Friday, March 15, 2013

Ever the Romantic

Today's our anniversary. Ever the romantic, my proposal story goes something like this:

Me: Hmmmm, my lease is up in January.
Him: Well, maybe we should just get married and you move in here.
Me: Stutter …. Stammer … Headtilt … Cough (In my defense, I was paying $490 for an 1100 square foot rent-controlled apartment in Harvard Square.)
Him: So why don’t you go buy yourself a ring.  I’ll pay you back.

Sadly, we did not capture this moment on video.

He didn’t get off quite that easily, though. I made him come with me and put the ring on his own damn credit card. We picked out a very deep blue sapphire and set it with a small diamond on each side. I loved that ring and was heartbroken when it went missing a couple of years ago. One of the reasons I haven’t replaced my now-11-year-old minivan is because it’s conceivable (albeit unlikely) that the ring is somewhere hidden in the car: the last time I know I had it on I was en route to the pottery shop and realized I needed to take it off. I don’t know if I took it off in the car and left it there, or if I took it off at the pottery shop and it fell behind something, or if I didn’t take it off at all and it slipped off my finger into a discarded blob of clay. But I still hold out hope that I’ll find it wedged behind some bolt or stuck in a crevice in the car. So as much as I want this shiny new car, for the time being I’m sticking with my scratched up worn out old one with a shiny new transmission.

I never had that doves-and-trumpets fantasy wedding fantasy that some little girls have. In fact, for as long as I can remember, my “fantasy wedding” went something like this: I’d go into work on Monday morning and when everyone was talking about what they did that weekend, it'd come to my turn I’d drop an, “Oh, nothing much. I just got married, is all.” 

Okay, so we're both missing the romance gene. That in itself is a little romantic, don't you think?

I never had the white dress thing, either. Possibly before I'd even met Tom, I had been shopping at the old Loehmann's outlet in Burlington and found a really pretty mustard-yellow linen suit with eyelet embroidery  on the jacket and skirt. As soon as I laid eyes on it I knew I wanted to get married in it. I bought it there and then and it sat in the back of my closet for I-don't-know-how-long.

We planned to be married in the Council Chambers at Cambridge city hall. It’s a beautiful room and with its paneling, and jacquard and velvet, it's often the site chosen for special occasions. Mind you, Tom wanted to get married in front of the Mars meteorite at Harvard’s Natural History Museum, but I put the kaibosh on that (because whoever heard of getting married in front of a meteorite? That's crazy!)

 I.made arrangements (meaning, I filled out a form and paid a fee) to have my friend Jan authorized by the Governor to solemnize our marriage The authorization was for a particular person – Jan – to marry a particular couple – Tom and me – in a particular city – Cambridge – on a particular day – March 15 – and was voided if any one of the particulars changed.

Rena, one of the number of ex-girlfriends Tom stayed friends with after they broke up, was tickled to learn we were getting married at City Hall.“I want to come! You’ll be right around the corner from my house!” she proclaimed.  At first we said no, because it really was supposed to be a non-event, witnesses only, and we didn’t want other friends to learn she had been there and that they hadn’t been invited. We didn’t want any hurt feelings, and we were working with what in retrospect I realize was an obviously-overblown sense of other people's enthusiasm about our wedding.. We love Rena and of course we wanted her there. But we swore her to secrecy – she mustn't tell a soul that she had been included.

So we show up to city hall: Tom and I, Jan, and our miniature entourage, only to be informed by the Council chairperson that she only allows "real" Justices of the Peace to perform weddings inside the chambers. Indignant that charlatan solemnizers-for-a-day take business away from (and money out of the pockets of and food from the mouths of the children of) real JP’s, she explained this as if she was president of the JP union local.  It would have been funny if she hadn’t been serious. She wouldn't budge, and clearly we needed a Plan B. Fast.

The rest of the story was serendipity: We get to city hall to learn we can’t be married there. With the clock ticking down on Jan's authorization, Rena reminds us that her house is a short block away and she’d be honored to host our wedding at her house. So we traipse through a cold March drizzle (my big day’s big hair eventually even bigger than I had planned) to her home which, if she had planned to host a wedding that day, could not have been more appropriately appointed, right down to the flowers and wine.

I love that I’m the only person I know who got married in the home of her husband’s ex-girlfriend. I love that my husband was the kind of guy who had such lovely women in his life, and by extension, in mine. The only down side to getting married in Rena’s house: 15 years of, “Why can’t our house be tidy sometimes, like Rena’s? Remember that?” 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Linda for posting this. I enjoyed learning more about you and how you two got married. I can tell you two had a great love. He may be gone but certainly not in your heart. My belief is that you will see each other again. Beth