You might think at this point I sound very harsh or that maybe I was reading into things a little too much, but I assure you I was not. You don’t grow up the way I have and lead the life I have without coming up with some street smarts. It’s a dangerous combination to be both book and street smart. The day of your wedding, you are supposed to be surrounded by your girlfriends and family, having a day at the spa, preparing yourself for the next chapter in your life with a calm excitement. I spent my wedding day cleaning, arranging the chairs, setting up tents and gift tables, running to the store for last minute items, and finally about an hour or so before the ceremony, getting myself ready. We had hired a renaissance princess to come entertain the children that would be in attendance and I got word she was there looking for a place to set up….SHIT, we forgot about her. My mother had to drop what she was doing and run to my house to get her set up. I was left with his mother, who had come to fit the girls with their dresses. My daughter, the day before, decided to cut her own bangs to the point that she left stubs of uneven hair over her eyes. She looked adorably imperfect with her floral headpiece on. It was chaos but it was ok until my mother in law to be presented me with a cross to wear around my neck. A cross. To wear. Around MY neck. The atheist. I froze. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to be rude but seriously??? Every fiber in my body rejected the idea and I suddenly began hiving. I reluctantly let her put it on because honestly I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to cry and scream and rip my dress off and call the whole thing off. I should have. I didn’t. I went downstairs to take pictures, the photographer was there, perfect timing. My mother got back just in time to see us taking pictures and to see my face, not to mention my hives. I hive when I am really, really angry or upset about something and my entire chest was covered. His mother knew exactly what she was doing. Then his sister came with what was supposed to be a simple, tiny bouquet of deep red roses. It was a HUGE bouquet of white and purple flowers, long and heavy, and held together with what looked like white bandage tape. I was speechless. It was all wrong. Everything was all wrong. I wanted to stop. I wanted to sit on the ground and cry but I was being ushered into a van to be taken to the awaiting groom. I felt like a caged animal. I walked down that aisle the entire time praying for some sort of natural disaster to occur. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole. I have hives in every picture and the look in my eyes says “help”. During the ceremony someone in his family literally yelled out “Hey Mike, next time you do this, make it an indoor wedding huh!?” Really?? Really?? We kept going. I said my I dos and it was done. My family and friends were livid at the audacity of someone yelling that out during the ceremony. We tried to make light of it to keep the peace. It was very tense. We ate, danced, drank and then sat to open some of the gifts because some family member’s were flying back that night and wanted to see us open them. We got to his brother’s gift. It was a cruise to the Caribbean. I was shocked and super excited, I had never been anywhere outside of the US. I thanked him profusely. It would be our honeymoon. My best friend M said something like “wow, that’s awesome, how nice of you!, I hope I meet a man who’s brother sends me on a cruise, so sweet” She was being legitimately nice. She was happy for me. It was followed by his sister saying, “well I guess it wouldn’t be too hard to meet a man at a club and if you blow him well enough he’ll marry you like Mike did”…and nodded in my direction. Things fell apart immediately. There was an exchange of words, me restraining M from punching her in the face, which I would have allowed any other time. A call to the limo company to rush them. The limo arrived to take us to the club that we met at, which was attached to a hotel we would stay in for the night. The limo’s air conditioning wasn’t working. I didn’t care. I was so angry and upset by the events at the wedding I decided to go anyway, in my gown, right then and there. So we piled in, it was supposed to be for just us but I invited my friends and family, whoever wanted to go. I was in such a rush to get out of there that I did not bring any additional clothes, no overnight bag. We proceeded to dance and drink the night away, my gown ripping and being spilled on the whole night, it was pretty symbolic looking back. I did the ULTIMATE walk of shame, in my stained, torn and tattered wedding dress through the hotel lobby the next morning, with my new husband to a cab to take me home. It was done and so was my marriage.
*** the attached pictures are of my actual wedding, note the painting on the wall behind the groom (in white) is the same one from the previous page. Note the cross around my neck, my daughter, she’s the one without bangs, the hives on my chest, and the look on my face as I am getting into the van with the horrendous flowers***