It wasn’t until I looked at one of my social media accounts that I realized yesterday was my wedding anniversary. 9/27/97 – the repetitive nature of the numbers always made it easy for me to remember.
Nineteen years ago (and a day, now) I got married at Our Lady of Lourdes. There were three officiants – a monsignor, prior of a Benedictine monastery, and a priest from Brooklyn who’d been a clergyman for an arts college down there. I had known the first two since birth – the last since my teens. They were family.
There were monks in the choir loft, along with Beverly and Tim – her a friend of the family for more years than I’d been alive, and him a friend of mine from my waitressing days. There were six bridesmaids, a junior bridesmaid, and a flowergirl on my side – similar stats on his.
We had readers from both sides of the aisles, the artwork on the program was done by an artist I’d grown up knowing, an accomplished wood cut printmaker. She had had prints used in children’s books and we had quite of a few of her prints matted and framed in our house growing up. My godparents had passed away, unfortunately, but my sister’s were there. So many of our family’s friends were there – along with my tiny extended family – which was nice because it was so very rare.
There was jigging at one point – some of us girls had been Irish dancers way back in the day when we were little bits dolled up in white dresses with big green shamrocks across the front. There was the pulling out of Vinny’s campaign poster – and Vinny’s terribly classy move of pulling a gag pair of gigantic pink underwear out from under my wedding gown (instead of the garter belt). I still hate that he did that, though two girlfriends literally fit themselves into the two leg holes and took a picture – that made it less awful… sort of.
I don’t remember the food. I don’t really remember the cake, though I think Sweet and Saucy made it. I had sunflowers for the girls – white roses with pink edges for me – an awful – truly awful photographer who refused to take extra photos (though she was using a digital camera at the time) and a miserable couple who were hired by my parents for the music – and knew zero songs we all liked, so we just kept handing them CDs and requesting that they play our favorites.
Did I mention that he was drunk at the church? Or that he liked to joke loudly how one of his friends or cousins had to strong arm him into getting out of the limousine and enter the church?
It breaks my heart. All of these memories – the good ones, the golden ones – are of my friends, my family, feeling special and treasured by them all. The sadness comes from thinking of this man – of my idealistic beliefs that I would have a marriage that lasted/lasts like my parents. I had to mourn my marriage. I went through the 5 stages of grief I learned all about in high school – DABDA – depression, anger, bargaining, denial, acceptance (I’m not sure I got the D’s in the correct order).
And, in truth, I’m losing hope I ever will meet a man who loves me for me. Sometimes I have fleeting thoughts that I should do or be different to “attract” someone. But, I’m mentally slapping myself every time I think it. I refuse to be less myself, to allow myself to feel like I’m unloveable simply because I haven’t met my match. Maybe there isn’t one – and that’s the saddest thought of all to me – but I won’t debase myself, I won’t tell myself that I’m just not good enough to be loved as I am.
I’m writing my own script now and I have to put myself in first place.