Friday, February 25, 2011

It's Got A Nice Patina

Next week will be My and the SeaMonkey's Silver Wedding Anniversary.

Back when we were first married 25 years seemed like A LONG TIME. Now I look at it and think, where did it go? That was fast.  I could get all mushy and write a post about how much we still love each other. Because we do.
Or I could write about what it takes to make a marriage last,  but....the fact is,  that marriage can be hard and having arrived at this milestone I have no easy, simple or anything not approaching endless, answers as to why we've made it this far.
 Except we still love each other. Because we do.

 So I thought it would be easiest to tell the story of my wedding. It had it's ups and downs and could be a vignette representing how things go in our lives.

One evening we were planning on going out and I was ironing the Seamonkey's shirt because I was being all "wifely" and stuff as a*hint *hint,  when the SeaMonkey came in and set a box on the ironing board and said, "Will you marry me?" and kind of walked off a few feet like he thought I would throw it at him. I said, yes, of course, why else would I be doing all that ironing and called my mom and best friend and then we went out. We met in December, moved in together around February and this was around April, I think. You see we had already talked about getting married so even though the moment was a surprise the concept wasn't. After much thought we settled on the following February. Valentines day of course.

Ok, disorganised young people with no money plan a wedding.

My parents were of the "You've been living together and you want a what" old school of parents who were not going to pay a huge amount for a wedding for people who already lived together. I think they were still paying for my oldest sisters wedding 15 years earlier. Anyway, they would pitch in but it would be small. One day at work my mom called and said there was an antique show at the mall and she saw the cutest dress. After work she and I went to see it. Now my fantasy wedding dress would have been  Maria's in Sound of Music. This was a WW2 era dress but the resemblance stopped there. It was hand made. Custom sewn for someone. It was beautifully made. Top to bottom cream lace.  Princess style. It wasn't what I envisioned but it was lovely. And the price was right. We shlumped across the mall with it to the food court restrooms where I tried it on. With an audience of about 10 other young women in the restroom, it was packed! By some miracle it fit like it was sewn for me. "Are you getting married?" "Oh, that's so pretty." "You should get it!" All sweet comments from my new friends. I had a helpful peanut gallery of people I'd never seen before. So I bought it. For $150.00.

We would have one attendant each. I went to JC Penney to get a veil and let my Maid of Honor/BFF/Otherwise known as 57ChevyBug/ pick out a red dress. I bought it for her because her budget was even tighter than mine. This gave me the go ahead to harrass her that I was dressing her as a scarlet woman to offset my virginal purity.  Then the bridal shop lady let me know she had a side thing going on and could make my veil, the cake, topper and silk flowers really cheap! Now BFF the Bridesmaid worked for a florist but we didn't need very much and being me I liked the idea of keeping them forever, so silk it was!!

Now I won't get into the long story of church but it was yet another miracle when I found out my husbands family were members of a Lutheran church that I had often attended with friends as a child and had always loved even though my family were Catholics. We both loved the pastor. That was easy : )

 My favorite color at the time was red. A large portion of my clothing and my car were red and we thought Valentines day would be perfect because we were so romantic and stuff, right? And I already bought a red bridesmaid dress and found cream tuxes with red cummerbunds to rent! Except we really didn't know what we were doing and by the time we got to it,  February 14th was booked up at church. So we moved it back a couple weeks to March. Thank God we realized we needed to do this before invitations, which we also barely did in time. We splurged on those. Because my parents paid for it.  I still have half a box of them because I messed up and counted how many people were coming instead of couples or families.

My bachelorette party was me, my BFF/Bridesmaid/57ChevyBug and my mom and two aunts and my moms friend who was like an aunt, drinking hot tea and talking. It was Perfect : )

Oh yeah, My family gave me a shower. A family shower where I was given a lovely negligee and my brother N remarked ;

"Oh yeah, wrap it in a pretty package and make him think he's getting something new."
Sweet, Huh?

Finally it was The Day.

We lived in a very warm climate. I woke early that morning just before light and peeked out the window to witness the dawn of my wedding day and:
It Was Snowing! Amazing and Beautiful. What could be a more perfect sign!
My husbands friends said it was a sign Hell froze over because he was getting married ; )

My BFF and I had spent the night at my moms even though she was already married. We needed one more night of giggle on the couch before we were both officially grown ups. We began our day by driving into town to the JC Penny Side Job Ladies house to get the supplies. She actually did an incredible job. My stuff was truly beautiful! My BFF did the driving. She was the worst driver in the world. We had a huge shared copy of East of Eden we passed back and forth for years, that I stole from the library when we were 14. (Hey,  at least  my juvenile delinquent self was limited to stealing good literature from the library. I paid for it later, truly, I swear! With overdue library fines. ) Anyway, the book was on her dashboard and she took a corner like Richard Petty and I watched as it slid all the way across the dash and plummeted toward the cake. Which was in my lap. I let go with one hand a caught it just in the nick of time. Well almost. Just in time for it to only nick a tiny spot on the cake. That Was Close!

Ok, later at my moms we were fixing our hair. I had very long straight hair. My mom just wouldn't have that . My long hair had been driving her crazy for years. She was so upset that I had gone all fashiony for a few years and wore it styled and then regressed, when I met my surfer dude,  into Malibu Barbie again so she sent the BFF and I to a salon. As I sat down I realized the chick in the next chair was the bar waitress who constantly flirted with my future husband and would bring him drinks without being asked and pointedly did not bring them to me. We made sure we loudly discussed what we were getting dolled up for. I didn't scratch her eyes out because I had just done my nails and besides I was getting Married-LOUDLY. The stylist then turned my hair into a wild mass of cork screw curls that stuck out from my head kind of like a fair haired Roseanne Roseannadanna. Maybe she was friends with the other chick. Who knows! The SeaMonkey said he liked it later.
Maybe it made him feel like he was getting something new...; )

Finally the BFF and I arrive at Church and are directed to the children's Sunday School room to get ready. We dressed in our gowns and realized we were still early so we sat at the piano and banged out Heart and Soul together repeatedly. Which is something we had been doing since we were thirteen and it really is one of my favorite memories of my wedding. Then everyone else showed up.
My dress was old.  My shoes were new. My garter was blue. Something borrowed? Well, close enough. My mom came in and started screwing with my hair because, just think, she didn't like it. Then almost at the last minute we realized the comb from my veil was missing. At that moment the Pastor came by to say "Hi, are we ready to start" saw our panic and then ran all over the church, wearing his surplice,  lobbying for bobby pins. Something borrowed. There you go.

What was the SeaMonkey up too? Well.  As I mentioned,  my wedding was cream colored with red accents. The Seamonkey had a cream colored tux. The Seamonkey was known for going commando and didn't think ahead. He put on the cream tux and realized Uh Oh! But his brother came to the rescue so he was wearing something borrowed too ; )

The rest is a huge blur that cleared momentarily at the reception but then fogged over again near the punch bowl ; )

According to the photo's everything was lovely and we had a wonderful time.

The next day we set off on our honeymoon. We didn't have reservations because part of our plan revolved around how much cash was in our wedding cards so we counted it the next morning. We took all our wedding gift money and what we had been able to save and thought we'd be able to travel a little bit and check out the night life in Atlanta and maybe continue on to the mountains for a couple days. That was all the time we had and all we could afford. We hopped in our pick-up truck with the giant mud tires and were off. Just my new husband and I and.....the dog because we didn't have anyone to take care of him. It was also freezing out so let me phrase that as: Just me, my new husband and a doberman squeezed into the cab of the truck.

(Customary Digression to say that if you think it's weird to bring a dog on your honeymoon, when my BFF 57 ChevyBug got married I bought her honeymoon. Not much, just a cabin in the woods for a weekend because they wouldn't have had one otherwise. At the time another friend (a girl) was living with them and ChevyBug kept complaining about her always being around. So I rented them a cabin so they could have some time alone and then when they went on their honeymoon they Brought the Girlfriend With Them! Now that was weird. But maybe that's why we were BFF's for so long. We didn't ask personal questions, like, " if I spent money to send you somewhere why the hell did you bring Debbie? " Girl wore bright red nail polish and earrings with a pale pink floral dress to my wedding. Clashed up several snapshots.)


We roared along the freeway until we hit the outskirts of Macon Georgia. Quite the Metropolis in 1986. I think they had 2 stop lights ; ) Which is when we heard the loud bang....of one of the tires popping. The SeaMonkey put on the spare and we hobbled along on a tilt and just hit town before another tire blew out. So we went directly to a tire shop. Where they took most of our money. Big mud tires cost a lot more than normal tires. Then again,  it's lucky we were in that truck because otherwise we would have stood out like sore thumbs and someone may have noticed when we snuck the dog into the Holiday Inn. (All we were missing was a gun rack but the truck was pretty new and it wasn't hunting season so they probably figured we hadn't put it up yet) Luckily we still had enough money for a Holiday Inn and that they actually had a Holiday Inn and there was a Steak and Ale within walking distance. We could have a nice meal and A Drink for sure. Except it was Sunday and a dry county so we had a soda instead. Then we went back to the room and hung out with the dog. And came home Monday.

For years I thought I would like to throw a party for our 25th Anniversary. Invite all the people that were at our wedding. Most of them are still around with the exception of my parents and my husbands best friend from that time who have passed away and sadly my BFF/57ChevyBug who now belongs to a religious cult in another state and thinks I'm Satan. Seriously. So some important people are missing and we don't see the others socially anymore. And.  Despite our fuzzy beginnings we aren't much for the parties these days. Having thrown another wedding just over a year ago that kind of fills my party tolerance quota for a good while. Though I sometimes joke,  we actually rarely drink and don't go out much. We are simple folk. And Luckily, we had the chance to sneak in some fun on our recent trip because, How WILL We Be Spending Our Silver Anniversary?

Well, I will be spending it at the hospital with my sister while she has bi-pass surgery on her femoral artery.   I really don't mind at all. You see, one thing we did learn in 25 years is that the things that seem to be constant are US and Family.  Being there for each other is what really matters. (besides, who wouldn't be there for a woman who says, "I don't know about the surgery. Maybe if I lose my leg Paul McCartney will marry me after all!" ; ) I need to make sure she gets on that table. Plus,  we are also in the middle of a big project and wouldn't have had time for a "Ta Do".

We have had many Wonderful and Blessed times. We have had Troubles and Heartaches to spare. I guess you could say this silver has some tarnish. In the corners and crevices it has settled in but it makes the shiny bits gleam more brightly. I find it so much more beautiful that way. More depth. More character. This 25 years has been used and used well. It has withstood everyday use as well as fancy, formal and solemn occasions. Taken it's bumps and falls and scratches and it's glow still shows through.  I wouldn't want it back shiny new and polished for anything in the world.

I think it has a Wonderful Patina. One that makes it More Valuable in my eyes.

When I was about fifteen I heard a song. I would sometimes get tears in my eyes when I heard it. It was a simple little song but I remember thinking it was one of the sweetest songs I ever heard and really described all I ever wantedTo be loved and needed in a way that was lasting and strong. I hoped that someday someone would feel that way about me. And that I would feel the same way about him.

I didn't imagine as far as being middle aged and driving down the road and having the song come on the radio and that he would still turn to me and say, "this makes me think of you." Or that I would still get tears in my eyes because it was all I ever wanted.

But you know what?

I got that. All I ever wanted.

And he still treats me like he's getting something new ; )

oops...wait...did I just get all mushy....; )

Maybe we'll throw a Kegger for the 50th......; )

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  1. Hi, nice to meet you, I hopped here from LiBBy's blog. Yours is delightful, I've wasted more time than I had to spare reading back through your posts. Happy Anniversary. Our 25th is this year too, and I'll be borrowing your patina analogy, hope you don't mind. We've watched too many marriages in our social circle come unhinged after the 20 year mark. Must be a midlife thing, or maybe the love just didn't last. Here's to lasting love, and travelling roads we could not have imagined all those years ago. Hope all goes well with your sister.

  2. oh my goodness! Thanks for the very, very good read this morning. And happy anniversary!

  3. Well that story beats the hell out of a lot of traditional wedding tales. Happy anniversary -- clearly you've earned it. :)

  4. OOOHhhh..
    I LOVE reading how people met, how they got married, etc.

    What a great idea. I should do this for our anniv on May 7.

    I think I will steal this idea from you.

    I also love what your brother said, about the negligee *snort*

    Happy, happy celebration of marriage.

    I love what you said, "he still turns to you and can make you well up with emotion."

    How lovely.

    Did your kids read this? It's wonderful.

  5. Hi Mel, Thank you! I'm so glad you came by.
    Of course, help yourself. That patina does seem hard to come by these days : )Just in case you stop back before I can get back to your blog-
    I just tried to go by your blog but my husband is playing Halo on the other computer and I just crashed him out on the internet twice when I tried to open the sites. I'm not telling him that but as soon as I can get back on I will be back to finish visiting. Love your book list by the way!

    Silver Strands: Thank you dear! Perfect visitor for this post : )

    allison: Thanks ; ) You see? However long we have tried to be traditional it just wasn't meant to be!

    Empress: I'm holding you to that, I can't wait to read it! Anonymous brother N is a *snort* all right! Always has been : )Kids haven't read it yet but I'm sure they will be "ew-ing" over it before long.

  6. Happy Anniversary to you!! Wishing you both, decades of happiness!

  7. Ah, this was sweet...remind me to tell you about my wedding, "what could go wrong and did", sometime soon. We are 20 years in July so maybe then. Happy anniversary!

  8. The Big Tuna and I have been married almost 29 years, similar poor people planning. Our Caterer died 3 days befor the wedding so the wait staff was weeping the whole time.

  9. best, best, best post. i'd tell you to love the next 25, but i know you will.

    really sorry about the BFF though. for real. that sucks.

  10. Nancy: Thankyou! If I get 25 more I'll be more than content : )

    Susan: I would love to hear it!

    Mrs. Tuna: Oh God! You win ; )

    Elissa; Thank you : )And yeah the BFF thing was pretty weird!

  11. Oh, how I adore your proposal story? Yes, why else would one iron?? And your brother N's comment. Almost makes me want a brother :). Happy Anniversary, friend of mine!!

  12. Yes you did get all mushy! LOL A wonderful story! You're right, there's really no answer but love...................

  13. Peryl: Thank you! Brothers can be Awesome. Except when tey break the eads off your dolls and make you eat flies ; )

    Nicole: I can't hold back the mushy. It just mushes on out like a slurpee through a straw ...; )

  14. You got me all teary with this magic love you have for each other.

    And I agree about the patina...that's the best part. :)

  15. blueviolet: Yes, it's a good thing because I'm not much on polishing ; )

  16. "Ewing" isn't a word mom.

  17. It is if I say so. haven't you been reading my blog?


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