The cemetery where we walk our pups has a lot of really fantastic trees. Right in front is a live oak that has suffered storm damage. The groundskeepers and the tree people worked together extensively in past seasons to try to save it and it appeared their efforts were paying off.
Then we got our freak snow storm.
You can tell from this picture the reason we’re losing so many trees: none of the leaves have fallen yet; most haven’t even turned. We haven’t had to rake. Eight-plus inches of wet snow on top of that is bringing those suckers down.
I don’t have a “before” picture, but take my word that before Saturday night, the tree did not normally lay upon the gravestones.
I was taking these pictures and a guy passed walking his dog. He remarked on how dangerous the tree was, that at the moment of it splitting and falling it could have hurt someone.
We’re pretty aware of how dangerous falling trees are, considering how close #1 came to being hit on our front porch, considering that our neighbor was hit by one in his driveway.
I was snapping away, trying to figure how to reply to such an obvious comment without being a total dick to someone who surely must qualify as my neighbor. I needn’t have worried. My husband always has my back in situations like these.
Man: I mean, this is just so dangerous. It could have hit someone. Really, it could have killed someone!
Today is our third wedding anniversary. I looked it up and apparently we’re supposed to give each other leather.
Ummm. . .
I’m assuming that by “leather,” they actually meant, “blog post.”
I realize that three years is a miniscule span of time in terms of a marriage, at least the one I hope to have. I’m not going to pretend that I’m experienced or have any great insights about it except to say one thing: I like it. I like being married, and I never thought I would. It’s surprising coming from me.
But then, most of my life is surprising to me. Most of the significant events in my life started with me saying, “I’ll never ________,” and then doing exactly what I said I’d never do.
I moved in with CC when the kids came to live with us, and we didn’t get married until about two years later. I thought me moving in was enough of a commitment. In my mind it was; I wasn’t planning on going anywhere, and marriage was just an unnecessary formality.
My first niggling doubt about not getting married came from #3 a few months after we all started living together. She came home from school one day and I could tell something was on her mind. She seemed frustrated. I asked her what was wrong and she replied, “Can I just tell people you’re my stepmom? Cause you sort of are, and it’s just easier than saying, ‘my dad’s girlfriend’.”
I told her, “Of course.”
In that moment I saw how everything had changed- and how things needed to change. I suddenly understood that most parents automatically consider how their personal decisions will affect their children, but in this case it hadn’t even entered my mind. I knew I needed to change that characteristic in myself.
I took an informal survey over an extended period of time while trying to make it not look like I was doing that. I learned that none of the kids were opposed to me getting married to their dad (or at least, if they were, they weren’t going to tell me, which is kind of the same thing because you can only work with what they give you).
As for CC? He was waiting for me patiently.
I was finally ready to tell him my big news. I said, “I’m not one hundred percent opposed to getting married anymore.”
I’m nothing if not romantic. I think he was afraid to breathe, for fear I’d change my mind.
I said, “But I want to be asked.” Logic never plays a part in these things.
He continued to wait patiently. Nothing happened from his end, so I carried on.
Some time later I said, “I kind of started planning our wedding.”
He waited even more patiently.
Eventually, I said, “Hey, you still have to ask me to marry you.”
He kept on displaying his incredible patience. He had heard me rant for a long time about my feelings about marriage, and he was afraid he was going to screw it up and I’d back out.
He also may have wanted to get me a ridiculously expensive ring and was planning on selling a kidney to get it. Perhaps one of my own, without my knowledge.
Eventually, our friend Michelle called him and said, “I found the ring she wants. It’s in your budget and it has a black diamond. Now, do you want to get it, or should I?”
He got it. He asked me. I said yes.
In the spirit of our anniversary, here are my three favorite things about our wedding.
1) Our friends.
They were incredibly generous with their time and talents and did all the work, like decorating and making my dress happen and literally everything else.
If you do nothing else, click on that link and check out their website because they’re way beyond awesome. We didn’t have A Song, so they made it be Kung Fu Fighting. With swords.
Friends of ours who brought their three-year-old daughter later heard her describing weddings based on her experience at ours: “First they kiss, and then they hit each other with sticks.”
3) The attendants.
The best man, who did a lot of this:
Some of that:
And eventually, my very favorite part, this:
Ran away during the ceremony. Hauled ass down the beach like he was on a mission from God. We kept on, because that whole “the show must go on” thing is kind of in our blood. We knew someone would catch him and bring him back, and we were sort of occupied with trying to not laugh too much so we could still say our vows. Thank God he didn’t have the rings.
#5 to this day has no recollection of that moment. It truly was my favorite thing about the wedding.
So, CC, today I say thank you for being my best friend and for making me laugh. I love you, and I love our crazy life. I never would have picked this life in a million years, but I’m so glad it picked me.