After a full month of Facebook Freedom, the beau and I returned to the social media scene and announced that we had gotten hitched on August 15th. Yesterday afternoon when I came home he said, “Apparently no one can believe you got married.”
“I warned you that would be the case.”
As most young women grow up dreaming of the day that they will wear a long white dress with a train that will reach the next state, I was dreaming of a life of independence and hell raising. I was not going to be held down by any man. Within a group of friends, we swore off marriage. We would all be drunken heathens for the rest of our lives and all we would ever need is each other. Commitment was for fools.
Let’s be honest. My dating record has looked like a train wreck. The kind of wreck that makes national news for weeks. I’ve been used, abused, lied to, cheated on, and drained of every dollar imaginable in these ‘relationships’. I was crazy to see some of them through as long as I did, but at least I wasn’t stupid enough to get in any deeper. Thank goodness for that oath I made in my younger years to protect me from these situations getting any worse. I cannot be thankful enough that my childhood friends and I formed that pact.
I am here to attest today your life will change. In my twenties, I was sure I would always be a wild woman who lived every day as it would be my last (and the way I lived, I’m lucky that every one of those days wasn’t my last.) I had no respect for how my actions would impact me or others. When I look back, I’m amazed I’m still alive. If I was a gambling person, the best bet was on the house. You would have never put money on me.
The beau and I started dating a few years ago, but we had been friends for almost a decade. Historically, I avoided dating friends. I thought that I was a horrible girlfriend. I notoriously would “gypsy” on men and vanish off the face of the earth. That was no way to treat a friend so I stuck with involving myself with men I really didn’t know. In the short term, this isn’t really a problem. If you chew up a person and spit them out, then there’s only so much damage. However, if this has some longevity to it then you can find yourself with certain surprises. You may not realize that a man thinks it’s okay to smack you around. You probably aren’t aware that he has no intention of holding down a full time job. It could be news to you that he likes to treat his wiener like one of those Wonka Fun Dips, sampling as many sweet spots at a time as possible. All the wonderful astonishments you may experience when dating someone that you don’t have a rap sheet on.
When I got on my ‘I don’t date friends’ soapbox, I’m so glad the beau stood his ground on the subject. I gave my long list of reasons and followed it up with, “you deserve a really nice girl.”
“You are the nicest girl I know.”
Boy, was he confused!
I gave in.
As the years passed, we progressed as most relationships do. We combined households a year later. Two years after shacking up, we broached a subject that would shock everyone in our world. Maybe we should get married.
GASP! I know.
I would never have truly considered this with anyone else. I have known for quite some time that the beau was more than a boyfriend to me. He is the person I invest my trust in which is something that hardly anyone fully gets. The dynamics of my workplace has changed over the last few years and at the end of the day I can’t wait to clock out and get home to the person who makes me still feel a hundred percent appreciated. He compliments all I do and never blinks an eye with every silly idea I come up with. Everything between cakes and crazy memoirs, he’s got my back.
To the blogging world, this event is certainly a surprise. However you shouldn’t feel left out. When we started discussing this idea months ago, I put this stipulation on the table. We would tell no one. I wanted this to be handled in an elopement fashion.
I find the subject of weddings is one that people tend to form strong opinions about. Culture dictates that every wedding should be as absolutely expensive and huge as possible. A friend of mine recently told me that a national survey was conducted and that most people agreed the number of guest at a wedding could be used to predict how happy a couple would be. People honestly believe the more people you feed a free meal to the more successful a marriage will be.
Way to go Americans, good job on looking like a bunch of dillweeds.
I also didn’t want to go public for fear everyone from the old ‘we will never get married’ oath to chime in on the matter. 90% of them have broken the promise we made years ago, some of them even twice. I could go on living that life of the pact we made, or I could admit to myself that I was different than I was half my lifetime ago. I had accepted this lifestyle change and I didn’t want any of my old crew holding it over my head. We did breakdown and tell our mothers after we ordered the rings. Although, we thought that we may have to make our plans more public after the rings came in the mail. It seemed perfectly natural to try them on. We both declared that they fit and as I slid my ring back off my finger I heard the beau say, “Uh-oh. We might have to tell everyone after all.” Lots of olive oil later, the ring was off and had an amazing shine.
This is what I wanted. A wedding that was big enough for the two most important people there and the person to sign the paperwork. Selfish as it sounds, I didn’t want to share this moment with anyone else. I only wanted him to be concerned with me and me with him. I didn’t want to stress over planning and making other people happy. I didn’t want a bunch of people staring at me and making me self-conscious. All I wanted was that ten minutes of simplicity with the beau… and the Clerk Of Court, of course.
I had already taken August 15th off for a field trip with my bird watching class. The beau was able to finagle his schedule and get that afternoon off. I had an amazing morning watching shorebirds on Chincoteague Island. My bird watching buddies had made reservations for lunch at Big Bill’s Seafood and I couldn’t turn them down. I had an oyster po’boy the size of my arm and a giant pile of shoestring fries. We followed that up with an excursion to the Island Creamery where I topped my lunch off with a boat load of Java Jolt ice cream in a huge waffle cone.
Ladies that have dresses tailored to fit you like a glove, I’m sure you will look amazing on your wedding day. However, I wouldn’t trade that incredible lunch and dessert for the prettiest dress in the world. Eat your heart out girls, I certainly did.
I left the island later than planned because of all the food and exceeded the speed limit to get home in time to wash off all the sunscreen and bug spray. As I ran through the front door, the beau said, “I was starting to worry you ran off with the birders.”
Ha, how many grooms get to say that?
We made it to our local courthouse around 3:30 pm. Thirty minutes and thirty dollars later, we were officially hitched. The temperature was just shy of eighty degrees. We were under a flowering crepe myrtle. I could hear birds singing in the distance. I crossed my eyes at the beau. It didn’t cost us a fortune. We didn’t spend months of time tied up in planning. No one was there to notice how white my legs are and how I have enough tick bites that it appears I could have chicken pox. It was perfect.
Questions you may be asking …
“What did you do afterwards? Did you go somewhere nice for dinner?”
Are you kidding? Didn’t you just read how much I ate before this event? I was lucky I wasn’t in a food coma! All we wanted to do was come home and get out of those clothes! We are not dressy people and those outfits were about as much as we could tolerate.
“How about a honeymoon?”
We are planning on building a new house. My new kitchen where I can bake with plenty of counter space will be my honeymoon. I’ve spent most of my life being irresponsible with money. Travel is nice, but having a roof of your very own over your head is our goal.
“Do we get to learn the beau’s name now?”
Sorry, that’s off the table. I write memoirs and when my third one comes out I want the end to still be a surprise when it unravels. Plus, ‘the beau’ still has a great ring to it.
The moral of the story is this. It’s great to make promises to your friends at any stage of your life, but it’s important to know when you’ve matured past certain stages. Your friends will always be key pieces to who you are and who you will become, but if your best friend is someone who is willing to admit that they love you even when you are at your wackiest and will share a bed with you even when you snore, talk in your sleep and sleepwalk … then you shouldn’t turn them down when they say they are willing to love you for the long haul. And if you decide to make that commitment, make it for yourself and not for what culture, friends or family dictate a wedding should be.
It’s your ten minutes of fame. You rock it how you want.
Me and The Beau many, many moons ago :) Who would have thunk it?
*BLOGGING BONUS – The first picture in this blog post is taken in front of a tree. Many of you may recognize that tree from this post : A Twig and Me.