Act 3, Part 5 — we arrive at the Big Event…
Sara entered the room, resplendent in her gown, wowing the crowd and me, as well, as I catch my first glimpse of her beautiful dress. But Sara misses seeing my reaction because my 2 Best Men and I are standing on the wrong side.
Okay, maybe we could’ve used a rehearsal.
Once the ladies arrived at the front, Sara grabbed me and pulled me over to her other side.
Meanwhile, since everyone stood up when Ginny rose as Sara started down the aisle, they now take their cue from her and continue to stand. In fact, she stood for the entire ceremony — so, everyone stood the entire time as well.
As I looked over at Sara while we held hands, all the weeks and miles melted away. Surrounded by family and friends, everything finally came fully into focus.
Later, my brother would liken being around us as we fell in love to standing at Ground Zero of a nuclear blast — nothing gets in the way, and nothing is left standing. Now, we two stood alone together in front of family & friends, about to leap off a cliff together.
He added that we were gathered for the wedding in the Gun Room.
“But,” he explained, smiling wryly, “I have met this couple and I can assure you: this is no shotgun wedding.”
David mentioned that he and his wife Debbie had just recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. “People ask us, ‘How can you stay married to someone for 60 years?’ And I say, ‘You can if you want to.’ ” He smiled and went to say to us in encouragement, “Maybe, someday, you, too, will celebrate your 60th anniversary.”
“My god, I’ll be 95,” Sara blurted out — aaand we’re off…
David explained the state of Connecticut required him to say certain things, but allowed him to add more as he saw fit. And he saw fit indeed, taking this opportunity to provide us some insights and advice from his 60-years-married vantage point. “Marriage is a contract — and I should know. I’m a lawyer.”
He spoke of sharing tasks and duties and little pleasures. And he debunked the claims of couples who say they never fight, saying, “They’re lying.” He reminded us of the simple advice of putting aside your anger when you lie down for the night.
Mostly, he spoke of acknowledging and respecting each other — and your marriage. “From now on, it is no longer just ‘I’ or ‘me’ — from now on, it is ‘we‘ instead…and you’ll find you get a lot further when you say, ‘What do you think we should do…?’ instead of ‘I think’ or ‘I want.'”
David waxed so eloquently that as he finished his little speech and asked if anyone had anything to add, Mike missed his cue for speaking. David repeated, “If anyone…” turning to look at Mike, “has anything to say…”
“Oh,” Mike exclaimed, a little startled. and turned to the crowd. Each of our 4 friends up there with us spoke a piece for us, and I do wish I remembered them more clearly. Mike mentioned how he didn’t believe his mom when she said he’d just lost his best friend, but how when he saw us he knew she was right, but that he also saw how he’d gained a new friend. Lynn spoke of knowing Sara for so long and through many changes and the joy of standing with her on her wedding day. Joanie recited a poem, by Edna St. Vincent Millay, I think.
“There is nothing in this world
like the power of two people
finding each other.”
Somewhere there is a video of the wedding. I even dubbed it over to DVD a few years ago — which is around here somewhere. I guess I really should review it again sometime because, honestly, people, looking back — that whole thing’s a blur to me.
A bright, beautiful blur of faces and colors and people in motion and swelling emotions that I can still feel, but more than a finely detailed memory, I can feel those moments clearly resonating within me to this day.
At that moment in that place, we stood and joined our lives together forever.
That still rings true 26 years later today.
The deed done, and the crowd dispersing, we posed for pictures, inside and out, with family and friends and alone together. At long last, we were finally ready to head over to Ginny & Harve’s for the reception.
That’s when we discovered the Lust Bus — nicknamed after a sketch from a video comedy of mine, So Ya Wanna Hit?.
An old road hog of a big American auto mostly used by that point to annually haul a boat up to the lake and back, this beast would be our rusty, trusty steed for the next few days in town before heading back to Texas. Immediately after the ceremony, we found it suitably decorated by our wedding party.
Yes, the Lust Bus sported streamers and soap smears and tin cans tied to the back. We left them there the rest of our time up there as we clattered conspicuously around town.
We headed back to Ginny & Harve’s to greet our guests for the reception. Toasts were made, stories told, photos posed and taken. Drinks and cake and merriment were enjoyed by all.
Sara and I danced our first dance to “Simply” by the sublime Sara Hickman — “our song” (along with countless other couples, no doubt) ever since I played it for my Sara when she first followed me to Austin Thanksgiving weekend.
“I’ll tell you simply
I’m falling for you.
I’ve never felt this way before…”
More drinks and toasts and merriment ensued. So much carrying on continued that some of the guests, primarily Ginny’s bridge club friends, began to wonder when the bride and groom would make their exit.
But we were having far too much fun with family and friends to stop now. We had worked hard to get here and we wouldn’t be seeing a lot of these folks again for a long while, so we were determined to make the most of it. Slowly, guests started to trickle away, leaving the hard-core family and friends to party on.
Things got a little raucous eventually. Mike had brought confetti (a recently acquired habit of his, carrying confetti at all times), and much confetti was tossed about. After we ran out of Mike’s confetti, Joanie improvised with a handful or two of the potpourri on display. As I said, things got a little raucous.
At long last, when we’d finally had our fill of the reception, Sara and I headed off into the night in the Lust Bus.
Next: …ever after.