I'd been divorced for quite a while, and at my age, most of the men I was dating had been too. The most difficult hurdle I'd faced in dating was that the divorced men didn't want to get married again. They didn't want to marry but most definitely wanted everything that would traditionally come along with it. They wanted it all, but didn't want to feel the drowning weight of the gold band wrapped around their finger. It didn't make sense to me why they didn't want to be alone, yet not want to be married. In my mind's eye, they were a living oxymoron and needed to be behind glass at a museum for all to gawk at. But I just chuckled at them for the most part, sometimes cursed a few colorful words or two and moved on.
I'd come to realize that it wasn't the getting married that scared divorcees, but it was the chance of getting divorced AGAIN that scared the pants off of them, whether they admitted it or not, self included. So when I stood at the bridge of marriage once again, memories of my first go-round started to flood my mind and cloud my vision of what a "fanciful" wedding it should be.
When I pictured my wedding with Handsome, I realistically didn't want one. I wanted to run to Vegas or pay the extra $30 for a judge to perform it, walk out in my jeans and green chucks a married woman, then continue as normal having nothing be different. But because of my Chickadees, I knew they needed something special because their life was going to dramatically change and be forced to find a new normal. So a wedding did in fact need to be planned.
Handsome, being older than me, wanted a traditional wedding. He wanted me in a dress, him in a suit, girls all girlied out, flowers, cake, dinner, music, etc. I got the feeling he wanted it done right because he knew I was Mrs. Right. This battled with me. I didn't want a dress, I didn't want to walk down the aisle, I didn't want a reception, I didn't want crowds of people, I didn't want gifts, I didn't want music, I didn't want a wedding cake or even a topper. I didn't want there to be a big deal made over us getting married even though I knew he was my Mr. Right. Why you might ask? Well I asked myself the same thing. It was because I didn't want to get divorced again. If I wasn't married, if I didn't have all the neon glow of the basic wedding package hanging over my head, I wouldn't be screwing it up all over again and get divorced. If it was quiet, personal, and only ours to share, it would stay that way and be safe from the outside forces that cause divorce.
My paranoia grew as each time I tried to make my wedding small failed. First it was to be Sunday evening in front of the sunset filled windows of my grandmother's living room surrounded by my closest family. The height of the eight foot ceiling and small number of people held in my nerves and gave me the comfort of privacy I had wanted. But for whatever flippin' stupid, &*%#ing reason it is, an LDS wedding cannot be performed on a Sunday. (Notice I am still bothered by this.) So I searched for different sources of authority to perform it, but nothing seemed right. If I wasn't getting married in the temple, I wanted the next best thing. So we changed the date.
Now my grandmother's home is not your typical reception size. At best we were going to squeeze in about 40 people. But soon family members who were not originally invited wanted to come and so I down sized my personal friends list to make room for them. But soon, that got ridiculously out of hand and we needed to move to a larger venue two weeks before the date. We ended up at a church through the magnificent work of some wonderful, wonderful people, and I was so grateful. However it was the antithesis of what I wanted for the wedding. The thought of having it there brought on moments of agoraphobia and panic. To me, it made this whole day way too big of a deal.
So many wonderful people came and helped me. It was almost like they were more excited about my upcoming wedding than I was. But the day came, everything was ready and I found myself running late, as usual. I had Handsome take the Chickadees down to the church to greet people and help entertain until I got there. My hair was done, make-up on, dress was on and tears were in my eyes. The day was very scary for me. My metaphorical marriage bridge was in front of me. I'd wanted it to be small, short and quick, but it was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom size with crowds of people on both sides as spectators to watch me cross and possibly fall. Handsome knew I was scared. He knew my irrational fears were overwhelming at that moment. But he took my hand and crossed with me.
I could've easily stayed safe. Stayed on the single side of my bridge never risking the fall of divorce again. But I loved him and wanted him to be mine. More correctly, I wanted to be his. We had a moment during the tearful ceremony to say a few words to each other. He spoke words of deep love and I chose to sing a song that reflected just how I felt about him and in that moment, it was just us. I didn't care if anyone heard what we said to each other because nothing else mattered. We were married and very much ready to make the most of it.
I was finally happy with it all now that it was over. I could enjoy the food, music and company. But most importantly I could enjoy being married. As the days continue, I am less and less fearful of getting divorced again because I am more and more sure of what we have created. The more confident I am about us, the more I want to share. I have never experienced such happiness. I do feel like we've come so far to get to where we are now and the fact that we have both been divorced changes the way we work at marriage. Neither one of us would've crossed that bridge if we weren't focused on what we really wanted in a marriage. I truly believe that we and our marriage is worth it.
So I ask you, do you have something worth it today?