I can’t quite believe it, but 33 years ago today I married my long-suffering husband, Bill. I’m not sure what you envisioned our wedding might be like, but I’d wager you’d be wrong.
Bill and I first met when he delivered my mail for a three weeks. And then I moved. Not because of him, mind you, but I like to tell him it was. If you want the whole story of that meeting and whatnot, I actually wrote a post ages ago and called it Part 1 and then left it till now. So I guess this is the second and final part. Here’s the first post, in case you are curious. How I Met My Husband Part 1
If you want to see the Prologue, here’s the link to that. How I Met My Husband – The Prologue Yes, there is a prologue. Don’t ask me why there is a prologue because I don’t remember. I started writing this whole mess over a year ago and I would have forgotten all about it except it’s now the second day of November and it’s exactly 33 years since I married the poor unfortunate man and it’s Guest in Jest day and I figured if I’m going to beg for posts, the least I could do was be my very own Guest…in Jest. GASP Sorry, that was pretty long-winded and I ran out of air.
When I left off this story I had just received an April Fools phone call from Bill, whom I’d only really communicated with via the backs of letters going to and from my Aunt Polly. I know that sounds weird, but if you want to know why and how, you’ll have to click the link up there and get caught up.
Continuing the story, Bill and I decided to go on a date. He picked me up that afternoon and we spent the day having a picnic by the river, talking, having dinner, talking some more, going to a movie, and talking more into the middle of the night. It was one of those “I knew the first time I met him” sort of scenarios. Actually, I knew the first time I met him and we talked for 10 hours sort of scenarios. And that’s how I met Bill.
After four months of long distance (an hour apart) dating, we decided to live together. This meant I had to move back to the area where I grew up. I wasn’t terribly happy about that, but love conquers all, as they say.
Bill and I found this fabulous little apartment in Skowhegan. It was an old house that had just been converted to apartments and all of the architectural details had been preserved. It was a great place. Who needs more than a bedroom, a kitchen and a living room? We were happy and it wasn’t long before we started talking about getting married. At this point it was six months after we first met. I know it was fast. But there was that whole “I knew the first time I met him” thing going on. Still, we were in no hurry.
When we mentioned our intentions to Bill’s parents, his Mom went into full Mother-of–the-Groom mode. If I looked into her eyes, I could practically see her calculating venue sizes and table plans. Bill and I started to get nervous. His family wasn’t rich, but they did fine and they were very well respected in the community. Bill’s Mom wanted to make sure that our wedding was grand enough to impress not only friends and family, but a large part of the well-heeled portion of the community. This was becoming a problem.
As each day went by, there was something new; another addition to the grandiose plan. This train had left the station. It was on the tracks and gaining steam. We decided to let her go on planning because she couldn’t do anything concrete without our consent, right? As the days passed, I started to worry about that, too.
While that was going on in the background, we decided to have a party to mark our first Halloween together. We invited all of our friends. It was going to be a lot of fun! It was certainly something to take our minds off the ridiculous wedding plans. I don’t even remember how many people she wanted to invite, but it was a lot. Many of them Bill didn’t even know. The social event of the season was going to star two very unhappy people.
We were talking about this debacle and then we looked at each other and it hit us. We didn’t have to do any of those things. It was our wedding and we could have what we wanted. Right that minute we wanted to elope. But where? We couldn’t really take off for parts unknown when we had already invited people for the Halloween party and…then the lightbulb truly went off. We would elope in our very own living room and the previously planned Halloween party would be our reception!
And that’s what we did. Bill had a best man and I had a best woman. Bill’s brother and his wife took pictures, and a friend of ours married us. That was it. We got married, went out to dinner, and then we came home and put on our Halloween costumes. All of our friends arrived and as the party was in full swing we told everyone we were married! yay!!! They didn’t believe us. Not a single one of them thought we’d actually done it. It took a while to convince them, but we finally did. But that wasn’t the end…
We still had to tell our parents what we’d done. In full disclosure, I didn’t have to tell my Mom because I’d already told her what we planned to do. She was always the ‘whatever makes you happy’ kind of person. Even so, telling her she couldn’t come to our wedding was a big deal. She knew what had been happening with Bill’s Mom, and that this was the most expedient way to stop the wedding freight train. Like the saint she was, she agreed it was the best course of action.
So that left Bill’s parents. It so happened that they were away for the weekend. That was just a happy coincidence, but it meant we didn’t have to show up and tell them in person. Bill made the call during the party. When he came back he was smiling. I was dying to know how it went. “WHAT HAPPENED!?” I yelled over the din. He grinned and told me she said: “I knew you’d do something like this!”