I feel like there should be a photo of me here, wiggling my eyebrows up & down like Groucho did... It hardly seems real, even now. I look at the photos and know I was there, but during that whole week I felt - different. Perhaps I'll figure some of it out - or how to express it - while posting this to share with you.
There will be LOTS of photos, and I hope I can share some of the joy, surprise, and actual wonder I felt.
Joel and I first talked about getting married a month or two before this trip. It was casual; no one fell to her knees with anything like a 'proposal'. After all, we've considered ourselves 'married' for over 18 years - since the Commitment Ceremony in Chicago. It just seemed 'cool' to us. Who knows, maybe the feds will decide to get with civil rights and grant us some legal rights before we croak. And wouldn't it be fun to be 'the first on our block'.
We're hardly the senior couple in terms of longevity among our friends, but none of the other couples have taken this particular plunge. Knowing us as I do, we probably will celebrate both anniversaries. We do like a good reason to eat out!
Two things surprised me, and one of them had begun to make itself felt even before we got to this 'wedding' thing. The first is the really deep sense of relaxation I was able to achieve in that lovely family setting in Cape Cod. The second is the vastly deep feelings I experienced during and because of the way that whole wedding thing went. I found that it - the ceremony, the clothes, the fashion show, the simple yet fancy 'style' that the whole week had - touched ancient fantasies I didn't even know were still important.
As for the first surprise: that comes mostly from Jane and her way of walking around in the world that is unique. Joel kept telling me to quit futzing; Jane had 'everything' and would give it all to us. I simply didn't believe her. And so I did my stuff around packing and worrying and list-making, etc.
Turns out Joel was right. Jane is thoughtful, generous, comfortable, relaxed and gracious. As an example, she gave us a guest room that was truly ready for guests! The closet was empty, except for beach shoes and bags that were bought for us. The chest of drawers held ONLY a pair of reading glasses and a DVD in case we couldn't sleep one night. The bedside tables had only flashlights in them! Crazy. And so welcoming.
There will be a few changes made around here to add some of that comfort for the next person who visits here, I can tell you.And that is just one example...
For the second surprise...I realized, when I relaxed into Jane's ideas for the ceremony, that I was - maybe - going to get that wedding I dreamed about when I was a kid. An actual wedding with music and a photographer and stuff. It's not at all that I had been missing something. As my life evolved, I stopped even wanting a wedding in any real sense. And later, I was happy to let our commitment ceremony in Chicago ('94) be that special day. All was perfectly fine.
I haven't been going thru any angst about what didn't happen all those years ago. But, last week, I began to feel like a bride in ways I hadn't in Chicago or in the ceremony we had the next week here in Ruidoso. In funny little ways hard to describe, I was experiencing these days with a very real and very deep joy. And in ways that made me think of that really little girl I used to be. Such a sweet realization.
Some of the joy came from knowing consciously that I had done all my 'work' well. I released one old dream ages ago when a new one came along in Joel. And I found a new/old one unfolding around me in the nurturing way that everything came together thru Jane. It was very surprising. Makes me smile, even now. I let go of running the show, but kept true to what I wanted by expressing opinions and asking for things - like a bride should.
I realize, too, that I'm not explaining the feelings well at all. But then, I'm really the only one who must understand.
And, btw, the music included: (most links to to YouTube; we played from iTunes.)
As Long as You Love Me, cover by Michael Henry and Justin Robinette
And there were instrumentals, too...forgotten which. Lovely things.
This first set of photos is pre-ceremony, some of them the afternoon before... setting the stage and getting dressed.
It doesn't need another thing.
Jane is more than amazing. Without leaving the house, or ordering anything, she began to gather stuff together. What was just an empty (gorgeous) back yard one minute is transformed in the next. The tent was over the golf cart late Wednesday. By that evening, the cart was in the garage and the tent was in the back yard. Before you know it, the curtains off her bedroom doors are hanging in the corners of the tent. Everything went that way.
Then we have to get to fussin' with our own stuff:
Bearly's Best Man Boutinniere!
No, he doesn't like clothes, no matter the reason!
Isn't she lovely?!
well...half dressed so far.
Oh, it's Time!
Yes, I will.
Happily, she did, too.
Hard to see in this picture is my 'engagement ring' that Joel slipped on at the end. It is a Giant Plastic Diamond! Fun and funny, and just like my Joie. And a touch that had to come from Jane.
We even had a wedding buffet; this lovely Key Lime Pie, Champagne Bellinis, petit Deli Sandwiches, and Purple Cabbage Slaw. Yum...
And a grand send-off!
Our wedding trip was to Provincetown...'nother post for that..