Thelma, Louise, Taco Bell, Shrimp Cocktail and Frozen Lasagna
I've always been a night person, and right about this time fifteen years ago I was lying awake thinking of the awful things men did to women and how sad it was that poor Thelma and Louise drove off that cliff together. A decade and a half later I still wonder why we decided to go to that particular movie for my bachelorette party. The fact that it was the dumbest bachlorette party in history may have had something to do with it. It began with a bunch of good Christian school girls trying to figure out how to be naughty. The best we could come up with was Melissa deciding that we should soap my husband-to-be's apartment windows and then drive through the downtown McDonald's for a "beverage." Great Scot, that woman must have said "I want a BEVERAGE!!!!" about 90 times. So we tried the window-soaping thing, got chased off (rightly so) by my almost-spouse and then got that crazy person her coke. We saw Thelma and Louise and called it a night. Who starts off their marriage with ruminations on the evilness of men, anyway?
So the night before the wedding was the rehearsal dinner. We were having frozen lasagne (warmed up), garlic bread and salad. Tim and I went to Sam's Club to pick up the lasagne and had the hugest cold-feet fight in the world right in front of the Sam's. We actually debated calling off the wedding. I think it was something about the lasagne, but I'm not sure. I think it was really about making a life decision in the middle of both our families and scary life and all that goes with it.
The reception was going to be in the side yard of my parents' house, with the pool serving as a lovely backdrop. My mom and her friends made most of the food, although I did spend a couple chunks of time cleaning shrimp in the days beforehand. Because the reception was at mom and dad's I spent a good chunk of the morning of my wedding setting up folding tables in the side yard.
Then we went to the church to get ready. I was not a devotee of Bride magazines and other such stuff, so I had no idea that it's a good idea for a bride to have someone who is not in the wedding per se on hand to do her makeup and hair. I was trained to do theatrical makeup, so I figured I could handle slopping some goo on my face. I had NO idea that having five women making themselves up in a room could be so chaotic. Before they totally remodeled the church, the brides at Brookside Evangelical Mennonite always changed in the toddler's nursery next to the ladies' room. I still remember tripping over those bright plastic primary-coloured toys while trying to find an outlet for my curling iron. The room smelled like animal crackers and baby body fluids--pee and milky drool. And Giorgio perfume, after a few minutes. (It was the early 90s. I liked Giorgio! back then. Or, to be more accurate, Giorgio! imposter perfume.) I remember thinking that the whole brides'-room thing was a cautionary tale. Like "look at what your life will amount to. It's this and then the babies."
Out of the blue my two non-familial bridesmaids (friends from high school) decided that they needed to go to Taco Bell for a beverage. I have no idea what about my wedding compelled my friends to drink soda pop, but there it was. I was flabberghasted that a mere hour before I was to walk down the aisle, two of the wedding party actually made a run for the border. In retrospect I imagine it was a chance for them to talk about me well away from prying ears. Something along the lines of how my 80s wedding dress was gaudy and I had no idea how to be a proper bride. (See above references to lack of makeup/hair help.) I was probably a bridezilla out of ignorance, because I remember snapping at my maid of honour for help with my dress. My poor sister. She stayed with me and didn't go for an overpriced Pepsi.
Everybody got back on time, the service and reception went by in a hot, sticky blur. We had two officiants--my pastor and Tim's father, a retired pastor. (If I ever have babies I'll be glad of that decision because they'll have good professionally done photographs of their father and grandfather. Bernie died of cancer a few years later. ) The next thing I remember clearly was checking into the Hilton (or was it a Hyatt) next to the Grand Wayne Center for our wedding night. We were both famished and ordered room service. I got a hamburger. It came with a jar of mustard, and I remembered thinking that was wasteful. I'll spare you the rest of the details, but it was a nice wedding night.
It's been an even nicer marriage. When we searched for our wedding invitations (man, there's a laugh for you) I would always scoff at the ones that said "Today is the day I marry my best friend, etc..." because they sounded so cornball. But I really did marry my best friend. Fifteen years ago today.