Thursday, November 17, 2011

The more imperfect the day, the more perfect the marriage.

As I've mentioned in some of my prior blogs, I often find inspiration for my writing in what I read from the morning online news.  Other times no inspiration is needed as chaos is happening around me or I'm still in recovery from it the night before.  Then there are days where my memories serve quite nicely.  I have so many embarrassing and yet, thoroughly entertaining thoughts to pull from.  Fear not...I will never be at a loss for daily ramblings!

For some reason this morning, I was thinking back to my wedding day with Eric.  We were married on a small hotel yacht which held about 40 people comfortably (well, on that particular day, not so much).

You see, Eric and I had initially wanted a somewhat larger wedding.  This was my second marriage and his first.  I wanted him to have a nice ceremony with all of his friends and family in attendance; however, it was entirely up to us to pay for the whole kit and caboodle.  My first wedding was a big one.  As customary, the bride's parents - my Mom and Dad - paid for everything.  Obviously, that one didn't take.  This time around, Eric and I would have to figure out if we could even afford a Betty Crocker box cake.  

At the time of our engagement, we knew that investing in a home would make more sense than a big wedding.  We took the grown-up route (I'm still in shock and awe.  Eric obviously had a great influence on me early in our relationship).  We put money down on a townhouse in Orange County, California and decided to have a much smaller wedding.

Oh...the wedding.  My theory is this:  the more imperfect the day, the more perfect the marriage.  Do you, my dear friends and blog readers, sense where this is going?  I submitted this same story once to the Orange County Register for their wedding story disasters article and the editors posted it front page.  EXTRA, the television entertainment show, found me and contacted me years later and asked if Eric and I would be interested in sharing our story.  I declined.  The idea of being on TV was nerve wracking.  I digress.

Eric and I decided to get married in Laughlin, Nevada on the Colorado River.  Why Laughlin?  I don't know.  And again, why Laughlin in August?  I couldn't tell you.  This city is just outside one of the hottest areas - literally, Death Valley - on the planet, and Eric and I chose to get married there on August 19th.  Yeeeesss.  We obviously placed a lot of thought into the date. 

The wedding day: 119 degrees, overcast, humid, threatening thunderstorms, on a river (hmmm...I'm thinking a wee bit dangerous?), at 5:00 in the afternoon.  The yacht was docked at the hotel pier where, at the same time, the hotel was hosting a river party for a bunch of drunk gamblin' folks (Laughlin is also known as a casino resort).  As I was walking up to the boat, which my in-laws had festooned with neon yellow signs implying Eric was to live the rest of his life with a ball and chain around his ankle, two drunk party goers came up to either side of me and did a very good job of trying to talk me out of the event.  Remember, I had been down this road not too long beforehand - in fact my divorce from Jeff had just been finalized in Colorado two weeks prior  - and I was raw.  This is my best friend!  I'm going to ruin his life!  I can't do this to him!  He still has a chance...turn and run now, Bri before it's too late!  D'oh, too late!

At this point one of our oldest and dearest friends had come up the dock and shooed the two drunk dudes away.  She had some news for me...

"Bri, don't panic. (too late)  The boat's generator has broken down because of the heat."


"As long as we're attached to the dock, we'll have air conditioning.  This means that the ceremony will have to be downstairs in the cabin while we're docked.  After the ceremony, we'll take off up the river into the wind."

"Ok.  Oh well.  There's nothing we can do about it now."  I laughed, so did she.  "How's Eric?"

She laughed hard and snorted like she always did.  God bless my dear friend.  "Oh you know Eric, he's pissed but he'll have to get over it."

I grinned.  She was right.  I felt bad for him.  He wanted everything to be perfect.  If there was anything that my last marriage did for me, it prepared me for Eric.  I was much more relaxed than I used to be.

The rest of the wedding was hysterical. Imagine 40 people (most of them overweight) crammed into a very small space watching us exchange vows.  The air conditioning was a non-issue.  We were are sweating like hogs under a blanket. 

My dearest Eric.  He was constantly between frowning and grinning during the ceremony.  He was happy that we were getting married but he couldn't get past the La Bamba music playing in the background from the party next door.

Once the boat took off, the skies became darker.  No one could see anything.  One of my bachelorette friends fell down the stairs and sprained her ankle.  It could have been worse.  The purser applying the ice to her ankle could have been married, or female, or gay, or bad looking.  As it turns out he was none of those things.  Also, when she fell, she dropped a tray of food overboard.  It could have been worse.  It could have been the tray of mini assorted sandwiches instead of the cheese platter.  It wasn't.  When it came time to cut the cake, I had the light of a single covered candle my friend brought for the wedding ceremony.  I owe all ten fingers to my dear friend's amazing foresight and that single, lovely candle.

Oh my.  I'm still grinning.  It seems like yesterday.  All I did was laugh. 

My first wedding was spectacular.  Red Tulips and white Roses.  Holly and Christmas trees.  It was a holiday wedding and it was breathtaking.  Nothing went wrong except that the two souls exchanging vows were never meant to be. 

My second wedding was pure comedy.  Everything went wrong except the two souls exchanging vows.

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