurant, one of our favorite places we never get to any more.
We'll have a nice, adult dinner while Mum is minding the Evil Genius at home.
And one or the other of us will ask the question we ask every year, because I told T from the start I won't promise forever...so every year, we ask each other "Are we good for another year?"
In the last few years, it's been a dangerous question, and I know T didn't want to ask it...but here we are. Eight years is longer than my parents made it.
One year at a time, we remain.
I'm not the same woman I was, eight years ago. I have questioned T's love, and my own. I (or my madness) have come close to breaking this marriage more than once in the last five years. It has bent, given, creaked and cracked, but it's still sound. It still floats. It will carry us across the foam-flecked seas of another twelve months.
Happy anniversary, T - heaven knows you have gone through the wringer and deserve a lot more than some melted cheese and chocolate-dipped pound cake. You deserve more than the wife you have in me. I aspire to be the woman you think me, to be deserving of the devotion you have given our family, and if I rock the boat, well - you've certainly proven your sea-legs.
So how about it, T? Good for another year?
Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!
"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
For old quotes, look here.
For old quotes, look here.