My first wedding was memorable in many ways. 1. I was Eighteen. 2. I was six months pregnant. 3. I planned this shot gun wedding because my husband-to-be and I have moved eight hours from home and I was homesick. I figured planning a wedding back home would give me an excuse to actually go back home. 4. I was sick of my Mom introducing my finance as my husband. Apparently it "looks better" if your 18 year old knocked up daughter is married instead of living in sin.
Not to make light of the situation, I really did at that moment in time want to get married. My beau and I had been dating for two years and like most girls that age considered the natural progression to end up in a white dress holding a bouquet of flowers and saying, "I do."
Since our two year relationship mark had come and gone and he still had not ended up on bended knee, I started dropping not so subtle hints. At last he seemed to be catching on. Valentine's Day was coming up and he kept telling me that I was going to love my gift, that I had been wanting one for a long time, etc. Well cliche or no, I was ecstatic that I was going to be getting engaged on Valentine's Day. That is, until I unwrapped the electric razor. You know, the one you see on infomercials at 2AM, the one that is supposed to zap the hairs right off your legs. Yep, that's the one. That was what he was so proud of himself for buying. No ring, just a shitty razor zapper thing that didn't even work. I'm not even going to pretend like I didn't throw a great big tantrum. I cried, I screamed, I threw the razor. All the while, my poor boyfriend looked around in confusion.
He knew he had screwed up so what did he do? He went out and bought me a ring. Which I accused him of only buying because I had thrown a fit over the razor. (I was right, by the way.) At this point in the story, you have all probably realized what I didn't at that time; I was way too immature and self-centered to be getting married. Hind sights a bitch, girls.
A month later, I am peeing on a stick in my friend's bathroom praying for one line. Instead I got two. Two pink fingers pointing at me. Two pink lines telling me I had screwed up. Two pink lines telling me I had to tell my Granny I was pregnant, and the list goes on and on.
To make things worse, in the course of ONE month, I had decided that I didn't even want to marry the razor buying jerk. This was a classic case of wanting what I couldn't have and then not wanting it after I got it. Just like the time I lost my virginity to the football star because all my friends were having sex and I wanted to too. In case you are wondering, that was the least memorable two minutes of my life. Back to the story at hand, I was 18, spoiled, immature, pregnant and on my way to moving two states away from everyone I knew and loved. This does not make for a good beginning.
We played house; I decorated the nursery, we both went to college, him during the day me at night so when the baby came one of us would always be home to watch her. As the loneliness kicked in and the pressure from my mother escalated, I decided "what the hell, let's make this official". No need to wait until after the baby is born and I can actually fit into a wedding dress, let's do this now. I am not even going to tell you how miserable my dress hunting experience was or what size I had to end up buying to fit over my huge stomach. Suffice to say, it wasn't pretty. The experience or the dress. I tried to find a nice ivory one considering everyone knew I was definitely not a virgin and I wasn't sure if etiquette dictated that white was only for "pure" brides, but in the end I had to settle for a white satin empire waist knee length dress because it was the only one that fit. By the end of the day I had considered contacting all the bridal stores and suggesting they start carrying a mommy to be dress line, but by the time I made it home my feet were swollen, I was exhausted and instead of tapping into my inner entrepreneur, I sat on my couch and cried and stared holes in the stupid wedding dress that I did not want to wear because I didn't want to get married...but wait, yes I did. I did want to get married. Because getting married meant I could go home see all my friends and get my mom off my back. Hormones...they will get you.
I chose a wedding chapel by thumbing through the yellow pages and made all of the arrangements by phone. I did not meet the minister until the night of our rehearsal. I'm pretty sure I didn't make a good impression on her because on top of being pregnant, I got into a huge fight with my mom and locked myself in the bathroom.
After fifteen minutes of listening to me sob through the bathroom door she convinced me to come out. Did I mention our minister was a woman? She was so relieved that I was out of the bathroom that she forgave me for screaming through the door that the wedding was off and my mom was a terrible bitch that was trying to ruin my life. At least I think she forgave me. In all likelihood, she was probably just trying to get the rehearsal over with so she could get rid of my pregnant emotional ass.
The next day she officiated our wedding. The vows were not the traditional "we are gathered here blah blah blah". I can't remember exactly what she said because I was busy staring at her wondering eye. It was really hard to concentrate with that one eye roaming all over the place. And so without me paying attention, she pronounced us man and wife. Wedding #1 complete. Two short years later, Divorce #1 complete as well.
After that marriage mishap, I shied away from committed relationships, but occasionally found myself day dreaming of a white dress. The next time I would do things differently, starting with the groom. Nearing my thirties, I started hearing the tick of my biological clock. Only this clock wasn't ticking for a baby. Oh no, it was crying out for a husband. As luck would have it, one fell right in my lap through an introduction of a mutual friend. Everything felt so perfect and fell right into place. Fate had intervened and ten years after my first wedding, I started planning my second.
This was no shot gun wedding. No forced proposal. I was extremely happy. I had found the perfect spouse and everything was great-until it wasn't. Remember that spoiled, self-centered 18 year old? She still resided inside my almost 30 year old body...
This time I was able to look the preacher in the eye and repeat my vows with confidence. I hung on his every word and instead of planning my escape from matrimony, I was picturing me and my husband with grey hair sitting on a porch swing surrounded with grand babies.
Despite the dream wedding and the dream husband, reality set in. My new husband and I both had children and blending the two families was difficult to say the least. Sadly enough, two short years later, divorce number 2 was in the works. Do you see a pattern here?
After my second divorce, I spent a whole summer sowing my wild oats. My theme song could have been, "Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places". Thank you Johnny Lee for that wonderful song. When I wasn't practicing for my 3rd wedding night, I was singing the hell out of some karaoke. My friends and I re-discovered a hole in the wall bar that became our weekend hangout. The bar keeps knew us by name and greeted us with hugs every time we walked in the door. We sang every song we knew and some we didn't.
I'm not going to lie, I was having a blast. I drank myself stupid and managed to sing through my blues. When the summer ended, it was time to go back to being a responsible adult. My daughter was home from her summer vacation with her dad, school had resumed and since I was no longer living in an alcohol/karaoke induced happiness. I started re-evaluating my life.
Despite the problems that husband #2 and I had, I loved that man with all my heart. Still. So...a year later he and I remarried. No fairy tale wedding, no white dress; just the two of us in New Orleans in Washington Artillery Park and a minister who looked like Colonel Sanders. Although we didn't plan it, we had a military band and 10,000 wedding guests. My maid of honor was a New Orleans police officer who happened to be nearby. The band was not there in honor of my wedding nor were the thousands of people. There was a marathon being held that morning and the starting point was Jackson Square.
Wedding #3 started off with a bang. Literally. As the Colonel pronounced us man and wife, the race began. People from all over raced to the finish line as we walked along the river back to our hotel. Our second chance had started and I for one couldn't have been happier.