Peggy Sue Got Married
And so did I. I don’t know why that movie title comes to mind – I don’t think I’ve ever seen it. And I’ve never been to one of my high school reunions. I prefer that people remember me the way I was. Why dissillusion them? We put a picture and an announcement in the local paper and disappeared. To let all my old boyfriends know I was finally beyond their reach. haha. Or maybe to just let them know I finally made up my mind about something.
Our wedding was a poorly planned fiasco. But strangely enough, with a lot of vivid, fun memories. After we met in March, we spent the summer apart at our respective homes, working, waiting to get back to university. Had some pretty stunning phone bills. Even wrote some letters. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that drivel. The following summer I cannot explain what possessed us to decide that living with his mother would be a great idea. He had a good summer job which kept him away from home a lot, and I worked as a waitress at a bakery and got to know his family way too intimately for my liking. Here is how W. proposed. “We have to get the hell out of this house! Set a date and lets get married.” Ever and always the incurable romantic. So I picked up a calendar and chose the 20th of November. It was a couple of months away and I figured it would give my family enough time to get used to the idea. Never heard of anyone in their right mind getting married in November, so figured it suited us well. I went by myself to pick out wedding bands (no diamond – we couldn’t afford it, and it just was never that important to either of us.) We got a marriage license. Should have been almost a done deal by then, right? We did not want a big production. If we could have just sworn eternal devotion to eachother with a couple of witnesses, that would have been ideal. But from the time we mentioned it to his mother, she went more mental than either of us could ever have anticipated. Have you seen “Monster in Law”? It was based on a true story, whether they know it or not, and definitely drew from my MIL’s character. I found many parts of that movie really hard to laugh at, having lived it.
I don’t like control freaks, but I seem to lack the qualities it takes to stand up to them. I’m more the passive aggressive type. So whenever my future MIL made a suggestion, I went along with it only to a point. adding my own stubborn twists simply to annoy her, and so between the two of us we planned the wedding from hell. I hope I drove her a little crazy, because I like to return favours.
I didn’t want a fancy wedding dress, but she insisted a white dress was necessary. So I bought a beach cover up pattern and some material and some silver trim and made a long flowing robe thing with a hood. No freaky veil for me. It cost me in total about 20 bucks. I wanted my sisters to wear deep purple in the same pattern, but we had to settle for deep blue. MIL insisted I carry red roses. So when I was asked what color flowers for the bridesmaids I asked for orange, the first clashing color that came to mind. Unfortunately I had to settle for pink. Close enough. We told the groomsmen to come in any suit color they had. So the groom wore…I can’t even remember, blue grey? His brother had a brown pin stripe gangster kind of suit, another guy had brown and my brother wore black. There was quite an interesting variety of ties and shirt colors. Perhaps one of the reasons the photographer took some black and white pics. My brother was the odd man out, but was there to be an usher with one of the groomsmen only, and not expected to be in the pictures, because that would make it all lop- sided. As if we cared. I have two sisters, but the younger one, being more crazy than normal at the time, decided she didn’t want to stand up for me, and although she came to the wedding she didn’t get dressed up in her ‘robe’ or walk down the aisle. MIL was flabbergasted, but it was something the members of my family weren’t too surprised about. We were all used to her eccentricities. She was happy to be asked, but politely declined at the last minute. So the pictures were all lop-sided anyway. The funniest ones are the ones including our parents. My mom has short sleeves and short little white gloves and some kind of strange barrel shaped hat. My dad left his toe rubbers on, and his pants are too long. My father in law looks drunk. I later realized he probably was. My MIL is holding a rectangular purse that is so big it is the first thing your eyes are drawn to – the second thing is her cowboy hat, crossed with a derby. I don’t know how else to describe it. W. and I look obliviously happy – most of the pictures we’re looking at eachother smiling. No one needs to know how hysterically funny we found the whole day.
We got married in my home town in our little church with the bare minimum of relatives present. His family (also the bare minimum) had to make the two day trip to be there. That day there was freezing rain, so lots of people weren’t able to make it, but our university friends risked life and limb to be there. We had a luncheon in the church basement afterwards and then went back to my parent’s house to party with our friends who were always happy for any excuse to drink. Neither of us thought to book a place to spend our wedding night. So we ended up driving down the road and banging on the door of an old farm house that some friends were renting, and crashed in an upstairs bedroom that was freezing cold and full of dead flies. Unfortunately, we have no honey moon pictures. LOL
The following day we had to start our trip back to northwestern Ontario, so we had asked that people inclined to give us gifts give money only. We still had a car full of stuff. And although both of us would have been very happy to call that the end of it and the beginning of our married life where we chose our own destiny, MIL wasn’t finished with us yet. They put on a huge reception for us a week later with a rented hall, a huge meal and a band and a dance. All things we didn’t really want but are supposed to be eternally grateful for. And that’s where the gifts REALLY poured in. I don’t remember people asking us what we wanted or needed, but I’m pretty certain they took suggestions from dear MIL. We had moved into a little three room house (kitchen, living room, bed/bath combo) about the size of someone’s garage. It was, in my words, ‘heavenly’ and in MIL’s words ‘quaint’. We had borrowed and/or cast-off furniture, a mattress on the floor, our clothes in boxes, a tiny little black and white tv with pathetic reception, and no worries about people visiting us because there was nowhere to sit. So what use did we have for crystal for crying out loud. And wine decanters and silver serving platters. We stored them as long as we could get away with it, but for years after we moved away, every time MIL came to visit she would bring us some long forgotten wedding present.
The party itself was otherwise not for my benefit by any stretch of the imagination. W. spent the entire evenning dancing with aunts and cousins and people neither of us had ever met. MIL was in her glory, putting on a big splashy event meant primarily to impress the neighbors. I truly believe if I had slipped out early in the evenning, no one would have missed me. Oh wait – except for one person. He was the younger brother of one of W.’s best friends. His name was Dougie, he was about four foot ten and he was falling-down drunk. He staggered over to me and asked if he might have a “dancewiththebride”. His powers of ennunciation had all but deserted him by that point. So he stared at my chest while we stumbled around the dance floor. He had an extreme case of short term memory loss, so he repeated this procedure several times until he also lost his sense of direction.
Is it any wonder to anyone that I have taken a vow to never ever get married again, no matter what the circumstances? Once was more than enough.