Friday, September 25, 2009

Our Upcoming Anniversary: Reflections & Funny Moments

It’s all flooding back into my mind as thoughts trickle back to this time last year. We were preparing for our big day, October 11th. I was so excited to marry my best friend, and at the same time, scared to death of the ceremony itself: “Will I pass out? Will I trip and fall walking in the sand up to the priest? Will my hair come out okay?” All of these anxiety provoking thoughts literally drove me insane. For the few months right before our wedding, I drank myself into oblivion. I didn’t want the ‘what if’ thoughts haunting me until my feet turned into complete icicles. I wanted my jitters to disappear and excitement of ‘oh it’s just a vacation’ type of feeling to take its place.

At the home front, Madelene would not let me watch Bridezilla. She forbid it. I really didn’t know why since I wasn’t complaining about anything...yet. I watched it on my own and had seen what these people had to endure. Some of it was funny, and some of it was more anxiety provoking than I had initially realized. I was finally seeing why Madelene was forbidding me to watch this show - she was afraid I’d turn into one of these monstrous women. I’m afraid to say I’m already monstrous as it is...

When we arrived in Provincetown, MA, two days before our wedding date, we settled in at the bed & breakfast, and I remember just sitting at the counter of our eat in kitchen looking out of the window at the koi pond. I poured a glass of wine to settle my nerves from the six hour trip and then started unpacking our bags, making sure all of our garments were neatly placed into the closet. Madelene had walked into the suite with the last of our luggage. We just stood there staring at one another, smiling. This was it. After 14 years of dating, it was finally going to be official. We just hugged one another tightly, tears filling our eyes with a ton of emotions of what we’ve been through all these years. From the good times, to the times we’ve separated, to where we had some of our loved ones pass away in our lives, to the tears we both shared together, as well as all the laughter that has helped heal us in the process. We were best friends, lovers - we were family.   Now, we would be united as a family unit, continuing our journey together as one.

Our guests started arriving into town, preparing themselves for their very first time witnessing a lesbian wedding. It meant so much to us that everyone was so willing to go out of their way, take some time off from work and travel that far to be with us on our special day. The evening before our wedding, a few of our friends came by to see us in our suite to make a toast. We stayed up until midnight, talking and laughing. I was surprised that I actually slept that evening. I usually get insomnia when I’m nervous, but somehow, my nerves stood still, not letting me feel the inner explosion of anxiety brewing.

When I had woken up the next morning, I ordered room service so we could have breakfast. It was always doctored up to look like some glamorous statue on a pile of eggs, but to me, just give me a normal diner-like grub. Madelene insisted I get ready first, since she knew it would take me at least two hours to primp myself. We didn’t want to go the whole nine yards and get some hair stylist that would make us look like Madusa, but of course, “Deb” needed her mani & pedi.  As I’m showering, I begin shaving my leg and accidently chipped off a huge chunk of my French manicure. I wouldn’t have usually barked at this, but #1, it was my wedding day and #2, it was my RING FINGER! I walked out of the bathroom crying, with a towel on my head, wearing the hotel’s community robe and holding up my first with my ring finger sticking up as if I were flipping the bird.

“I-I-I-I ch-ch-ch-chipped my rinngggg fingggerrrrr!”

You could see Madelene’s face completely drop, as she was on the phone yelling at the florist for effing up our flower arrangements we had ordered months ago. We were both supposed to hold beautiful white rose bouquets, however they failed to complete the order, giving one of us a white rose bouquet, and the other order, a simple red boutonniere.  Since I was wearing a red dress and Madelene was wearing an off white silky number, it would have complimented us due to the color scheme.  "That's perfect! Keep it like that!" I yelped from inside of the bathroom, thinking how great it would match. Somehow this took my mind off my ring finger and onto us matching more. After she hung up the phone, I then went back into panic mode and said, “Call the nail salon for an emergency appointment!”
As some of you may know, Provincetown is a walking town. They are very critical about anyone using motorized vehicles that spew out emissions. Most people ride bikes or just walk. Cars and motorized scooters are completely shunned at. The salon was five blocks away from our B&B. I put on all of my under gear (which was a project in itself) and headed down with poor Madelene five blocks just to get this goddam nail fixed. I remember it was getting warm out and I was beginning to perspire. My hair was already done and now here I am shuffling up and down hills just to make it to this dinky salon. Although they had to cut a lot off of my nails, they did a well enough job where I wasn’t ashamed to give my hand to Madelene, without it looking like some jagged edged botched up manicure. As we’re heading back up these San Francisco-like hills, my feet started to hurt because my flip flops were digging into my two toes. I literally had to walk back up the hill barefoot.When we got back to the suite, I jumped into my dress and tried to clean up the best I can without smudging the touchup on my nails. Madelene hopped into the shower and got ready in less than one hour.  She came out looking stunningly gorgeous. In my mind I was thinking: why do you want to marry me? It was the first thought when I first met her: why would you want to date me? I’ve always looked at her with such amazement. I’ve always felt extremely lucky and proud to call her my girlfriend; proud to now call her my wife.

Madelene’s mom and her adorable boyfriend, Robert came by to help her get ready. I made them drinks, except for myself. I couldn’t drink for some reason. I was too wound up. I know that doesn’t make any sense whatsoever, but I was actually too nervous to drink. We had the photographer coming and that alone gave me such anxiety, that I think I was in a silent type of shock. It was becoming more “real”. It was really happening. And then, when our photographer came in to take snapshots of us getting ready, and Madelene’s mom primping her beautiful daughter up, both Madelene and I had tears in our eyes. It may have not been what Madelene’s mom had initially wanted for her daughter, but nonetheless, she was there the whole time supporting us, accepting us and being there as she always was. I’m so grateful for her being there. Madelene was thrilled. They all looked genuinely happy, and that in itself made the entire process much more of an easier flow. I can’t thank them enough.When the photographer showed up, he immediately started taking snapshots of us getting ready. Then he had us sit in the living room of our suite to take a few more photos. As we were trying to make it out of the courtyard of the B&B, it was stop and go process, because the photographer had to stop every two inches to take a photo over here, and over there, and a bit to the left and a bit to the right. What about the fountain - girls - stand there - pose like this - hold the flowers this way - move your arm. After a while, since I had not been drinking, it started to get on my last nerve. Enough.As I held the bouquet while Madelene wore her boutonniere, we started walking down the crowded street, known as the famous, “Commercial Street”. We heard people scream from their decks, “Congratulations girls!” People passing by complimented us and congratulated us. We saw couples holding hands, watching us walk down the street preparing to tie the knot with a look of hope in their eyes. As we approached one area, we heard a crowd of people clapping and cheering us on. Our photographer was walking backwards, right in front of us taking tons of photos. I truly felt like we were walking on the red carpet. I felt outside myself, somehow blocking all of these emotions out. As we walked into the restaurant to meet everyone so we can guide them in the back onto the beach for the ceremony, we were welcomed by friendly and familiar faces with tears in their eyes. That in itself was the most meaningful moment in my entire life.
We all walked together onto the beach. The sun was shining bright, it was 75 degrees and the ocean looked just amazing. We stood out there, waiting for our minister to arrive. When he walked down the rocky steps to join us, that’s when my heart started to pound rapidly, making the palms of my hands sweat with anticipation and fear that I never knew I had inside of me. Madelene’s eyes looked different. Her deep dark brown eyes turned into greenish-brown. I remember her eyelashes fluttering and her lips quivering just a bit. Everyone got into their places. My best friend Lisa stood beside me and grabbed my bouquet. Madelene’s mom was standing right near her. It got suddenly very quiet. It was like the world stopped for a few moments. I glanced over up by the fences and realized the entire town was looking down upon us with hope and happiness in their eyes. I didn’t realize how big this would be. It was supposed to be a small intimate ceremony of twelve of us on the beach, but instead, it was all of us, and the rest of Provincetown overlooking our vows made in public. While the minister performed the ceremony, Madelene’s eyes welled up with tears, as did mine. The Rev. David L. Clarke not only said the most beautifully scripted ceremony for us, but he recognized how important it was for us to be blessed by the Trinity and made our day so complete with his professionalism, as well as his faith and spirituality. It was such an honor to have him marry us.
So today, with only a bit over a week until we head over to Provincetown, MA once again for our one year anniversary, it’s nice to rewind, reflect and see how far we have come. This entire year of being officially married to Madelene has been the best year of my life. We’ve met so many people, we’ve had so many good times in our new home and our bond has gotten so much stronger. I’ve heard that the first year of marriage is always rocky and insane, but for us it was the most amazing year of our lives. Maybe that’ll give hope to newly engaged couples, I don’t know. But, as the memories flood my mind with all of the times spent with Madelene, my wife, I’m excited for the years ahead of us. I’m so happy that we picked one another as life partners. I couldn’t live my life without her.

Thanks to everyone who was there for us this time last year, cheering us on, being apart of our special day. Also, thank you for my family and friends back at home who couldn’t make it, who were there in spirit, wishing us happiness on our big day. We felt your vibes!