The Wedding

So the wedding…

Let me say up front, it was one of the most unique (in a good way) and detail oriented weddings I’ve ever been to. Traditional with a modern flair, if that exists. She is an event planner so she was able to pick and choose details she’s done for other people and make them her own.

Prior to the wedding, there were so many different things to attend! It started off with girls pedicure on Thursday (me, bride, step mother, brides grandmother, step brother’s new fiance, my daughter, and step brother’s 3yr old illegitimate daughter). We had champagne and cranberry juice with cheese and crackers. After my pedi was complete and I was about three glasses of champagne in, an old lady in there having her nails done went into a seizure. Two of her daughters (in their 50s mind you) were in there with her. She went white and was in and out of consciousness. The ambulance came to take her to the hospital. I had to explain to the kids what was going on in simple terms: that lady is very sick; she has to go to the hospital…but it’s ok…they are taking care of her. Once they got her in the ambulance, my step mother and I finished off the remaining champagne!!! Jesus! The whole time I’m thinking…this is a bad sign.

That night, bride’s family all went to dinner at Franco’s. We (me, Luke and the kids) opted out of that because they were going to have like 30 people in that little restaurant already and we figured it would be too long for the kids to wait. We were invited to Norma’s (step mother) house afterward for dessert with the family and planned to attend that instead.  At the house, people began to pour in; some of them we knew and some we didn’t. Most were nice and introduced themselves. Of course, my cousin Tina was there. She’s the one I have to thank for introducing my father to Norma. I try to keep her at arms length and not tell her anything I wouldn’t want the world to know.  And she grew up in NC and doesn’t know the Ken Hoots WE know…nor do any of the rest of these people. Tina immediately told me her dad (my uncle, my dad’s brother) hated the he couldn’t be there but he just couldn’t come back to Orange Beach anymore without Ken there. My thought? Ummm…yeah. Because who’s gonna buy his airline ticket??? So, this was the first night of , “I’m so sorry about your dad. He was such a sweet man. We all miss him soooo much.” to which I would respond, “Would you please excuse me….I need to go get another glass of wine.” This is also the first time my children met Norma’s new boyfriend, Mike. After, the kids wanted to know if Mike lives with Norma. My response, “No, NorMama lives with MIKE.” You could see the little wheels turning in Cole’s head.

On to Friday, rehearsal dinner night. I took the kids out to Caribe to swim in the indoor pool that day while the family was working on preparations for the wedding and such. That evening, the kids had to be at the church for rehearsal by 4:30p. Luke and I were to go back to Norma’s house to greet friends and family arriving for the pre-dinner cocktails. Again, more people we didn’t really know droning on about my dad and lots of the bride’s young girlfriends with babies….none of whom ever spoke to us. “Please excuse me. I need to go get another glass of wine.”

Rehearsal dinner at Ono Commons. The poor groom’s family. I’m not sure how most people do it because I haven’t been to many weddings or rehearsal dinners but Haley invited ALL her family and friends to this dinner. There had to be at least 60 people there. Maybe 90. But right on time, a waiter approached us coming in the door to find out what we wanted from the bar! YIPPEEE! I got into the red wine. So eventually we all sit down for dinner. I’m at the table with Tina and Mary (Tina’s girlfriend; did I mention she is lesbian?). Mary is great company and sat next to me with Luke on my other side. I felt rather well insulated. The rest of our table consisted of Haley’s cousins. When the time came for toasts, the groom’s father spoke first.  I can’t recall exactly what he said but  I recall it being about the hardships of marriage, tough times and good times and being there for one another. Suddenly, a million instances come to mind of hard times, good times, struggles, and how Luke has always been there; I began to tear up. When the father finishes speaking, Luke turns and looks at me. He too has a tear in his eye.  I touched his cheek and he kissed me. When we turned back to the table, the photographer came running up and said, “Awww! That was so sweet! Could you do that again???” So we did.  🙂

After everyone finished their meal, someone turned on some music and we all started dancing. Things get a little fuzzy after that.

Bridal luncheon – Saturday morning.  I was a no-show.  My damn check liver light was on and I didn’t want to be anywhere at 10:30a! But I was told the dress code was “kinda like the Kentucky Derby but without hats.”  It’s December.

As for the service, the ceremony was at 7pm on New Year’s Eve. Haley’s whole family sings so a large group of them sang. Her REAL father brought her down the aisle with her mom. The unique touch there was instead of playing the traditional bridal march, they played Stars Fell on Alabama. Then all traditional stuff for the Methodist church and at the end as they introduced the couple, through the side doors on each side of the front of the church enter the family singers dressed in choir robes singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” gospel style…hands clapping in the air, pulling the whole church into singing with them and clapping as the couple exits down the aisle. I’m not generally a crying person but I teared up about three different times during the ceremony.

They were married at Orange Beach United Methodist Church. Not a lot of accessories to the church; there was a flower wreath and swag over the outside door…very beautiful and simple. And each pew had a bouquet of baby’s breath with stalks of cotton in them. That part I didn’t think was so beautiful but she likes the baby’s breath and he’s from MS so they used cotton. I understand the sentiment.

On a side note, Cole and Ila were in the ceremony. Ila came in behind the brides maids dropping flower petals with Ginny Rose. She did a perfect job and behaved like a little lady. Ginny Rose on the other hand, couldn’t be still and was goofing off the entire time during the ceremony. Once, Ila reached over and gently touched Ginny’s arm and mouthed, “Ginny Rose! No! Stop!” That didn’t work. Cole ushered in Norma’s mother and also lit one of the candles at the front. He chose to stand up front with the groomsmen. He was very still and I only saw him yawn once…but it was very small and concealed.  I’m proud of them both.

Off to the reception! The reception was held outside at Orange Beach Arts Center.  Every detail was perfect! She had a large white tent strung with lights, two bars, a dance floor, a leather sectional sofa nearby for seating, and all the food you could ever want.  The first thing I noticed when entering the tent were the bartenders. On one side there were two male bartenders and on the other, two female bartenders. I’m not sure if she planned it that way. The two men were both Eastern European; one was wearing a nylon type flight suit that zipped in the front and had his sunglasses perched on his forehead. His hair was very close cut. He looked just like something out of an action movie! I had a plan. Later in the evening after the couple was introduced and cut the cake, I asked the photographer to take some photos of me with this bartender. I thought it would be funny for Haley to find these in the middle of her proofs. The photographer was more than willing. We went over and I explained it to the bartender. He stepped out from behind the bar and I had him pose with me using our hands as guns. We took several photos then I thanked him for his time. I asked him where he was from but I have no recall of that. When he was leaving, I leaned in to do the European cheek kiss (which I know NOTHING about) and kissed each of his cheeks. He said, “No! No! It is THREE times. Like this.” So we did it once more but three times.  🙂

It was the first New Year’s Eve my children have stayed up to see the change of the year. Actually, they were asleep on that sofa (Ila was tired from dancing all night with Ginny Rose) and we woke them up for the changing of the year. They were thrilled…mostly about the party horns and hats.

We took it home after that. All I remember is waking up on the sofa in the living room wearing my fancy dress and all my make-up. But it was over.


No Nookie for You

Apparently, my second refusal of intimacy has caused my husband to reflect on his behavior the last few weeks during my most recent bout with depression. This morning, he approached me and I again turned him down. So he left and went to the gym giving him time to “reflect” and release his aggression. His findings are quite interesting and very disheartening, I must say.  More proof that I married a very self-centered man.

Let me go back for just a minute. During my last round in therapy, I was told to read a book called The Dance of Intimacy by Harriet Lerner. Great book, by the way. After I finished it, I suggested Luke read it as my therapist recommended and he did. The book discusses our roles in relationships (not just marriage but families, friendships, all relationships) and how some people over function while others might under function. I am a classic under functioner and Luke is a classic over functioner. When I’m stressed or depressed, I shut down and do nothing. Luke on the other hand tries to fix everything and do everything to make things right. Should work out nicely, right? Not so much.

He came home from the gym and wanted to talk about all this. He said he realized he had a few explosions lately and shouldn’t have. As he describes, he tries to help out around the house as much as possible and keep me free of the kids but I obviously become a bit negative (IMAGINE THAT) when I’m depressed and my comments upset him. I asked for some examples of comments and was told it was my expression of the kids driving me nuts, wishing the kids would go away, how I’d rather be somewhere else, etc. He says he tries to overlook my negativity but it builds up in him and he finally explodes. Luke also asked that I just talk to him about it when I’m depressed. He doesn’t understand why I can’t just discuss it with him and be over it. He has obviously never experienced a true depression.

I asked if he’d ever been depressed…really, really depressed. He thought back to a time after breaking up with his previous girlfriend and fighting with his best friend. I asked if he felt like talking to people about it while that was going on. He said no. I explained that when I get depressed, I just want to close up, cry, sleep, and run away. I don’t want to talk to anyone and I really don’t want to talk to anyone about what I’m feeling and thinking because it only makes me cry more. The thoughts in my head aren’t really that complex; there was some sort of trigger that made me sad and I then start to feel worthless and hopeless. When that happens to me, I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel; I don’t see a way out. And I can’t just turn it off or I most certainly would.

What I need most at that time is someone to hold me and tell me it’s ok. I need reassurance and comfort while I get through it. I need sensitivity to my state of mind but instead, I’m left alone, ignored, and finally exploded upon. He is not capable of empathy; he openly admits it. He’s not sensitive to others needs. I’m telling you, it’s worse than being alone. I feel I’m being punished for something I have no control over. So I return the punishment with the one thing I DO have control over…the nookie.

The Joining of Two Souls

So, when I was reaching my late twenties, I was very upset I had not found that special someone I could settle down and spend the rest of my life with. I began to think I would never find anyone or have any children. Knowing I might not find the right person, I had internal discussions with myself about the long term situation with having no spouse and no children.  I had to come to grips with facts; I had to learn how to be happy with the life that I had. And I did. I was a proud home owner and felt fully capable of taking care of myself and my house on my own. I developed a real sense of pride in what I had accomplished and felt assured in what I could do in the future.  Of course, that is when I met my soon to be husband.  That’s what they say, you know…when you least expect it…you find someone.

There are so many things about marriage that no one ever tells you though. You hear over and over that marriage is hard; it is work, but no one ever explains why. Well, I am here to tell you, it is harder than hard and it is one of the hardest tasks you will ever take on for so many reasons. And if you choose to bring children into the marriage, you can just quadruple the amount of work you have to do to maintain it.

I have to start first with the biggest issue I know of…the passion. You hear that the passion dies. But does it die on both sides? That part I am not sure of. In my particular case, it seems my husband still has the passion but for me it has fizzled. In talking with friends, I see it has fizzled for some and not for others. That leads me to wonder if one person is more deeply connected than the other. I also hear from friends that relationships are slightly more one sided…I have friends that one spouse is completely enamoured while the other is not so much. Are relationships meant to be that way? Ideally, I think not. But is there really such a thing as soul mates? And if there are, is it a rarity that only few experience?

As I said before, I am obviously the one on the down end of the spectrum while my husband is still experiencing the passion. What happens for the other person? Is it my destiny to continue to work at what I have with my best friend while lacking the  passion I once had?

Maybe I am different from everyone else; when I was in college, I met who I thought was my soul mate. Things happened, things changed, we were young; he’s gone now and he is not coming back. Does that mean I missed my opportunity? Does it ever happen again?

I long for someone who wants me as much as I want him. I long for someone who loves me with all his heart…as much as I love him. It is about the connection. It is about the mutual admiration. When all these things are present, it is so much more than flesh on flesh. It is about the joining of two souls. It is not dirty. It is not taboo.  It is peaceful; it is comforting; it is completely fulfilling. For me, when you embrace someone with all your heart and it is wholly reciprocated, the physical joining with this person is like connecting two puzzle pieces; it fits. The two fit together easily, comfortably, and are drawn together. And I am sad to say, I don’t have that.