I don’t really even know how my marriage happened as no one got down on any knee or popped some huge question in a romantic setting. I was pregnant and Dean was away at college and I think maybe we approached the idea when he came home one weekend for a visit but I don’t really remember. Knowing myself and knowing Dean as well as I do, I can feel pretty sure that the conversation went like this:
Me: I’m bored.
Dean: Me, too. Wanna get married?
Me: Sure. When d’you wanna do it?
Dean: I dunno. How about when I come home for Christmas break.
Me: Yeah, that could be cool.
I remember us setting a date, December 19th, and I remember on the 18th the two of us ran, giggling and holding hands up the stairs of the courthouse to get our marriage licence. I know that a moderate amount of planning was involved but not really. A friend that worked with Dean made me a bouquet and some flowers for my hair… his boutonniere, the same shit for my maid of honor and Dean’s best man. I know that my maid of honor, Vanessa and I might have chatted about it once or twice and that these chats were pretty short, simple discussions on how we would wear our hair (down) and what we were going to wear to this thing. My friend, Echo had given me a floor length tye dye dress and I picked out a long, flowy brown thingy for Vanessa to wear and, basically, the only thing I cared about was that no one wore shoes.
I’m sure there was probably about a pound of hemp at my wedding. We were, after all, the idealistic millennium hippies back then and the practice of dousing ourselves in intricately beaded hemp jewelery was custom. My ring was picked out by Dean and it was a butterfly that wrapped around my finger. His ring is a pretty standard wedding band and it has always been a huge secret as to how I attained his ring not only to him and everyone else, but also to me because I haven’t a clue where I got it. I don’t remember.
What I do remember about that ring is the sound it made as it hit the ground during our wedding ceremony as I was so unexpectedly nervous that I dropped it on the ground and for some reason it was like slow motion. It nearly floated to the ground and then there was the impact and I was watching it all happen, suddenly scrambling to locate it before it rolled away.
I had picked a location in the woods at some park.. I think it was called Boyd Hill Park and I chose it because it was small and had a stone archway in the woods that would be perfect for a wedding. I wish I could say it was something romantic like, it had crickets in the daytime that chirped up a sonata when I entered and it just blew me away and whistled perfection but my reasons for choosing that park had little to do with romance. So, I told everyone how cute it was, how adorable and peaceful and blah, blah, blah. This was the reason I gave to Dean and anyone else who asked and it was pretty generic, really, but the real reason I chose this park was because it claimed to have monkeys.
There were no fucking monkeys.
I woke up that morning and was a million times more nervous than I had thought I would be considering that we got engaged over jalapeno poppers and Mt. Dew. I was to be married by someone very special to me and the son of a bitch was late. By the time he got to my house to pick me and Vanessa up as we had arranged, I was damn near a basket case and unable to speak. On the way, I made him stop at some shitty convenience store because I needed gum or there would be no way in hell I was going to be able to say my vows.
I think we also grabbed a disposable camera.
Looking back on it, I can only imagine how strange Vanessa and I must have looked running through that store barefoot and doused in flowers with me stuttering and hoarse from nerves. I picked out wintergreen flavored Trident and it was a life saver.
When we got to the park Dean, his best man Aaron and every other male attendee of our wedding came stumbling out of the bushes in a cloud of smoke. My jaw hit the ground in disbelief and I hitched up my dress and stomped over to him and rudely said:
Me: Are you fucking HIGH???
He: Uh. Noooooo?
Me: Yes you are! Every damn one of you is high as a kite!
He: Oh, no… not ME. I’m not high. (he says through bloodshot eyes)
Me: (hands and bouquet now firmly planted on my hips) You’re wasted.
He: I shall never admit it.
Me: I can’t believe that you got high at our wedding.
He: You look pretty.
He had taken my hand and at this point I threw out all of my annoyance and just shrugged and told him whatever, so long as he can pull off his vows. He still doesn’t admit to being wasted at our wedding although now if I bring it up, he just giggles.
It’s amazing that we have lasted as long as we have.
This is because at some point or another, Dean got sober and is now a completely different person and also because at some point, I got bizarre and am a completely different person. Statistics say that we never should have made it this far. We got knocked up a month after we started dating and were married six months later. And here we are, 8 years, 9 months, 3 weeks, three days and four children later…. still married and still in love. In love enough that I have put up with his poor choices and he has put up with my moody disposition and ever so changing personality disorders.
Surely, that is love…. right?
I worry that Dean and I will find ourselves at 46 years old with all of the kids out of the house and we’re going to have no clue how to function. I can’t even fathom how we’re going to deal with this. To be honest, I see us going insane and acting really, really bizarre. I see us ditching our lives and our house and going backpacking through Asia with no money and no food. I see us eating and drinking things that might not be beverages or food. I see us making love in horribly public locations and I see us giggling madly, hand in hand as we run up mountains as we did running up courthouse steps.
Or, maybe we’ll be divorced. After all, he pisses me off and I drive him nuts. A divorce could certainly happen but I like to dream that if we ever do split we can still be fuck buddies.
Provided that he doesn’t get ugly.