It was a picture perfect day for an outdoor wedding. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, a light breeze blew and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I sat in the beautiful rose garden in the 5th row back, the husband on my left. We were surrounded by his co-workers and their wives. The large, stone mansion behind us was full of history and stories and anchored the site, lending a sense of grandness to the whole event. The glowing wedding couple stood underneath the arbor on the stone and brick terrace perched on the edge of the cliff. As we looked past the couple, the bright blue sky melted into the vast, equally blue water far below.
I’m not usually one who particularly enjoys sappy, emotional, romantic expression. Yet, when the bride and groom began to recite their wedding vows, and in such a beautiful, romantic setting, I found myself leaning my head to the left slightly and whispering quietly to the husband, “Awww…..isn’t that soooo sweet!” The promises they made, the hope they had, the belief and confidence they had in their future made me a bit jealous. It was all so innocent and rosy and happy. When they said their vows, you knew that they truly meant them. You got the feeling that they really would be married forever. It was all too much for me. I began to tear up a bit. I gazed over at the husband and it appeared as if he might be about ready to tear up as well. He looked down at me and grinned and nodded his head toward the couple standing on the edge of the cliff. I smiled back and nodded as well. My heart swelled. I reached out my hand and grabbed the husband’s hand. And it was wonderful. It was romantic. It was a special moment for us. We sat in that wonderful setting, listened to the touching words, and held hands. I found it extraordinary and so comforting that after 19 years of marriage we could still silently share the same thoughts. We were on the same page. We were connected.
After the ceremony we walked over to the large terrace at the back of the stone mansion where the reception was to be held. We sat and talked and ate some fabulous food with some of the husband’s co-workers and their wives. Soon, the conversation turned to the ceremony. One of the wives commented on what a beautiful ceremony it was. All of the wives nodded and echoed the sentiment. I mentioned that I was so touched I even began to tear up. The wives all agreed and continued to dissect every detail of the ceremony and the bride’s dress and the food. It was then that the bravest and most ignorant of the men rolled his eyeballs and piped up, “Hey, did any of you guys hear that twin big block Chevy engine offshore V-hull at full throttle that went by in the middle of their vows? Wasn’t that cool?”
The wives, in a rare and sudden moment of silence, glared at the ignorant husband in shock. Relieved to have the conversation topic changed from the unbelievable price of imported silk to the unbelievable sound of horsepower, my husband was the first to answer the ignorant man. “Oh, wasn’t that great!” he exclaimed, “I couldn’t believe I was hearing that out on the water. I’m thinking it was probably 502 Merc’s. It almost brought me to tears! “
“WHAT?” I managed to say to the husband a little too loudly. “You were almost brought to tears by a stinkin’ boat engine? Are you serious?”
“Well…um…yeah…” he reluctantly replied. “I thought you heard it too. You called it 'sweet'. I nodded to you......you nodded back. Remember?”
“I thought you nodded because of the vows and the roses and the old mansion…..and… and… the special moment that we had!” By this time all eyes at the table were upon us. There was a brief moment of uncomfortable stillness among our tablemates. And then the first giggle started. And soon they were all laughing. All of the other couples had been married longer than the husband and I and they found my naiveté and unrealistic expectations concerning manly wedding behavior most amusing.
I was most certainly disappointed and frustrated that the husband and I did not, apparently, share the same wedding thoughts and that our special moment was, apparently, completely fictional. Never one to hold a grudge for long though, my disappointment had faded by the time we were driving home in the car. I was back to my normal, positive thinking self. The husband and I had 45 minutes all to ourselves to talk and bond and grow closer without any children interrupting us. I had so many things that I wanted to tell the husband. I began to talk about our future and the fabric for the new furniture and how fat I was and the almost a teenager’s hormones. I went into detail about the kitten’s bowel movements and the new cleaner for the bathtub and the neighbor’s shoes that I liked. I finished up with telling him that Halle Berry was pregnant and that I needed to pay the cable bill and how I had stepped on a staple the day before. I was grateful to have this quality, one on one time with the husband where we could talk about our lives and get on the same page and really connect. I gazed over at the husband and smiled at him. He smiled back. I reached out my hand and grabbed the husband’s free hand. And it was wonderful. I found it extraordinary and so comforting that after 19 years of marriage we still cared about the same things.
Curious about the husband’s thoughts on everything “we” had just talked about and wanting to further our drive home bonding session, I asked him, “Honey, what are you thinking about right now?” He looked down at me and grinned and nodded his head toward a sign on the freeway.
“The truck scale is up ahead. Do you wanna go weigh the car? Motor Trend and the owner’s manual have different numbers for the weight of this car. I’ve always wondered blah, blah, blah, blah……..”
By the time we were home I was back to my normal, positive thinking self. And the good news is that I weighed 5 pounds less on the truck scale than my scale at home.
Check This Out!
Look for the documentary The Heart of the Game. Follow the true story of Seattle’s Roosevelt High School girl’s basketball team. This movie takes you through the tumultuous and gripping story of the young women playing the game, their unorthodox coach and a six year journey that ends up being about so much more than just basketball. It’s an inspirational sports movie that stands up to the best of them.