But Where’s The Ring?

I’ve loved reading the comments on the Champagnetoast piece from last week. It might surprise you to know I’m not a fan of the wedding. I know. I hide it well. I’m a fan of marriage. [SANCTIMONIOUS PONTIFICATION ALERT] I think people should be able to get married if they want. Regardless of whether it’s a combination of Her and Him, Him and Him, or Her and Her. As I’ve said before, my marriage has more to fear from a late-night bean burrito than two dudes wanting to advance The Gay Agenda by being legally bound to be the other’s date for extremely boring company Christmas parties. That’s just how I roll.

I was a, ah, more mature bride. I was 33-ish when my honey and I married. We did not really date. We just sort of started doing things together and BOOM. About three years later we were watching the AFC playoffs and I said we needed to decide what we wanted to do because my lease was almost up on my apartment. He took a swig of his beer, looked at me with those beautiful brown eyes and said, “Well, I guess we need to look for a house.”

Has there ever been a more romantic proposal?

Later in the week, I talked to my mom and said I thought I was getting married, but wasn’t sure when. She said she was open the weekend after Easter. A few weeks later, we visited his parents and told them we thought we’d decided to get married, but weren’t sure when. We were both in retail so we thought maybe the following September or something. Before the holiday ban on vacations. His dad wondered why we were waiting. We knew we wanted to marry, we knew we didn’t want a wedding, why wait? I told him my mom said she was open the weekend after Easter. He got out his calendar, said they were open that weekend, penciled us in, and we were officially engaged.

We discussed eloping. The thought of a bunch of people watching me marry was, what’s the word? Creepy. Those vows (we’d decided to be married by a minister) are personal. We then realized we really wanted our parents and his children there. So that was it. Nine people. On a Friday evening in April, two sets of parents, the kids, The Adorable Couple, and the minister gathered at the front of the sanctuary. I wore–get this–PANTS. It was one of the few times in my life I had exactly the outfit I wanted. I did, however, forget my shoes. I got these awesome shoes and I left them at home. I blistered the paint from the walls of the church bathroom when I realized that. My mom had gotten me some flowers from the grocery store. Left them at home too. We took some pictures, but we forgot to turn on the lights. All our pictures look as if we got married in a dark, deep cave.

I have no idea what our vows were. I cried like a baby through the whole thing. I might have promised him unlimited salad and breadsticks. Not a clue. We were in and out in thirty minutes and on to Folk’s Folly for giant steaks and red wine. I firmly believe a marriage should start with a belly full of steak and wine.

The next morning we left for North Carolina. We were there a few days then came back to Memphis for a Bob Dylan concert. It was a good way to start a marriage.

We did not get a lot of flack about not having a “real” wedding. When I told people I was getting married, they would automatically look for the engagement ring I didn’t have, but there weren’t a lot of comments about how it didn’t exist. What got people was that we didn’t want gifts.

We were older. He’d been married before. We had stuff. But he worked for Macy’s and it was gently suggested that he get his fiance’s ass into the store and register. I had worked there at one time (that was how we met), so I knew a lot of the staff. They decided we needed a shower. We asked them not to do that, but then we realized it had very little to do with us. They wanted an excuse for a party. It was actually fun. They didn’t make us play stupid games and we got to drink.

It was also the party where a woman drank dish soap.

There was a very sweet woman who was not normally a drinker. Apparently, she’d gone into the kitchen to refill her wine. She picked up a bottle, not really paying attention, and poured it into her glass. After a FEW sips, she realized it was not wine. The hostess kept her dish soap in a wine bottle.You’d have thought the syrupy consistency and the yellow color would have clued her in. Yeah. That poor lady was farting lemon-fresh bubbles for a week.

I think we didn’t get a lot of flack about our wedding choices because we were older. I didn’t change my name and got not ONE PEEP about it. We had also decided not to live together before we got married and NO ONE commented on that–positively or negatively. There are a couple of people who make comments about our lack of festivities. One friend refers to our “stealth wedding”. There’s one person who still brings up the fact we didn’t have guests at our wedding as proof of our evil agenda for world domination. Other than that, people seemed content to let us be. Which is weird. Because have I mentioned I’m southern?

I’d love to hear more of your anti-wedding stories. Was there a particularly awful wedding you attended? Did you make your momma cry by being married by a midget Elvis impersonator? Was there a wedding registry to rival that of a Kardashian’s? Do you regret anything you did or didn’t do for your wedding?


4 Comments Add yours

  1. debbie says:

    It is not that I’m unromantic, but like you, I find the big to-do really creepy. I just can’t be the center of that much schmaltzy attention. Nor can I stand spending more than $100 on a dress.

    Oh, and this is what happened during my older sister’s wedding ceremony: During the rehearsal, the preacher sat the whole wedding party down in the front pew of the church and lectured us on sexual purity and God’s plan for each of us. This was not our church and he was not our minister, so we decided he was just quirky. But he saw our quirky and raised it to imposingly crazy when, during the ceremony, he stopped the nuptials to declare that he could not continue until my sister accepted JC as her “personal Lord and Savior.” The bride, already in a daze, said “I do?” and the preacher shouted “Hallelujah!” and carried on with the ceremony. We joke that she got two husbands that day. But in reality, I didn’t find it funny AT ALL.

    The best way to avoid that happening to me was to get married at the court house. If it’s good enough for my parents, it’s good enough for me.

    1. Susan says:

      Oh, now I can be the center of attention…
      I hope JC at least had the decency to give your sister a pre-engagement purity ring.

  2. Didi says:

    OK. so as I said we got married by a judge. We were both 23, and had been living together for a coupla years. We needed a new car, but wanted joint credit, and back in those olden days of the 70’s, you needed to be legally wed for that. So we got hitched. We had ordered a pair of $55 wedding rings from Dolgins ($55 each, mind you, this was FINE jewelry, with real microscopic diamonds) and the rings had not come in by the time of the wedding, so I spent about half an hour on the phone sorting out that fiasco after the ceremony was over. I had bought my dress at Jacques C Penne’ for about $40. It was not a wedding dress at all, but a cream colored shirtwaist button-down-the-front affair. It still hangs in my closet today — that polyester sure does hold up over time. All in all, a forgettable affair, but here it is 34 years later and we’re still married, so go figure. BTW, right after we got married we purchased a brand new 1977 Datsun B210 with manual transmission and no air conditioning for $3300.

    1. Susan says:

      “That polyester sure does hold up over time.” Love. It.

Just spit it out, already!

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