If you survive the wedding, marriage is a piece of cake.
When Garry proposed, I was shaken. He was 48 and I was 43. I’d been married twice and my first husband (still alive) was Garry’s best friend. Don’t ask for details. As they say in modern RomComs, “It’s complicated.”
I had finally managed to get unmarried to number two which was complicated by requiring a board of Rabbis in Jerusalem to agree and you’d be surprised how complicated that can become. They are not modern guys.
Garry proposed. Once I got over the shock, I realized there would be a wedding, about which I wasn’t enthusiastic. I’d never been enthusiastic about weddings.
But Garry wanted the whole thing with flowers, music, and his pastor from childhood (retired, but drug out of retirement for the occasion) … and of course, me. It had to be in New York, not Boston.
Having told me what he wanted for a wedding, Garry retired from the fray and let me get on with it. At some point, he figured out I would do everything and he could show up in a tuxedo. Voila! Done and done.
It’s a blur. I don’t remember the details though I have it on a CD and that helps. When you are a bride, you get moved around, told where to stand. You wear shoes so painful you need the jaws of life to remove your feet. Also, the gown had no shoulders, so I had to wear some kind of corset thing. It was a warm September and beneath the corset, it was sweaty. Then there were stockings and a veil, flowers, hair, and makeup. Sheesh.
As for the date, it was simple. It would be when Garry’s baby brother, the honorable Dr. Anton Armstrong, conductor of the St. Olaf’s Choir wasn’t going to be on the road with the choir. We wanted him to sing — and HE wanted to sing — but he’s a busy guy. Then there was a bagpiper (my former first husband insisted). My Maid of Honor wanted to sing (lovely voice) … and another friend was going to sing too. NO way we were getting away with simple music and anyway, Garry has a streak of Hollywood director in his soul, so we made almost no plans for the party, but staged a big show as the ceremony.
On September 15th. Today. In 1990.
When people asked if they could bring their kids, we said NO and they brought them anyway. Garry’s mother invited all her best friends because she was Garry’s Mom.
I wanted to go to city hall and have the Mayor marry us. He was a pretty good friend then — still IS a friend, though he’s long out of office. We could have had a nice little ceremony on the steps of city hall, grabbed a plane at Logan and headed for Ireland. But we had to have this wedding. I think we were the ONLY people to invite 86 people and end up with 110 people. No one refused.
“You mean — GARRY is getting MARRIED? I’ve gotta BE there!” He was Boston’s longest known bachelor, so this was an occasion for all and sundry.
It was a great wedding which I know because we had it taped. A couple of years ago, we transferred to DVD. It turned out mylar tape corrodes over time. Who knew?
With a few exceptions (mostly due to death), we know all the same people today we knew then. Funny how that works.
I suppose we stayed married because we were determined to make it work. We really cared about each other. Love is important in a marriage, but I have to say it is the friendship that keeps it going. When the flush of romance has been crushed under the pressure of two full-time jobs and Mr. Romance just wants to sit around the apartment watching baseball, being good friends matters.
Love is a grand thing, but a deep and abiding friendship is forever.
Personally? Call an abstention on the wedding and spend the money on a fabulous honeymoon.