Although the official who married them must have been a retired auctioneer, everything was very nicely done. It wasn't too extravagant. The meal was delicious. And the bar was open. As long as you didn't get a mixed drink, you could actually taste the alcohol. I stuck with vodka on the rocks. No wine headache for me thank you.
Among my cousins, I am the only divorced woman without children, under 40. There is one other, who is over 40. There were no viable guys to even think to flirt with, and only one good-looking bartender. Despite my open plea for wedding crashers to show up, the only unwanted guest was my T.o.M. arriving promptly at the conclusion of the evening. Must have been all the shimming I did on the dance floor to the B52's Love Shack and The BlackEyed Peas I've Got a Feeling.
My Mom, who has been battling a cold in addition to the recent hospital
If photos surface that don't have me looking like a black trash bag ready for the curb, I'll share them. I am still two weeks out without a camera (Hello Blackberry renewal November). Although I didn't get many compliments (a lot of "nice-to-see-yous" which is fine because I didn't blow smoke up anyone's ass either), no one asked the dreaded "How's your love life" or "where's your date" singleton questions which rocked. One aunt asked about L, because she knew I moved to Jersey for him, and she was appropriately horrified when I told her he had married someone.
I did catch several men staring at my breastages which I found incredibly odd. It is not like my girls are anything like they used to be in their former glory before losing 9 inches with the weight. But apparently, these guys, some of my uncles even, haven't seen cleavage recently. When they would talk to me, their eyes kept drifting down there. I always heard women complaining of this phenomena, but now I've experienced it myself. I was amused and alarmed at the same time.
I was reflective about marriage. It would have been 19 years this month for me. How different life would be right now.
I always wanted a big wedding. By always, I mean, before I got married. So, before I turned 20, I had always thought I wanted a big wedding. Not that there was anyone to pay for it, but just in pure romantic theory.
I was in love with being in love, and I chased it like a storm chaser chases tornadoes; with very little regard for my own (emotional) life while in the presence of something larger and perceived in my mind to be from nature. I saw what my sisters had found, and I saw what my mother didn't have, and I swooned at the rock stars and movies. I wasn't going to be that Sally in 1989's When Harry Met Sally. I wasn't going to be crying to my best friend, "But I'm going to be 40....*sob* some....day..." while still single.
Here's the clip, minute 2:16 into it....
Little did I know at the time that I had removed the big wedding option for myself when I basically thumbed my nose at the entire tradition and got married on the spur of the moment while overseas on a field study leave from college without anyone's knowledge.
One has to understand the mindset of my 20-year old self at the time to fully grasp why the events took place as they did. I was impressionable yes, but I was also very aware of outside influences affecting my decisions. I would say no single factor carried more weight than the others, but combined they were the ultimate megacatalysism for my decision.
1. I had interviewed a former teacher living with PTSD and won recognition for a poem I'd written about him. His haunting tales and day-to-day struggles were very present in my psyche.
2. I had just completed a year studying under Michael Klare, Professor of Peace and World Security Studies, and I was incredibly hyper-aware how the world had screwed up so many lives during all previous wars. I was emotionally knee deep in the hawks and the doves of the Vietnam War via countless books and movies for my 3rd year's social studies term paper.
3. I began my trip overseas on August 2, 1990, the day Iraq invaded Kuwait. I'll never forget this because it was all anyone discussed on the plane. War with the United States was pending and the Iraqi ex-pats on the plane were hopeful for the end of Saddam Hussein's reign.
4. My newfound love had been avoiding his country's mandatory military obligation, extending his university education another semester, for several semesters already. But he could no longer do that if his country joined the US-led coalition against Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. And they would surely join, being the most steadfast ally the US has ever had in the region.
5. I fell hard for my husband. And he for me. There was love in abundance, to the point where I could have drowned in it. He wrote me poetry, struggling to find the words in English. He told me I was the marrow inside a man's bones; something life-sustaining, life-changing. And I wasn't about to lose someone who valued me that much to a "stupid war for oil."
1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 = enough reasons why I wasn't thinking that my mother might feel betrayed in old world Polish/Italian fashion that her youngest daughter got married without family present, or why I wasn't thinking how nice it would be to have a big wedding, get lots of gifts for a home we didn't have, and go on a honeymoon before living happily ever after.
I'd already had 6 weeks in paradise with him. I was simply innocently aiming to live happily in the near future in a war-free zone or in the world's war-defending nation at least.
So in hindsight I gave up that big wedding idea without a second thought or a first thought even. This was my lifetime love. It came so early but I was so sure of it. At age 20. I knew nothing of immigration except that if we were married, he could come to the states and live with me until I finished school. Why delay what we thought in love's terms would be inevitable anyway? He didn't try to push me to think this way at all; I think he was too shocked in love. It was all me. I convinced him getting married was the only way to assure we'd ever see each other again in pure dramatic style, to live a life of love together. I wouldn't lose him to the army. I wouldn't lose him to a war.
And that came true. I didn't lose him to the army or the Gulf War.
A lifetime love can still be lost. I lost him to the war of insecurities that we (men and women) all carry within ourselves that some of us allow to get in the way and destroy our relations with others.