Thursday, March 24, 2011

No pre-wedding jitters...

Today marks four years ago Marcy and I exchanged our vows. In a small way to commemorate our anniversary, I have opted to republish this old blog entry I wrote about it. I originally authored this on April 7, 2007: two weeks after our wedding. It initially was written as a MySpace message to an old friend I knew while I was in the Navy and stationed at Newport, RI. When I was almost finished typing it, it occurred to me that this would make a nice item to share with everyone and so here it is, a little revised and with an item or two added.

Also to all who see this and attended our wedding and reception, for being there with us to share in our most special day, THANK YOU! Words cannot express how grateful we still are.

Well, we only got half the crowd we expected (we paid for a minimum attendance of 125 guests). But that's okay. The folks who showed and stayed through the evening had an absolute blast.

Just like everyone said it would be, the day went by much too quickly and it was over before I knew it. In looking back two weeks ago, now it seems like a whirlwind (although I know it didn't have that feel while it was happening).

I have to say, watching her walk down the aisle was the most magical moment of my life.

It was funny, in retrospect, because I remember how glad we were to get out of our formal wear once we got home... and she was saying all the while in the weeks leading up to our wedding that she's waited all her life to don her wedding gown but that was going to mean wearing upwards of 30 pounds of clothing and she knew she would be soooo ready to take the thing off.

She had her gown on by about 2:30-3 p.m. that afternoon, I had on my tux shortly after 3, and we were out of our gear sometime close to midnight. Nine hours in a tux and gown. Yeah, I couldn't wait to get in a T-shirt, sweats, and my worn-out sneakers I use for slippers.

In fact, not long after the ceremony her feet were hurting her so bad in her shoes my brother Todd ran really quickly to the Kmart next door to the Crystal Gardens hall and grabbed her a pair of nice slippers to wear the rest of the day and evening. Our photographer got some photos of me helping her out of and then into footwear out in the lobby area. As soon as we get them from him, I'll be sure to post those on my profile.

Another anecdote that Marcy will never live down to some degree came during the ceremony. Our officiate, Tony, later admitted that ours was only the second wedding he's done this year and so he was a little rusty. Where that came into play is that during the part where we say after him, "I take thee..." he was kinda hesitating a little bit. She was waiting for him to say my name in the process, waiting for his prompts, and it caused just enough of a hiccup in the proceedings that she called me by my middle name since in her mind she'd already said my first name several times: "I take thee (hesitation for a split second) Charles..."

So now, my best man keeps calling me Chuck. And Marcy is "Bride of Chuckie."

That's OK, though, since when we said our own personal words to one another I had a brain fart (which I knew I would; that's why I try to stick to writing instead of public speaking) of my own. What I had intended to say and had rehearsed in my head for during my part was:

Marcy, very simply you are the one.
You are the one I know who loves me unconditionally.
You are the one who brings out the best in me.
You are the one who makes every morning worth waking up to.
And you are the one who makes every evening something to look forward to.
And, you are the one and only one I see spending the rest of my life with.
You are the one.

Well, after the opening line, I had a brain freeze and couldn't remember the second stanza (which, I felt, was the most important to say) and skipped to part 3, then four, and then finally remembered the second part -- and in my sense of relief I believe I ended up omitting the fifth line.

One other thing that is a little amusing is the minor controversy that has taken on a life of its own in my workplace. I teach a teen weight training class where I work at the South Oakland Family YMCA. The weekend before the wedding I called in sick and so there wasn't any class. Well, I could have tried to arrange for someone to be there but felt I owed it to the kids, having missed the week before. During the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, other members of the bridal party convinced me to pursue a sub to teach the next day's class (what if there's a traffic jam, what if you're in an accident, what if your truck breaks down) -- and I earnestly tried to call someone and make those arrangements.

Well, no one was available. So, I went in around 8:30 that next morning (class is at 11) to the "Y" and got in the workout I was hoping to have. And I taught my class, but being the thinking man I am, I cut it short at 11:30 and let no one interfere with my departure. Of course my boss, Michele, marveled at my presence while I was working-out and apologized for not being able to cover the class herself; but she needed to be able to scoot early that morning since she needed the time to get ready so she could attend the wedding herself!

And a number of people remarked about me being there and working out and doing the class the day of my wedding. What I began telling people is I wanted to get the after-workout endorphin rush as a preemptive strike against potential pre-wedding jitters. At least I think it worked.

Anyhow, since then people have been coming up to me saying things such as, "What's this I hear about you having to work on your wedding day?!?" and, "I can't believe they made you come in to work on your wedding day!"

What adds a little to the confusion on the subject is that I used to work Saturday mornings in the Wellness Center. Now, the only time I come in on a Saturday is to teach my class (which is very rewarding).

But, getting back to the subject of avoiding the jitters... Once I got out of the YMCA and hit the road, I had to swing over to Ecorse and pick up Keith, my Best Man, at the truck stop on Ecorse Road. He had to drop-off his rig that morning as he had to deal with some rocket scientists in Ohio at his final point of destination along his run down south.

So, I meet him at the diner there at the truck stop. And I figure he's going to be ready to get going fairly shortly after I get there. No, he's just getting ready to place his breakfast order. Well, I went ahead and had something as well. I was anxious to go, so I had my plate cleaned off well before Keith did. And then he wants to sit there with his boss and shoot the $#1+ and smoke cigarettes for a while -- meanwhile I'm getting antsier... and antsier. Finally I had to blurt out, "Dude, I really, really don't want to be rude, but we really, really got to go."

So, we head over to where his rig is parked, he gets his tux and other needed items out of his truck. As best we can in my well-worn Dakota, I'm flying down I-94 to Southfield Road, I'm cruising the streets as fast as I can without needlessly risking a stop by a cop, and get our nappy asses to the house, where I now need to get groomed (no pun intended) and a shower (another unintended pun). As bald as I am, I just shave my head anymore and for some reason that day, things just seemed to take longer to accomplish than normal.

We got to Crystal Gardens at 3 -- mind you the wedding is at 3:30 p.m. and we had determined that all my groomsmen and I should be there by 2:30. When we get there, Amy (Marcy's Matron of Honor) is standing there in the lobby and says, "I was getting ready to send out a search party for you!"

We race into the area we scouted as a good changing place. My first groomsman, Larry, is helping me get changed and all set up while Keith's wife, Lana (Marcy's Second Bridesmaid), is helping him do the same. I am trying like hell not to work up a sweat and get all grubby as a result. But, we probably got me tuxed-up in near record time.

After that, then I had to help with getting my two absentee fellows (Larry and Keith) up to speed on things since they weren't able to be there the night of the rehearsal (Keith was on the road and Larry lives up by Clare): the order of procession, where we're all standing when we get to the altar, and so on.

Now, for all of you who have known me for some time and have marveled at my sense (or lack thereof) of punctuality, you need only look at my family... At this point in the day, my brother Brian (the second groomsman), has not yet arrived. In fact, since he, my oldest brother Michael, and my mom are all riding together, I'm now starting to wonder whether they will be there at least in time for the ceremony or perhaps sometime before dinner during the reception. Time is ticking away and in the design of entrances for the ceremony Michael is supposed to be escorting Mom to her seat, followed by Marcy's brother Jason with their mom, Brian, Larry, Keith, and then Tony and me, and the bridesmaids one by one before Marcy and her dad make their entrance.

Making the moment even more interesting is that Tony hadn't even arrived yet (although, if memory serves me correct, he did get there before my family). Of course, on our wedding day, there had to be construction on I-75. That caused a lot of people to miss the ceremony but at least be there for the reception. My family, though, was taking the Southfield Freeway, which was flowing quite smoothly when I was on it around noon. They pulled-up at 3:21 by my watch.

Between anxiously awaiting for their arrivals and doing pre-photos in the lobby area with the photographer, and saying "hello" to invitees, I was too busy to even think about being nervous.

But, all in all, I'm inclined to think the day went well. I couldn't be happier.

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