Thursday, December 20, 2007

And the bride wore black.

Today, at sometime between 3 and 4 p.m., I'm getting married. In a black dress, no less. We're keeping it quiet, not even telling our parents. Instead we'll be surprising them over Christmas. 


You would think that I would be petrified. As I'm divorced. Twice over. 

The first time, was just a month after I turned 19. We'd been dating since I was 16 - and I was in love with the idea of being in love. We were having the big princess wedding. My dress weighed close to thirty pounds as it was so heavy with crystal beading. Incidentally, I hated it. His mother picked it out, and bought it for me. I never had the chance to find my own wedding dress.  We got married where his family was from, and I stayed up the night before crying because I didn't want to go through with it.  But there were 500 people coming the next day, and I was afraid of embarrassing my parents. I was afraid of disappointing everyone. Halfway down the aisle, I had to swallow the bile rising in my throat and fight my instinct to turn and bolt.  Looking back, I should have gone with it, and ran into the mid August Texas heat.  We were married only 13 months. We lived together for about half of those. I decided I couldn't live with a man who hit me, who called me a whore almost daily - and yet oddly wouldn't sleep with me. A man who would leave the most vile, violent - bloody pornography on my computer to shock me. I left him in the middle of the night, when he was out of town. I truly believed that he would follow through on his promise and kill me. He's now remarried, and the father of a son and a daughter (I know this because he has an annoying habit of tracking me down to tell me how sorry he is that we didn't work out). 

The second time, I was 22. He was 38. I thought I was "grown up" and knew what love was. We started dating in May and were married by August. We eloped, getting married at sunset on a beach in the Virgin Islands, just the two of us.  My father was so angry he didn't speak to me for almost four months. There were times when we were happy. We were poor and still in school. Then the lies started coming unravelled. He refused to tell his best friend (incidentally his ex-girlfriend, and oddly now, one of my closest friends who no longer speaks to him) that we were married for over three months even though he spoke to her daily.  I found out the truth about why he left his last job as a professor, after he swore to me for three years that what I feared the most hadn't happened. Instead, I read the truth in a copy of a court transcript when I was looking for a computer cord in his laptop bag. And yet, I stayed with him. But his perennial depression made me feel so unloved I honestly felt as if I was dying. He wouldn't work and I was struggling to support us both. I made mistakes too - huge ones, that were simply unforgivable. Ones that I regret with every ounce of my being. I wanted children, desperately. He didn't. We tried for four years (he said later he did so to placate me), infertility treatment for about half of that. Nothing ever worked. I now am so thankful that it never did. 

Today, I'm a different person. I'm 28. I'm a bit jaded. I've lived in four states in two years. I want a partner who is financially responsible, who works hard. I want a man who I can trust, who will love me for being myself. I want a partner who makes me laugh, who will be a good father, who has the deep seated desire for starting a family and making our own traditions. I want a man who is equally comfortable in a five star restaurant and just sitting around talking to my very poor family.  I want to spend my life with someone who is honest, who's laugh makes my heart warm. I want someone who isn't afraid to admit when he's wrong, and by the same token has the heart to forgive me when I am.  I don't want a savior, but a partner. Someone to hold my hand and face what life throws our way together. I want someone who has some of the same referents, who understands my quirks, who enjoys long drives to no particular destination on a whim. I want Patrick, by my side, forever.  And I mean forever. I want to grow old with him. I want to believe in our future. And for the first time in my life, I do. 

I can see him holding our son, hear his voice singing lullabies. I respect him.  For the first time in my life, I can't honestly picture myself intimate with any other person. 

And I love him with every fiber of my being. I see his flaws, and I am brave enough to show him mine. And we love each other in spite of - or perhaps because of - them. 

And so today, we will make our bond permanent - from a legal perspective. As honestly, our lives are so inextricably entwined, that regardless of what status we have on paper - he is my only.

I'm wearing a black dress (a long story - but I tried to find something more appropriate, but this was the first dress that made me feel beautiful since I got pregnant).  And I will be amazingly happy. 

9 comments:

Shinny said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! So very happy that you finally found the one that makes you happy and loves you for being you. How very romantic.

Best wishes to you both.

MsPrufrock said...

What a beautiful post, and not what I was expecting to read.

Congratulations doesn't even begin to cover it!

A new house, new marriage, baby, relocation, what a busy year for you.

Best wishes with everything. I'm tremendously happy for you.

daysgoby said...

That's beautiful, A.

As are you....

PiquantMolly said...

Amazing.

Congratulations to both of you for finally finding each other!

Nico said...

I'm so happy you're so happy. And I'm sure you'll be beautiful in black. Congratulations!!!

Jenn (jennsjournal.net) said...

Congratulation! And I hope they'll be some pictures :)

Scoutj said...

Holy shite!!

Congratulations!

T. and I basically eloped. That was over 14 years ago. Nutso huh?

Dee said...

Congrats A--what wonderful news and what a wonderful day (my SIL's anniversary too) to get married!

I'm sure you'll be just as beautiful in black as you would be in white :-)

And, as the old adage says, third time's the charm!

Have a beautiful day...Patrick is a lucky man to have found such love, as are you.

daysgoby said...

Happy Holidays to you and Patrick and baby too...