I have to say I noticed something remarkable. The Beetle said he was not thrilled about shopping for a suit, and he said he was not thrilled about wearing a suit. At the wedding, though, he sure did seem to like that suit! He walked a little taller and seemed a little prouder. He was a pretty good lookin’ boy in that suit too. (I might be a little biased…) The Goose moved a little more elegantly, and she even put her napkin in her lap at dinner. She managed to keep her shoes on for the entire reception. It was amazing. Maybe I should make them dress up more often. People might even begin to think we’re civilized!
The talk of the wedding quickly shifted to my wedding. Oh, you heard me right (well, you read me right…). I said “my” wedding.
You see, Mr. E and I will fly out this Saturday to go to St. Lucia. It’s a work trip, of course. (Like we could ever afford to go to St. Lucia on our own time…) Part of my assignment is for us to renew our vows. When I was first offered the opportunity to do this, I thought, “Why not? They’re bound to give us cake.” When I mentioned it to Mr. E, he wasn’t so hip on the idea of renewing our vows. He said, and I quote, “I told you once that I loved you. If it changes, I’ll let you know.” Whatever. The man adores me, and I know it.
Anywho, I convinced him to go along with the renewal by telling him there would be free cake. I’m pretty sure he didn’t care nearly as much as I did about the cake. He just did it to humor me. Regardless of how it happened, we agreed to renew our vows.
So, here’s what I didn’t realize. I did not realize having a vow renewal ceremony is just like having a wedding. I really thought we’d show up, say, I do again,” and that would be that. (Oh, and don’t forget eating the cake.) I did not realize I would have to talk to a wedding planner and make decisions!
The first time I got married. (Okay, wait. That sounds wrong.) When I planned my real wedding (that sounds better), I took a year to plan my wedding. We had known from the time I was 16 that we were getting married, but we had to wait until I was old enough that my parents wouldn’t freak out (or at least that was how I perceived it in my teenage head). When I was 19, I was about to graduate with my AA degree, and I knew I did not want to go on to get my BA. I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up, so there was no point in wasting the money. At that point, we decided on the date of our wedding. We had a year and a few months when we picked the date. I told the Mr. I wanted one full year to plan the wedding. Therefore, if we were getting married on May 22, he had to propose to me in May of the year before. (Boy, I was bossy!) So, on May 1, he proposed. He said he did it because he didn’t want to have to listen to me for a full month. (I prefer to tell the story as: He was just so excited to propose, he couldn’t wait another day.)
Anywho, I got my year to plan. It was a good thing, because I had been sneaking Bride magazines into my bedroom by placing them under my shirt for months. I needed to go public with the information! I have no idea why I thought my parents would freak out. It wasn’t as though they weren’t aware that we had been dating since I was 15.
For my wedding, I worried about every detail. I did the flowers myself. I made sure all the colors matched and everything was just as I wanted it. It’s funny. I look back now at pictures, and my wedding was so tacky. However, at the time, it was just what I wanted.
This time around, I have no opinions. I honestly didn’t even know that I would be required to have an opinion. I had my second phone call with the wedding planner the other day, and she asked me what color flowers I wanted, what kind of music I wanted, whether we wanted to write our own vows, where we wanted the ceremony to be held, etc., etc. etc. I guess as a good mystery shopper, I should have been more prepared. My answers to her were, “Uh. What are my choices?” “Whatever you think is fine.” “I have no idea.” Way to blend in there as a typical bride, Al! I did explain to the wedding planner that, since I had worked so hard to plan my wedding, I just wanted the renewal ceremony to “happen.” She seemed to accept that as a valid answer. Of course, when she asked what flavor of cake I wanted, I knew immediately. Then, she said if I wasn’t sure, we could have a cake tasting. More cake? Oh, yeah. I’m definitely undecided.
I’ve got a dress. I even have a flower for my hair. I am ready to get married! The one thing I don’t have is my vows. I asked Mr. E last night if he had written his. He said, “Oh. This isn’t like College English, where I showed up and you told me what topic I was writing about?” No, buddy, it’s not. I ain’t doing your homework for you this time. (Actually, I probably will, but don’t tell him that. Let’s let him sweat it for a little while.)
My preacher’s wife is a hair stylist, and I went to get my hair cut the other day. I told her I had no idea how to wear a flower in my hair. (Don’t laugh at me.) So, she fixed it all up for me. My hair was bigger than it has been since the late 80s. Of course, the Goose thought it looked horrible, because it was curly and she’s used to seeming my hair straight. I showed it to Mr. Everything, and he said it looked “fine.” *Sigh.* So, the next day, I styled my hair in a straight style and put the flower in my hair. I showed it to him, and he said it looked “fine.” The Beetle walked in as I was wearing the flower in my hair, and he just looked at me and did not even act like he noticed I was wearing a flower in my hair. Boys.
Finally, I told Mr. Everything I really needed his opinion. I asked him if he thought my hair looked better straight or curled as I’d had it the day before. He said, “You know this is just a mystery shopping assignment, right?” I said, “Oh, so you don’t love me enough to marry me again?” He said, “I’d marry you every day for the rest of my life.” Good save. I guess I’ll let him go on the trip with me.
I asked Mr. E again which way looked best for my hair. He said, “Either way is fine.” There was that word again. Fine. So, I said, through gritted teeth, “No. Really. Pick a hairstyle.” He said, “I guesss I like it flat.” Oh. No. He. Didn’t. I had just spent 30 minutes moussing, blow drying and curling the ends of my hair so it would have volume, and he liked it flat. I said I couldn’t believe he had just said that, and the man had no idea what he had said. I finally said, “Flat? Really?” He said, “What? It’s the opposite of curly. Flat.” “No,” I said, showing great self restraint by not popping him in the head, “Straight is the opposite of curly. Flat is what you’re gonna be if you call my hair flat again!” He said, “Flat. Straight. Same difference.” Grrrr…
So, now, the bags are packed, and I am ready! I’ve got my dress, my flower and my flat hair. We’re going to have a great time, I hope. I’m looking forward to sitting on the beach (in the shade, of course, since Mr. E still can’t be in the sun from his burns) and relaxing. Our wedding renewal is scheduled for the last day of our trip, October 31. Maybe I’ll fix my hair like Frankenstein’s bride since it’s Halloween. At least it won't be flat! -Al