Tuesday, October 30, 2007

T plus Three Years

I’ve probably inflicted this story on you before, but what the hell…

Tiina and I had been officially going out for a few months at the time. I’d moved from Calgary to Edmonton, because the romantic commute bus fare was killing us, and established myself as slightly above the dog and far, far below the cat in the hierarchy of T’s household.

We were at some café, talking, and somewhere along the way, she mentioned something she’d seen at goth-culture emporium Sanctuary.

T: They had this wedding dress/straitjacket combination.

A: Neat.

T: If I—I mean, we—er, if I ever got married--hopefully it’d be to you, but I’m not pushing, this isn’t me pushing—

A: OK.

T: I want that to be my wedding dress.

(Pause as A mulls it over. Then:)

A: Well, if you get to wear a wedding dress, I want—I’m assuming you’re getting married to me, here—I want to have a black bag over my head and be forced down the aisle at gunpoint by my—whatever they call the groom’s bridesmaids—

T: Groomsmen.

A: Right. Well, I want them to be dressed as stereotypical Colombian drug smugglers, greasy hair, five o’clock shadows, mirror shades—and they’ll force me down the aisle at gunpoint. And then when it’s time for me to say I do, they take the bag off my head, rip off the duct tape over my mouth (I’ve got duct tape over my mouth) and I’ll say “I do.”

(Pause as T considers the possibilities.)

T: OK. If you get to do that, then I get to do this…

*

There followed a lengthy discussion over the various ways Tiina could simultaneously marry me and get disowned by her parents (who probably hadn’t given it much thought but we assumed would be pushing for a three-hour long Greek Orthodox ceremony.) The exact details of this conversation are lost to the mists of time, but if I recall correctly, different options considered included monster trucks, faked electrocutions, open flame, and a crucifixion.

As we finished our soy chai lattes, we looked at each other, expressions of resignation on our faces.

T: You know what this means, don’t you?

A: Yeah. Now we have to get married.

*

We’d pretty much settled on Hallowe’en as the day of the wedding.

But Grandma was dying of cancer, and it was pretty obvious she wasn’t going to last till October. I briefly toyed with the idea of holding the wedding sooner, but someone—I think it was Mum—talked me down.

We kept aiming at Hallowe’en, till we realized that that year it’d land on a Sunday. As most of the people I’d be inviting would be coming up from Calgary, that seemed like a sure way to ensure a lot of people wouldn’t be able to stick around and help us celebrate. So we moved the date to October 30--Devil’s Night.

Or, as T didn’t realize at the time, the anniversary of one set of her grandparents’ wedding.

Or, as I also didn’t realize it at the time, the anniversary of my Grandma and Granddad’s wedding.

Maybe it was a sign.

*

I’m pretty sure Grandma was the first person to see our rings.

We got them from a jeweler who’d set up shop in the main lobby of the Misericordia Hospital, where Grandma was staying. I chose mine because it had moving parts—it was like a Happy Meal toy.

I was seriously worried about the ring—I’ve never been comfortable with personal adornments. I mean, they’re fine for those who like them, but that’s not me. I hadn’t worn a watch since grade five and hadn’t liked it then, never pierced anything, even putting a necklace over my head leads to an instinctive constricting of the throat.

As it is, to this day my engagement/wedding ring is the only piece of jewelry I’ve ever been comfortable wearing.

Definitely a sign.

*

My wedding is probably the coolest thing I will ever be involved with in my life. I’ve certainly no pressing desire to try and coordinate anything remotely resembling it ever again. (T’s a different story. If you’re ever invited to the anniversary party we hold on a boat, don’t come. Trust me on this.)

It was a lot of stress, but it came off about as well as it could, I think (with the possible exception of the extended family’s attempt to line dance to Zorba the Greek.) The lightning effects seemed to work, the nieces and nephews weren’t too scared of me to chase me down the aisle (primarily because I spent fifteen minutes in the staging area letting them kick me), I choked someone during the ceremony, the wedding cake bled when we cut it…

And in the end I was married to my perfect woman.

For all that I abuse the readers of these blogs with my incessant whining about the unbearably awfulness of my pitiful existence, getting married to Tiina is the best thing that ever happened to me. If the success of a marriage is the only measure of the quality of one’s life that matters, then I’m the luckiest guy in the world.

And I have been for three years tonight.

A

1 comment:

Vicious Ambitious said...

That's sweet.

Congrats, you guys.

-nick