Monday, February 25, 2008
Before we pick up the story, I have some words of advice for the guys in my audience. There is absolutely nothing - and I mean not a single solitary thing - that your wife will not remember about your wedding and anything that was even remotely connected to it. That's just the way it is, so don't try to fight it. It is the nature of the beast, so to speak.
You know how you can recall that ballgame you played in high school? You remember that there were runners on second and third, the count was 2-and-1, it was slightly overcast, the leftfielder was shading you towards center, and the pitcher threw a curve that hung and you laced a double down the line that made the score 6 - 5 in the fifth inning? Women do that with weddings.
I mention this because I showed Part One to MY WIFE last night and she immediately corrected five or six mistakes.
Now, I'm not going to go back and correct everything as MY WIFE picks off the mistakes. Instead, I'm going to go ahead and relate the story as best I can with my man-wedding-memory, and then if she wishes to post a guest blog afterwards, showing all of you how pitifully I recalled things, OK.
And one more thing before we pick it up again. My brother-in-law called last night and he wasn't pleased with yesterday's post. It wasn't that he had any problem with my mention of boinking his sister. He just couldn't understand why, what with all of the euphemisms at my disposal, I had chosen one so closely associated with Bob Seger.
(I had considered using "making the two-backed beast", but I doubt that would have made him feel any better.)
Oh, OK, I'll add one more thing. MY WIFE says that we were fully clothed when I popped the question. Nah.
So there I was, being a basket case all day while MY (future) WIFE decided whether or not to accept my proposal. I've never liked waiting of any kind, but to wait for an answer that will decide my future? Sheer hell.
She said, "Yes."
(Well, what did you expect? I haven't been calling her MY (almost-but-not-quite-because-she-turned-down-my-proposal) WIFE. Wouldn't have been much of a wedding if she had said, "No.")
Having received the positive answer, we now had to tell people that we were getting married. Not a big problem, really. Her folks liked me and my folks liked her. However, there were extenuating circumstances.
My Dad was in the hospital and my Aunt Jeanne, my Mom's sister, had just passed away. It didn't seem like a propitious moment, so we held off. We also didn't want to just blurt it out like a couple of silly boobs before we had some details taken care of; for instance, the date.
We tossed around a couple of ideas. October may be our favorite month, all things considered, and both MY (future) WIFE's parents and grandparents had been married on the same date in October, so we gave serious consideration to getting married then. However, when we looked at a calendar, we saw that something somewhat rare was happening in the next year and we both immediately knew it was the right date for us to get married on. It was both serendipitous and goofy, just like us. We settled on February 29th.
Yes, February 29th. February 29th is not an easy date to forget. It only happens once every four years. I'm willing to bet that every person who attended our wedding remembers the date of our anniversary. And I certainly do, so that takes care of any of that "forgetful husband" crap when our anniversary rolls around. For another thing, 29 had always been a lucky number for me. It's the number I like to get on all of my softball uniforms. And the actual date would be 2/29/92, which is certainly... something. And it fell on a Saturday in 1992. Perfect!
(We will be celebrating our fourth anniversary in 2008. If you're still coming around here by then, you should get a life. No, wait a minute. What I meant to say was that if you're still coming around here by then and you want to get us a gift, the traditional 4th anniversary present is linen. We'll probably need some new sheets by then, so...)
Meanwhile, we had dinner one Sunday at my in-laws. I liked them a lot. Bill and Eleanor were nice folks and I miss them. Anyway, there we were sitting around the table - me, MY (future) WIFE, her mother and father, her sister Victoria, and Victoria's two daughters, Caitlyn, 5, and Alyssa, 3.
You have to understand, for this part of the story, that there was something otherworldly about Alyssa when she was very young. She saw things that other people didn't. Not dead people, but she was very much in touch with some sort of cosmic force, and you can call it God or something else if you like, but whatever it was, she was a spooky little kid sometimes. If I go into a lot of detail here, it would be far too much of a digression, so you'll have to take my word for it. She just knew stuff and nobody knew how she knew.
We're sitting there eating and she asked me to pass the bread. After I did, Victoria said, "What do we say, Alyssa?" and she said, "Thank you, Uncle Jimmy."
There was a collective gasp at the table. We hadn't said a blessed thing yet about being engaged, so everybody (except MY [future] WIFE and I) got all flustered and embarrassed and started to tell Alyssa that, while I was a nice guy, I wasn't really her uncle, etc., but we figured that was as good an opportunity as we were likely to get, so we said, "No, she's right, sort of. We are getting married."
(By the way, as Alyssa got closer and closer to puberty, she lost more and more of whatever connection she had. Not that she isn't still a sweet kid - she is. It's just that now I can't ask her for some numbers to play when I go to Las Vegas and have any expectations that those numbers will turn a profit. They did for a while and I gave her 10% off the top. I should have laid it in heavier than I did. Oh, well.)
When we told my Mom that we were getting married, she was delighted. After all, she had introduced us. We tried to be subtle about it. We were at my Grandmother's house, listening to some old recordings from my late Grandfather's collection of dixieland jazz, and MY WIFE said, "Do you have any wedding music in there?" Neither one of them took the bait, so we had to spell it out.
Once my Dad left the hospital and we told him about the wedding, he was very happy also. He liked MY (future) WIFE a lot. He certainly liked her a lot more than he liked my ex. As he told his racetrack buddies after meeting MY (future) WIFE, "Jimmy's stepping up in class."
As for how we told the rest of the world? Well, whereas some folks have their wedding announcement in the society pages of The Times, we had ours in Moos From The Farm.
Moos From The Farm was a newsletter published by Stonyfield Farms, makers of fine yogurt. We had both "adopted" cows through a fun program of theirs (Susie and Sadie were their names) and we received mailings from them on a regular basis telling us how our cows were doing and other stuff pertaining to dairy farming in New Hampshire.
Well, they had a regular feature called Mooers Profiles. Remember the scotch ads - Dewars Profiles? Like those, only with cows. And the prize for being featured in a Mooers Profile was a lifetime supply of yogurt. We figured that they wouldn't be able to pass up two of their "cow parents" getting married and we were right. So, we had our wedding announcement in the pages of Moos From The Farm and got a lifetime supply of yogurt, to boot.
(The "lifetime supply" was actually a huge stack of coupons, each one redeemable for a 32 oz. bucket of yogurt, which is a big bucket. We still have a couple of those coupons and we will never cash in the last one. We figure that when we do, we will die. It is a lifetime supply, after all.)
(I wanted to include the actual announcement here, but as with so many of the treasured mementos of things in my life, it is packed away somewhere in one of the many boxes full of crap in our basement. I'm happy to report, however, that Moos From The Farm is still being published. You can find the latest issue here. Unfortunately, the archives only go back to Spring 2002, which is after we were married. I suppose this is because, prior to our wedding, it was a print-only newsletter. Yes, we became engaged in THE BEFORE TIME!!!)
You women will get a kick out of this next part. Since we were being married in February, I figured we didn't have to really do anything about it until January.
You can stop laughing now.
Oh, OK, keep on laughing, then.
Next Time: THE SHITLOADS OF THINGS THAT GUYS WOULD NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS THINK HAD TO BE DONE BEFORE A WEDDING BUT (who woulda thunk it) YES THEY DO
(Go There Now!)