Sunday, October 3, 2010

Love Chose Us

A glance around our lazy Sunday home reveals the wedding revelry of last weekend.

Dried cupcake icing smeared into the living room floor, piles of ribbons and wishes, leftover Brie and apples we can't eat fast enough, mason jars of ever-dwindling (but shockingly still vibrant) flowers, hand-drawn gifts competing for bookshelf space, a quiet cloudy melancholy creeping around the baseboards. Fall is here.

But a week ago our wedding went down in a hot blast of merriment, tears, laughter, cake-fueled dancing, and mending in the bridal chamber. Nearly eleven hours of straight party, starting with my weepy walk down the aisle of our front yard to the flowered porch altar.

The pre-wedding week spun on coffee, adrenaline, out-of-towner verve, and sheer elation. We stocked up on champagne and lists and tried to sleep. Friends sat on our living room floor making center-piece bouquets and door signs, mint-mashing in the kitchen and song-gathering in the cyber sphere. Mom brought over a present for each of the three days she was here before the wedding. My sisters, all four of them, swarmed me with hugs when I walked into the restaurant Friday evening, a giant inter-family gourmet Chinese meal to get everyone acquainted before the big day.

Later, in the dark chill of night, M and I sat on our porch couch and talked about our fears for the future. The next morning we took turns typing up our finalized vows. Sitting in front of the computer screen, I cried and cried and wondered how I would read them again, in front of sixty people, four hours later.

I had seven of my closest females helping me get ready, which consisted mainly of lacing up the back of my mother's 1972 union-made dress (altered a bit to fit me just right) and fastening some white flowers into my air-dried hair. One sister had a spot of powder, another one some lip gloss. I intended on clear nail polish and gold unicorn earrings, but they slipped my anxious mind. At the last minute, I decided to forgo sandals.

The ceremony was perfect. Our kindred friend married us, our vows surprised each other, and when it was all over we trounced hand in hand down the sidewalk to Karen Carpenter singing “I'm on the top of the world...”

The whole day wore a smile.

We chose the perfect date, right smack in the middle of summer's final victory lap. The day after the wedding was light and fluffy: cupcake for breakfast, mimosa for lunch, and serenity for dinner. We frolicked with dear ones in the surf at the warm tangy beach. Drove familiar vacation streets and showed everyone why we love where we live.

And then the post-wedding week spat me out on the petal-crushed lawn. Back to school on Tuesday morning, 8 o'clock. Mom, Dad, friends, sisters, gone. A dirty kitchen and a routine again. Nothing to plan anymore. Scrutinizing photos, finding ways to eat salmon at every meal, slowly paying off a steep sleep debt. So much sugar (we just couldn't let that exquisite butter-cream passion-fruit cake go to waste) that I felt crashed up on the shores of post-nuptial aimless burnout. Wishing I could just go back and play the day over and over again. Since I can't, though, is why it's magical.

Yesterday we celebrated our one-week anniversary by driving south with a picnic and a dim plan. We struck Bolinas fog and hiked on a new Marin trail. We uncovered handfuls of treasure at a church sale on Highway 1 and landed in full-blown afternoon Petaluma sunshine just in time to get warmed up again. New restaurants remind us that the exploration of the familiar is never-ending, as long as we are willing to do the footwork.

Memories keep distracting me. I've got an intimidating stack of English 101 essays to grade, a play to read, cards inadequate to express my thanks to write, a dress with a dirty train begging to be put back on (still hanging in the living room), and a cozy music-filled house missing all its visitors. But no matter.

I also have a husband.


  1. A husband??!?!?! Why, that's me! What a beautiful one you are. 2 1/2 weeks married and I am still deeply in love with you. Seriously, to share the memories with you here in our home where we wed, to share life with you everyday, I am forever humbled by what's become of us! Much love, M

  2. and what a beautiful ceremony it was! words can't describe... although this is an excellent attempt, about as close as you could get I would say. This reminds me of one of your fabulously eccentric birthday cards you made one year, "every moment is not a moment without end" I've never forgotten that, one of the many words of wisdom you've shared. love you Jessie, congratulations!!