26 Years

 Twenty six years ago today I got married.  And yes, I am still married.  Sometimes I wonder how we managed to pull it off.  Our years have certainly had their ups and downs.  We've struggled more than I'd like; it seems like there has been more sickness than health and we've definitely skipped over the for richer portion.  Overall though, it's been a pretty good life (Well that's a rousing endorsement.)

With that said, I thought today would be a good day to share some memories and "fun facts" about my September 13th (and cheating a bit, the days around it) over the past 26 years!

  • Yes, I was a Friday the 13th.  It was also the eve of Rosh Hashanah, which I didn't know when I reserved the date a year + in advance.  Had I known would I have changed the date?  Probably, but by the time it was brought to my attention, it was just a few months before the wedding, so it was too late.  Biggest regret that as a result Steve's grandfather did not come.  His grandmother did and for that I am grateful.
  • The day itself was strange.  Sunny for some of the day (the pre-wedding photos prove that), but overcast other parts.  There was torrential rain at one point, which caused major issues on the Garden State Parkway.  Some guests did not make it as result.  Others were late as a result.  Ever punctual me (I am compulsively early; being late gives me anxiety) had wait.  I didn't want to leave the house until I knew the DJ was at the venue.  (He wasn't; he was stuck on the highway and hoping that the news copter that was circling the area would capture his face so that we knew what was going on.  Cell phones were not yet really a thing.)  I finally did arrive, without a DJ to play music, but with my church's choir director, who had brought her portable electric keyboard, which saved the day.  (Until the DJ got there, which he apparently did during the ceremony because there was music after the service was over.)
  • The suit my husband wore was purchased by me as a gift.  It cost more than my wedding dress, which was bought on sale at a shopping in Bloomfield, NJ.  Because it was on sale, we had to pay cash for it.  My mother and I scrambled to come up with enough for it while we were there.  To this day I'm not sure how we pulled it off.  I still have my dress on a hanger (it survived being in a closet at the shore house during Superstorm Sandy) in the basement.  I should probably give it away because it is a lovely, simple dress.  My husband got more wear out of his suit than I did out of the dress.  He did finally get rid of it relatively recently.
  • I met my husband's best man the day of the wedding.  He flew in especially for my husband the day before.  The two of them spent the night in our house before taking a car down to the hotel where they would hang out until the wedding.  (It is also where my husband first met my cousin, who greeted him when he arrived with the question:  "Are you Steve?")  I had to pick my maid of honor at the train station.  We had known each other since high school; although we became better friends after both of us graduated from college and returned to our home towns.  We had traveled together (to Vegas more than once) and did regular walks around the park.  Unfortunately after I got married we kind of lost touch.  To this day I don't know where she is.  (I've tried on line research and social media and have not been successful.)  That is a regret of mine too.  Both of them signed the wedding papers for us, so they will always be part of our history.
  • I've said it before, but I'll say it again; there was no wedding cake.  Vegan baking had not yet made it into my realm and if the bride couldn't have cake, no one was having cake.  Guests (mostly friends of my parents) seem to think we had one.  What we DID have was great food (like lamb, which I LOVE) and drink.  Although neither my husband nor I really ate or drank.  We know the food was great because when we went back the next day to clean up, we ate leftovers and they were good.  Really good.  My mom was in charge of mostly everything wedding (I may have gotten married, but it was HER party) and made sure the caterer knew that nothing they made could have anything I was allergic to in it.  (I believe she threatened to cut off his...well you figure it out...if he sent me to the hospital on my wedding day.)
  • For most of the wedding party, I danced.  Not necessarily with my husband; although I know we danced together several times.  ("Love Will Keep Us Alive" by the Eagles was our wedding song; which may have surprised people as the two of us are both HUGE Beatles fans.)  I know I danced with my dad, my brother and my uncle. (He was my father's brother who flew all the way from Colorado to attend and also ended up dancing with his high school girlfriend that night.  This would also be the last time I saw my father, his brother and his sister together, as he would unexpected die a few years later.  I'm so glad he came.)  I danced with my friends from work.  I danced ALOT.  And all in my stocking feet because my shoes (which I had worn several time BEFORE the wedding) were killing my feet.
  • Most important guests at the wedding were my husband's grandmother and my great uncle Harold.  He, along with his son (my cousin who welcomed my husband when he arrived at the hotel) and my cousin's wife flew in from California.  I hadn't seen my cousin and his wife since I was really little and they are wonderful people.  (I wish we lived closer.)  Without my cousin taking charge I wouldn't have had a wedding video (again something that I will always be grateful for).  My great uncle Harold was one of my favorite people in the world.  He promised sunshine and we did get it.  Of course, he brought sunshine wherever he went.
  • The party went overtime.  I think we were supposed to clear out at 10, but I don't think we left until after 11.  I guess that's the sign of a good party.  I can't remember who drove us back to the house where I got my bag, but I do know that I drove us to the hotel.  I was still in my wedding dress, but had put on sneakers.  (Maybe I should have done that all along?)  As my husband said, we looked like the top of a wedding cake when we walked into the hotel and tiredly climbed the stairs to our room. (Supposedly there is an elevator in this small hotel; I don't remember that.)  All the two of us wanted to do was get out of our clothes (I had a corset that I was DYING to get out of.)  It wasn't a romantic evening; it was an evening of exhaustion.  We both wanted to sleep, but we were both in pain (feet, back...you name it).  There was no Tylenol or sleeping aid in my bag (a mistake I would NEVER make again).  Happily married, we both moaned that we just wanted to sleep!
  • I have fond memories of the day AFTER our wedding, when we returned to my parent's shore house and gathered up stuff to take home.  We also helped clean up the venue that morning, got to eat left overs and got to know my cousin and his wife a little better.  (Again I say I wish we lived closer, especially since they have never met my son and he adores them both even though they have only spoken over the phone.)  We headed home, surprising our neighbor, and got ready for our honeymoon at Disney (which was to start the next day).  I wrote as many thank you cards as I could (because my mom taught me well) and I'm pretty sure we had Burger King for dinner.  (Why would I remember that?)
  • Before our son came along in 2005, we planned our vacation around our anniversary.  (I can't speak for now, but it used to be a great time to travel since kids were back in school.)  We honeymooned in Disneyworld.  We did the same for our first anniversary.  (Where I met Dan & Dan, the Reedy Creek Paramedics).The next year we went to Cape Cod. (Where the movie, Armageddon killed my car; my battery died at the drive in) The following year we had to delay our trip to Disneyworld until October. (Which turned out to be a good thing as there was a hurricane in September and by going in October we got to experience some of the Halloween events as well as see Squeeze perform at Downtown Disney.)  We were Disneyworld annual pass holders in 2000-2001, so we had several long visits there.  (Including being there on September 11, 2001).  After that we did a trip to Cape Cod again and a visit to the White Mountains of New Hampshire (where we drove to the top of Mount Washington, something I would NOT do again.  Take the train!). After that having a baby did kind of put a damper on long vacations and anniversary celebrations.

That's just a handful of all of the memories from 26 years ago and on...there's so much more and maybe I should write about that soon before the memories start to fade.  (Or fade more...I'm not getting any younger.)  While we've had our share of challenges, they are not what I care to remember or write about.  The bad times have certainly stunk, but we've had so much fun over the past 26 years.  That's what I'll be focusing on today...and always.


Love you Steve!


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