Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Other People's Weddings
Last Friday my husband, the alien, and I attended the wedding of one of his students. During the ceremony, the officiator (I’m not sure of her title) said, “If you remember anything of this day, I hope you remember that you love each other and that your friends and family came together today to support you in your new life together.”
That got me thinking – what do I remember about my own wedding? Not much.
I remember that I made my own dress and the zipper got stuck and I called my husband at work to ask him to come home and get me out of it.
I remember that the key to the room where the flowers had been stored was lost and my mother was upset, but all I cared about was that my beloved husband-to-be was there safe and sound. We’d been living together, but my grandmother was not officially informed of that fact, and she expected us to show up in separate cars.
It turned out that flower delivery folks had taken the key and they did refund my mother for the cost of the flowers.
I remember that the rabbi had spittle coming out of his mouth while he talked.
I remember that I had to drink a sip of wine. I find the taste of alcohol totally repulsive and I had to really want this marriage to actually imbibe.
I remember my husband telling me that he and his best man (with whom he is no longer in contact) had to stop at the grocery store to buy a glass to break.
I remember my husband kissed me in front of everybody and afterwards some of my parents’ friends said their husbands had never kissed them that passionately.
And, I remember that my husband had printed out maps to my parents’ home for the reception but almost nobody needed one.
But I do not remember what the rabbi said. I have a vague memory that the rabbi used the “obey promise” even though I didn’t want him to and rather than interrupt the wedding, I went along with it. Today, I would interrupt. But that was over 45 years ago and I’ve become stronger.
I remember much more about what was said at other people’s weddings.
And I think maybe that’s the point. Each time I attend a wedding, I remember my luck at finding my beloved, and I mentally renew my commitment. Those promises were unimaginable when we made them. This time, after both of us having been through illnesses, the “in sickness and in health” part was no longer scary. We’ve had the poverty experience several times, and the good financial times. We’ve done those promises. It’s just what we do because we love each other.
Somehow, seeing those promises from the other side feels like a milestone.
And yes, what I mainly remember about my wedding is that my husband and I love each other and our friends and family came together to support us.