I can close my eyes right now and feel her touching my hand and saying to me, "Don't ever forget the love that you feel for him this very minute. There will be days when you will have to dig deep to bring it to the surface and you'll need to bring it forward to survive tough days ahead. Don't ever forget what you feel this very day."
And then she dropped my hand, dabbed both our tears, kissed me on the cheek and closed the door as she left the room.
The ceremony went off without a hitch. I had to stifle a laugh out loud when The Bouncer leaned forward to kiss me and the Pastor whispered, "Put some tongue in it." This, obviously, was not your typical Pastor but it helped to lighten the air and make for some memorable laughs.
The reception was very nice - that's about all I can say for it. I recall the faces of some of the people there who are no longer with me and that brings forth feelings of longing. Because we were in a Lutheran church, alcohol wasn't frowned upon so we had an open bar/cooler out of the back porch of the parsonage about 50 feet away from the reception hall. If there was anyone who didn't have a good time - it was no fault of mine and The Bouncer. The day was a joyful one for me and I was filled to the brim with love and expectation for my future as Mrs. Bouncer. I was going to live happily ever after.
His friends did one big number on our car. He drove a gray something with a sun roof and they put Vaseline all over the door handles, birdseed on everything that would stick and put cherries under the hood. I think they wrote some absurdity on the windows about getting some tonight and I remember thinking how childish they were. I watched all of the decorative efforts from the window inside the church were I was changing into a beautiful blue dress that I had found and fallen in love with.
There must have been 15 pounds of birdseed inside that car and when we tried to go through the car wash at the Sugar Refinery (the one where there was an explosion this past February across the street from where the B&B live) the seed plugged the rain vents and all that water started pouring inside the car all over my lap and brand new honeymoon dress. We couldn't stop laughing at how funny it was and decided to stop at his parent's house across the street and leave them a surprise. I just stood in silence as my new husband pulled back the sheets to his parent's bed and sprinkled birdseed between the flat and fitted sheets. I don't know what I was thinking then but it all seems so childish and immature now. When we dumped the remaining seed out of our clothes, we did so standing in the middle of their kitchen floor and while I was in the bathroom making more room for my growing uterus, he formed the letters, "We love you" with the seed on the kitchen floor. We would later learn this his grandmother (mother's mother) was the one to sleep in their bed that night and started fussing at his mother for having "rust" on the sheets where she was going to sleep. We laughed about that for years but they didn't think it was so funny.
Because we were short on funds, we opted to go across the state line to Hilton Head Island for our honeymoon. I don't remember if we stayed one night or two but I do remember that very first night and how new and enlightening it was for me. I knew how much The Bouncer was a "lingerie man" but until our honeymoon and the events of years later, I didn't understand to what degree or obsession. When we walked into our room and were kind of just relaxing - I fell asleep. He assured me when I awoke 2 hours later that he wasn't insulted cause he knew that I needed some rest and since I was now awake, he wanted to share his "gift" with me. I was so excited because I loved gifts and was curious as to what he had been hinting about most of the afternoon. He presented me with a large rectangle box about 4 inches deep and 10 inches by 14 inches long. The paper was a pink paisley and it was tied with a silk pink ribbon and two silver fake plastic wedding rings (the kind that top a package). I wasn't sure what to think and I probably apologized for not having him one because he said to me that "I was going to be his gift and he was going to unwrap me."
I opened the lid to the box to find a very elegant pair of white silk stockings and a white lacy garter belt attached to a pink/white corset. I had never touched anything like that in my life. It was beautiful sure, but I had not ever learned to appreciate finer lingerie like that. The lace was exquisite but I certainly didn't know how to get those damn garters hooked on those stockings. I was trying to figure out how in the world I was going to make this work without disappointing him because he told me that I could go in the bathroom and get dressed and then come out when I was ready cause he would be waiting for me. I must have stayed in that bathroom 15 minutes trying to figure those damn garter hooks out and how to hook the 50 hooks on the corset with not much luck. He was getting
worried impatient because he finally asked if I was ok. I spoke through the door and felt myself start to cry. He finally asked me what was wrong and I confessed that I couldn't make it all work.
He opened the door, gently took my hand that held those beautiful bridal garments and pulled me forward towards the bed.