Always More to the Story

Alan & Sara--early days

When I started writing about our Coast-to-Coast-to-Coast Romance in 3 Acts, I warned you that there was more to the story than I’d be able to share here. For one thing, I was only one of two people standing there at Ground Zero, as my brother put it.

Fortunately, my sweet Sara added comments to the Facebook postings of these blog pieces to fill in her perspective, provide a few more anecdotes, and clarify some confusion. Since not everyone reading this blog follows me on Facebook, I thought you might want to read some of Sara’s tidbits.

Each comment is prefaced by a link back to the original “installment.” Thanks to Sara, today’s “gurus blogger,” here’s a little more to our story…please enjoy.

Act 1: Thanksgiving Weekend, Texas

“But we’ve already met.” — no comment added to this first part of the story…

Thanksgiving, Part 1: “I wanna sit next to Alan”

“So why did I touch you, one might ask? I THOUGHT I was using Scott’s back to steady myself while reaching over “his” head into the cupboard. But as soon as I touched your back (and yes, I immediately recognized that no way did that warm, humming skin belong to Scott) something seeped into my hand that completely distracted me from whatever I was looking for. Later at dinner, I saw your dad watching me, amused, speculative, and fascinated. Joanie looked as she usually did when she lost control of her orchestral podium — annoyed. Everyone else but Lissa (the date) was looking like they weren’t sure WHAT they were witnessing, but they knew whatever it was was unusual!”

Thanksgiving, Part 2: “How long have those 2 been together?”

“Small added detail — on the way to the party we stopped for a booze raid, and while at Specs, Alan bought me a single purple iris. That would become significant later on…
So far the story reads like all sunshine and daisies, and while it sounds like I was a more-than-willing participant in these events, to me it felt like an out-of-body experience. Like I was watching this all happen to somebody else, because no way could this kind of joy ever enter MY door. Besides which, I had a HUGE pre-existing problem that was about to make things become very complicated and messy… But I’ll let Alan introduce the other major player in our little tale.”

Friday — From “Fool!” to “Wonderful…wonderful!”

“I’m not going into any more detail than Alan did, but I will say that my glum mood at the restaurant was no act or exaggeration. I felt like my symbiotic twin had been ripped away, and nothing could console me. Alan’s parents were by now completely bewildered, because they knew SOMETHING was going on, but since nobody was offering any explanations, they patiently waited to see what would happen next. It was like waiting for a rocket launch…”

“Not today.” — no comment added

“I’m not married.”

“The exact way I said it was, “You could ASK me…” But the way you handled my mangled past was both tactful and sweet. I can still summon up shame for those wasted years, but not nearly so much now. I barely recognize that wounded creature anymore. For sure not who I am NOW, thanks to you! ❣”

Act 2: California to Texas

from “2 months…” to “…2 weeks…”

“Just to clarify something… The Creep was not my “ex-lover” — he was never a lover in any acceptable use of the word. Abuser, yes; user, yes; co-dependent, yes… But lover, definitely not. At this point, I was only living in the same house saving money to leave him in the spring – to move to Houston, as a matter of fact.”

“I’m a madman”

“My dear you have outdone yourself in this entry. I laughed so hard I had tears streaming, and I KNOW this tale!!! Just a tad of backstory… When I decided I had to flee the Creep’s begging, pleading, and nauseating attempts to pronounce my name correctly for the first time EVER… Well, I had to go clear out my office at 8:30 at night. (I did find it strange that the security guard didn’t even raise an eyebrow…) Anyway I had to call the next day (from DFW) to explain to them that I was indeed gone for good. I did not find out until months later that because I worked for a security encryption code developer, they completely FREAKED when I disappeared like that, and had me investigated by the FBI. I can only wonder at the contents of the report they got…”

“You owe me.” — no additional comment

“Really? …Really?…REALLY?”

“I’ve always said, if you want a true test of a relationship, drive half-way across the country with them in a U-Haul, complete with three yowling cats. If you’re still speaking when you get where you’re going, you’re good to go!”

“BTW – somewhere in here I have to mention the reactions I got from various friends and relations, on hearing that a) I was FINALLY getting married, and b) it was NOT to the Creep. The overwhelming majority responded to news a) with listless dismay and only a few, barely audible congrats, which, on hearing news b) immediately became excited incredulity and enthusiasm. Why? Well, the Creep’s reputation among my friends wasn’t much worse than their opinion of my taste in men… One of the funniest ironies in all this was that for years I had joked with my friends saying that, if I EVER got married, it would have to be QUICK, because these long-term relationships just DIDN’T work out for me. Ya know, God will really getcha sometimes for sayin things like that!!”

Sara's wedding ring w/ her Water symbol design

Sara’s wedding ring w/ her Water symbol design

“It never gets cold in Austin”

“Small correction: I designed the water symbol for my ring. Gary and Kathy liked it so much they not only incorporated into my ring, but asked for permission to add it to their portfolio of available designs so others could enjoy it, too.”


Act 3: Texas to Connecticut — and Back Again

Wedding Plans and Our First Date

“Not to be defensive but I am NOT obsessed with SYTTD. (DCC Making the Team, maybe, but not SYTTD!”

Blood Run across Austin — no comment from Sara…

Caution: Texans in Connecticut

“Okay, well it’s up to me to regale y’all with the Great Reveal– my mom’s first sight of my wedding gown, which had traveled with me from Texas as my “carry-on” luggage. My mom, not convinced that I would not be more properly attired in a suit, as would befit an ancient bride of 36, had gone out and bought a dazzling white, street-length suit in some fabric with a sheen to it that made it look kinda like white stardust. With rhinestone buttons. It was actually quite gorgeous…. For an ENTIRELY different bride.
I made my mom leave the room while I took my gown out of its bag and spread it out on the sofa. I wanted her to see all its glory. She did not disappoint. As soon as she saw it she gasped and started to cry. And she said, “that’s how my only girl should look on her wedding day!” I will never forget the sweetness of that moment, which made up for so many arguments and contentions between us in the past.
There was only one problem… The gown was about two inches too long, and I was terrified I would trip on it, so my mother had found a seamstress that agreed to re-hem it, literally overnight. But I had to go see the miracle worker to get the hem pinned, and she worked in the local HARDWARE store. You know — one of those ancient places with creaky wooden floors, spring-loaded screen doors, curious objects hanging everywhere, piles of chain and rope on the floor… Every time I hear David Wilcox’s song, East Asheville Hardware, I am transported back in time…
So there I was, standing on one of those giant cable spools, amidst the grunge and debris, while the seamstress pinned and turned me around. I looked like a fairy dancer in a music box. Needless to say, the old Yank codgers that went to get some chicken wire or new gutter nails got quite an unusual sight that day! The seamstress worked her magic and the next evening I showed my beautiful gown to my stepdad, and he bawled like a baby.”

Wedding Day: Morning Meltdowns and a Missing License — 2 comments on this one

“1. The caterers had invaded my mom’s kitchen because the reception was to be held at my mom’s/stepdad’s condo. My mother, who never took kindly to ANYONE usurping authority over her domain, had a hard time relinquishing control…
2. Lynn was losing it because she was lost in memories of her own disastrous marriage.
3. The temperatures were actually in the 40’s, unearthly weather for CT in January (this was long before El Niño, folks).
4. And of course, I carried/everyone else wore purple irises. Another magical feat my mom pulled off: irises in January in CT — rural, small-town CT at that.
5. One more… Because the photographer and I were both running late (I because I had to struggle into my wedding gown by myself) all the guests arrived while I was still visible out in the foyer. So I greeted everyone but Alan BEFORE the ceremony. We were well on our way, doing everything OUR way!”

“A bit of backstory/sideline drama… My folks had bought their condo right after I graduated from high school, some dozen years earlier. Their condo sat on the edge of the golf course, on the other side of which stood the Meeting House, which I fell hopelessly in love with the minute I entered it, all those years ago. They say little girls grow up dreaming of their wedding dresses, etc. I had never given any thought to that before, but as soon as I walked into the Meeting House I knew, I just felt sure, someday I would be married there.
Next to the Meeting House was the duck pond, actually a chain of small ponds famous for two things: ice skating in winter, and the Canada Geese that laid claim to it as part of their migratory route, and proceeded to decorate it with poop in places and in quantities that caused disgust and frustration for the people whose condos sat on the edges of the pond.
But I digress…
Anyway, from the time my folks moved there, every time I visited them I would stroll the paths that circled the pond, sometimes happy, more often crying over some disastrous love affair. The Creep earns credit for the most tears shed on that path, but he had company…
SOOOOO…. the morning of the wedding Lynn and I took a long walk around the duck pond, she morose and silent, and I pinching myself because I could not yet believe it was my wedding day at last, or that it was so unbelievably beautiful outside. There was snow on the ground, ice in the pond, and icicles hanging from the eaves of all the buildings. Everywhere the snow and ice were melting, and the sun made everything turn into dazzling rainbows and fairy diamonds. It was pure magic. I’ve forgotten a lot of details about that day, but I will never forgot the beauty of the snow, or how my heart was swelling fit to burst with joy.”

At long last (6 weeks): Our Wedding

“Wow, sweetie! Just… Wow!! I wouldn’t change a word and there’s nothing more to add. Well… Maybe the fact that the car was generously lent by my father, and “the lake” refers to Lake George in upstate New York, ancient family camping grounds for my family and a bunch of cousins as well. It was so appropriate to have THAT car, with its history. And… this was the last time my whole family -both of my parents, both my brothers, and I, would ever be together.”

“…ever after…”

“Awwwww…..”

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About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
This entry was posted in anecdotes, Buller, Family, friends, love, storytelling and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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