For some of you who have been watching in horror the relationship between Andy and I, it may come as no surprise to you that our engagement was anything but romantic. Our ceremony wasn't presided over by a prestigious priest or rabbit or a suave captain of a ship. Our reception did not consist of fancy shmancy table linens or a suave captain of ship moonlighting as a DJ.
Because of my parents' horrible marriage and my lack of faith in men to keep it in their pants and not go around showing it to anyone with boobies, I never wanted to get married. I would have been happy living with a special someone until he or I headed for the big garden in the sky but Andy had other ideas.
We were planning on moving in together around October of 2001. Our furniture was on layaway and we were paying it off and had a savings account where we were each putting money in for any odds and ends we might need in the future. You know, like hard hats and stuff?
We had discussed marriage –somewhat– but Andy, sensing how skittish I was about the subject, would drop it and we'd talk about sports instead. Yup, I'd rather talk about sports than getting married. Then one day, he stopped by my house and asked if I wanted to go for a walk. Here is the story I wrote for Marie:
It was a brisk sunny day in late March when a young couple (the man was young, the woman had some years on her) were walking hand in hand through a park close to her home in Chicago.
He was nervously staring at the ground as they walked, wondering how he would broach THE subject. She was happily smelling the scents of the changing season, wondering why she didn't have a fireplace in her home. How much would it cost to have one installed? Crap! Bees! Isn't it too early for bees??
He told her to sit on a stone bench so they could talk. She sat and squinted at the setting sun.
He cleared his throat, coughed. She kicked the dirt around her. Both lost in their thoughts and unaware of what the other was thinking. The differences in their personalities clear to those who knew them.
So um I was thinking...
A bee! Crap! Is it on me?? Is it?? [standing up twirling this way and that]
No! It flew away. Calm down you big baby!
Dude, if I get stung I'm going to pinch you so hard you'll lose consciousness and wake up being cuddled by homeless Bill.
Shhhhh! Listen!! Anyway, I was thinking we should get married.
... ... um, okay.
He had us going to get our marriage license that weekend and then scheduled us at the courthouse for their first opening.
Monday April 16, 2001 @ 11:30 AM. M-O-N-D-A-Y.
So we headed downtown and were sitting with other weirdo whack jobs waiting their turn. There was one couple who looked to be in their 40s and he was wearing a tuxedo shirt and she was wearing a little veil and holding a plastic bouquet. Me? I was wearing jeans and a blue sweater. I have no idea what Andy was wearing but I'm sure he was just as casual.
Our name was called and an anonymous person signed as a witness and off we went to see the judge. The judge was a nice man who asked us if we wanted the long or the short version. I don't remember which we picked but he went on and on about circles and eternity and life and love but all Andy and I could do was giggle. Yeah, I was 28 and should have been more mature about the whole thing but here I am 36 and all I can think about is Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire.
We left with our little certificate and got back on the blue line (train) then took a bus to my house where Andy had left his car. We then met his mom and brother at Baker's Square for lunch. My new mother in law paid. Thanks Mom R! ;o)
So that was in April, right?
Since it was too cold to have a friends and family party outside, we decided to wait until July to have our little *reception*.
On July 14, 2001 we were joined by people who cared about us and others that tolerated me for a nice little backyard shindig.
My dress was $45 bought on clearance and he wore khakis and crisp white shirt.
The highlight was hanging out with the people I cared about most in the world and not having too much pressure or attention focused on me.
The lowlight was my dad, drunk out of his ever lovin' mind, telling people what a bunch of ingrates for children he had. Good times.
That was in July of 2001.
As husband and Wife.
Andy and I did not live together until October of 2001. You read that right. Plans could not be changed. We couldn't pay off our furniture before then and the people living in the upstairs apartment were not leaving until then. There was no way I would move in with his parents, seriously my father in law would drive me apeshit my first week there, right Mom R? And Andy could not move in with me because I shared a room with my sister Nancy and that would just be weird.
When we finally moved in together, six months after we got married, we had no bed for a week because the mattress people had messed up and had the delivery date for a week after we moved in. Soooo he slept on the couch and I slept on the love-seat for the first week of us living together. For reals, yo.
The Saturday they delivered our mattress, we had our good friends, we will call them Lark and LarryAnn, come over for a fun game of asshole. This game is not about trying to figure out who the biggest jerk is. It's a card game about strategy and skill. Oh, also the object is to get the lowest person on the wrung drunuuunk! Ahhh we used to love that game! What a great excuse to get completely hammered and then keep crashing into doors.
The first night we were able to sleep in our very first bed as a married couple, we were so wasted we passed out. The killer was waking up at 6 in the morning and trying to slide off the insanely tall bed. I thought I was having my dream where I'm falling but at the same time floating in space. Having slept in a twin bed my whole life, that gimondo bed took months to get used to.
So that is our story and we're stickin' to it till one of us gets eaten by Tazz. Congrats, Magpie!