Saturday, January 16, 2010

Thoughts From Un Avion...or...Details of My Wedding

Saturday, January 9, 2010

As I type this, I am somewhere in the neighborhood of 39,000 feet over the Texas/Louisiana border. I am on-board a Boeing 767, headed for Miami, the end of my flying journey (for now anyways), but only the beginning of the real journey. My new husband is sitting two seats away from me (do I smell? Ha, ha), sleeping, and we are headed for our honeymoon cruise. Yes, we got married nearly four weeks ago, but what with the kids, Christmas, a trip to California, we had to put it off. I have never been on a cruise before. Heck, I have never even seen the ocean or a beach except for when I flew over it on my way back and forth to Germany over a decade ago. I am landlocked or a land-lubber or whatever you want to call me!

So, am I excited? I should be. I have always wanted to take a cruise and see the Caribbean. After Christmas vacation and four consecutive snow days, I am ready for a break from my three children. A honeymoon alone with my new husband! But the truth is that I am nervous, scared, and I feel guilty. I feel guilty for leaving my children for eight days. The longest I have ever been away from them is four days. They may get on my nerves, but I still love them and they need their mama. I feel bad not being there and being pretty much incommunicado. What if my son misses me and wants to say hi? Eight days is a long time. I know everyone says that I deserve this, but I feel bad about running off without my children. I feel a general unease, worried that something will go wrong while I am gone. Guess that is the control-freak in me. Nothing will go wrong as long as I am there to hold it together. Silly, I know, but admitting it is half the battle, right? I’ve felt like that my whole life, which I guess is why I am such a homebody. Of course, I have had instances that made it seem true, but that’s a whole different therapy session right there!

I suppose the nervousness and fear is partly related to that. I am getting more nervous about flying the more that I fly. I didn’t used to mind, but it bothers me more these days. My main reason for fear is that I feel like Murphy’s Law has singled me out. Anything that can go wrong usually does go wrong for me. I have a supreme fear that we will be denied passage on the cruise once we get there because we do not have passports. Everything I read says that if you are making a “closed loop voyage”, you can present a birth certificate and driver’s license instead, but I still worry as they highly recommend having the passport anyways. I have had a hard time getting excited because I don’t want to picture myself on a ship or a beach, just to have that beautiful little daydream dashed to pieces, when they refuse us passage and we are stuck in Miami. There are worse places to be stuck, but still, it ain’t no cruise! I’m protecting myself from severe disappointment. Even now, I am having a slight panic attack, sure that I have forgotten Scott’s birth certificate, though I know that I know that I know that I checked and rechecked our paperwork.

My overactive imagination sees a hurricane stranding us on an island and our only form of rescue is by plane, but we can’t go because Homeland Security won’t allow anyone to enter the U.S. by air without a passport. Or finding out there is a dire emergency at home and we can’t get there, stuck on the cruise, having no fun worrying about what’s going on at home.

I know that worrying will not change anything. I know I should stow it because worrying about the kids isn’t going to keep them safe or make them behave for my new mother-in-law. I know worrying isn’t going to get us on-board that ship or prevent any hurricanes. I know that what worry will do is to make me miserable and probably physically ill. And rob me of my joy. But once the fear monster is here, he’s hard to get rid of.

So, while I wait for Murphy to find a way to “get” me, or else find a way to relax and enjoy myself, I thought I might reflect on my wedding, as I promised previously, when I told the tale of us.

I had been waiting for my divorce to finalize for a long time. I never thought I would be someone who is waiting for one marriage to end so I can immediately begin a new one. I hadn’t planned on even dating at this point, let alone planning a wedding. But you know what “they” say about the best-laid plans. I cringed every time someone asked when the wedding was going to be and we said we didn’t know and if pressed further, we had to admit I was waiting on my divorce to finalize. I felt like such a hussy or something equally nasty and rumor-worthy. It didn’t do to try to explain that I thought I was divorced when Scott and I started dating or that I had signed three or four sets of divorce papers (it’s all a bit fuzzy nowadays) or that I had actually been divorced for three whole hours before my idiot lawyers got in the way. I had originally planned to stay the course and be willing to go the distance on the divorce case. But, I was growing tired of the whole situation, as was everyone else, and we started to feel a time crunch. We had a lot of things that were occurring in rapid succession. Christmas coming, family going out of town for the holidays, Scott was trying to take 60 days leave for our marriage and honeymoon, a trip to California hinged on whether we were married or not, and then there were the taxes. We wanted to get married by the end of the year to help Scott out at tax time. He will take a big hit this year with the inheritance he liquidated to be able to pay for the addition to the house and buy many other things that we both needed and wanted. If we were married, he could claim me and the kids on his taxes and it would help him out a lot. The least I could do for all he has done for me. The window of time was closing in on us. We figured out a prime date (December 14) and held our breath to see if things would be accomplished by then. Nothing seemed to be moving. We would think the papers were going to be signed, then they weren’t. On and on it went, while time was passing us by.

December 7, my lawyer took them to court again, with the hopes it would be final by the end of the day. I still don’t know what happened there, but it didn’t get done. With a week to go, we needed some answers. Scott had gone ahead and put in for leave, so we were afraid that if we kept waiting, the 60 days would be gone before we knew it and there would have been no wedding or honeymoon! So, I called my lawyer and said to make them an offer they couldn’t refuse. I offered to forgive more than $10,000 in back child support in exchange for an immediate signing (and the agreement for him to come to Kansas City to pick up the children). That little parenthetical statement was more than just an afterthought. For one, if he stops showing up or even just can’t make it one weekend, my lawyer advised me to show up anyways, to keep him from claiming I hadn’t shown up. I’d rather drive across town for the next 14 years than all the way to Emporia. And two, I felt it would take the focus off the quick signing--if he knew the why, he would drag his feet just to mess with me. But between two lawyers involved, it was less than immediate. I ended up having to present my proposal to him myself. He agreed and I sent him to see his lawyer. New papers had to be drawn up. But I couldn’t get a hold of my lawyer. He left word for me to call in the morning, Thursday December 10. When I called, he had gone out of state to his son’s wedding and his assistant knew nothing about it! She found my file and a revised copy of the papers, so she emailed it to me. I printed, signed, scanned, emailed it back to her. She hand-carried it over to the other attorney, with a letter (per my urging) stating that the condition to this deal was that it had to be signed by a judge by close of business Friday, meaning he would be responsible for filing it. This worried me to no end as he is a bumbling idiot. She promised to call me when she heard anything. So I got no calls. Obviously we couldn’t just show up Monday and get married with no prior arrangements, so we had gone ahead and booked a chapel and a photographer and prayed that we hadn’t just wasted that money. I checked with the assistant Friday about noon, after spending a nervous morning, fretting about it. She called the other attorney to check and it was a good thing she did because apparently he needed a swift kick to remind him that this was a limited time offer. The day wore on and we were sweating bullets. We finally heard that he had called their office around 4pm from the courthouse, requesting vital statistics from their file. We assumed that he wouldn’t be at the courthouse filling out these kinds of forms unless he was actually filing the papers, but I guess I am a pessimist because I could picture him dropping dead of a heart attack, before he got the papers filed or losing them between the first and fourth floors! I hated to get married on an assumption, but this was cutting it way too close for my comfort! We went to the Jackson county courthouse Monday morning and got our marriage license. On the way back, I got an email, saying that my lawyer’s assistant had found a voicemail from the other attorney dated Friday after she’d gone home, confirming that he had filed the papers. Later in the day, she let me know that she had actually received them and she overnight mailed them to me and they were waiting on the doorstep when we came home the next morning!

On to more pleasant subjects! We had talked about getting married at the courthouse, but we found a historic chapel that we thought would make a beautiful backdrop for wedding photos. We invited a select few, but with the last-minute nature of our wedding, the only ones able to attend were our mothers (and a couple of crashers, ha, ha--his mom’s three friends). We would have loved to have shared our day with our friends and more family, but we were also fine with the way things turned out. Scott sent me to get a mani/pedi that morning. He had asked me if I would have my nails painted blue, since that was our wedding color. I had planned on getting a French manicure (and he later concurred), but thought, “sure, why not?” After all, nothing about this was traditional!

Our moms had come up the night before so my mom could make last minute fittings on my dress, which she made. She made my first wedding gown too. So, while I was getting my nails done, they sat at our house and played Wii bowling! I wanted some nail art also and since we were having light snow flurries (nice touch, like God throwing rice!), I opted for a snowflake to be painted on my thumbs and big toes. Everyone seemed to be fascinated and intrigued by this and I think it garnered as much attention as my dress! The kids were picked up from school early and we all got ready and headed for the chapel. We had pictures before the wedding started. It was strange for me. I think I had a hard time realizing it was for real because the setting was so intimate with so few people there. It seemed no different than before the wedding started when we were all milling around and snapping pictures. Very informal.

We had designed our own service. We walked in on one of our favorite pieces of music, Canon in D. We picked Scripture readings, etc. We kind of snickered because we hadn’t been specific about the exact passage we wanted from Ephesians 5, but thought saying it was the part about husbands and wives would be self-explanatory. Imagine our surprise when the preacher started reading an earlier passage that had little to do with marriage.

The preacher had told me to suspend being a mom for the service and not worry about what the children were doing or try to direct them, as they were a part of the wedding party (Arrena was my bridesmaid, Kimmy the flower girl, and Billy the ring bearer). I took his advice and didn’t worry about them. Billy took that as an opportunity. Apparently we were boring him as he was yawning in one of the pictures and in another, I discovered that he had put his ring bearer’s pillow to good use, laying on it on the steps behind me. When we watched our video, we could see him vigorously shaking his head back and forth, so I assumed my mother was vigorously telling him to “come here!” and he was refusing! Oh well. We didn’t care. It was a family wedding and informal and I don’t think it took anything away from it. Even made for good memories!

Scott had wanted to do a sand ceremony instead of a unity candle. I had never heard of or seen one, but it was really interesting. We bought different colored sand (blue and white) and poured them out of separate glasses into a combined vase (which incidentally had the initial “D” on it). It symbolizes becoming one because you can never again separate all the grains of sand. We engineered the wording on the sand ceremony as well as for our vows. We also had a ceremony to present each of the children with a family medallion necklace to show them how important to us they are and that they were a part of our special day and our family.

When it was over, we took more pictures. It was like the papparrazzi around there. Six adults besides the wedding party and each had a camera in hand! Then we headed home to change and went to Olive Garden for an informal wedding dinner. We said goodbye to everyone in the parking lot and went to a beautiful bed and breakfast in town and vowed to have a real honeymoon later on. And here we are! En route to the Caribbean! Stay tuned for cruise blogging!

No comments: