Firstly, Mr B's birthday is this week. To celebrate, Young Son & I are taking him to the big Chinese buffet restaurant. Young Son decided a few years back that this is the perfect place to celebrate the birthdays of all of the adults in his life, so there we go. I'm fine with it -- the food's surprisingly OK and I love the crispy green beans and coconut jello. We're going to have a proper grown-up celebration next week when we go out to eat at a fancy-pants restaurant in the Big City before the David Byrne concert. Not so stressful, really, except I wish I had planned something... more for the actual day. More guilt than stress, really.
Secondly, did I mention that Young Son and I are moving in with Mr. B this weekend? Oh yeah. I did. OK, there's a fair amount of stress there.
Thirdly, this week marks what would have been my 30th wedding anniversary. That has got me thinking a lot about thirty years ago. If you haven't tried it, it's a good way to make you feel very, very old.
Let's step into the Way-Back Machine, shall we?
This Week, Thirty Years Ago:Most of the rest of the details are lost; one of the blessings of aging, I suppose.
We had been living together for over a year and decided we had the whole relationship thing figured out*, so why not get married? Heck, I was 19, he was 20; we were adults, and adults got jobs (check!) and got married. That weekend in February happened to be the first one after the holidays that was open at the reception place, and it was kind of close to Valentine's Day, so why not? We took out a signature loan for $500 and started a-plannin'.
So months passed and finally it was February. Did I mention we were in Wisconsin? That was the winter we had 200" of snow. There was so much snow on the ground that people were sticking tennis balls on their car antennae so that they could be seen at intersections. No, I am not even kidding.
My memory is crap, but I do I remember bits and pieces of that day. I remember my dad** (who had, that very morning, taken the groom out for a four-martini breakfast) offering me $500 and his car keys -- in case I wanted to bail -- right before he walked me down the aisle. I remember the organist, who happened to be a
midgetlittle person. Looking back at the photos, it did lend kind of a festive, carnival-like atmosphere to the whole affair. Fortunately for us, he was very talented. I remember the stained glass in the beautiful Olympia Brown UU Church.
I remember I hated my hair. I had made an appointment at a salon because that's what people did. I went alone that morning, with no photos and no idea what I wanted; it just had to be "fancy". I do not recommend that approach. I spent a frantic hour in the bathroom at the church trying to turn it into something not stupid. Fail!
I remember my co-worker at the bank offered to sing at the wedding as her gift to us, because she "did it all the time". She lied and it was torture. I remember the wedding cake made by my new husband's cousin as her gift to us, because she "did it all the time". The result was about what you'd expect, a true Cake Wreck. The fact that there are no surviving photos is a good indicator of its beauty.
All in all, it was about what you'd expect from two clueless kids with a budget of $500 dependent on the good intentions of friends and family, none of whom took it very seriously, I'm guessing. I do remember being very, very glad it was over. And I decided shortly thereafter that if I had it to do over again, I would have insisted we elope to Vegas.
Just reminiscing about it stresses me out.
I am mostly grateful that Mr. B had the good grace not to be born the same day as my former anniversary. As Young Son is fond of saying, 'That would be awkward!' The day before is plenty close.
You know, in the future I think I should never, ever be allowed to plan anything more complicated than a trip to the Chinese buffet for the second week of February.
* It's funny how I've gotten more and more stupid over the last 30 years. I don't know a tenth of what I knew back in 1979.
** Remind me sometime to tell you the heartwarming tale of how my dad introduced me and the Ex. Good, clean family fun. (snort!)