Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Torch Song for Valentine's Day

Maybe you remember that I posted a love song for 9/11 on September 11th. That is the day that I very first kissed my husband in the coatroom at my sister's wedding. (I met him the day before). Well, now that it is the international day of luuuuuv and romance, I thought I'd let you know that for me, it harbors really bad memories.

Dork that I am, I got married on Valentine's Day once. Not in hindsight but in actual fact on that day, it was one of the worst days of my life. Lots of people say they knew they were making a mistake on th day of their wedding. Count me among them.

We had a big Friday evening wedding. To me, it was a pain in the ass. There were 200 or so guests. It was lent, so half the catholics had ordered fish and somewhere along the line the most devout of the catholics were served steak. The band we hired -- I refused to have a dj -- changed their lead singer from the time we hired them to when they played. He both sucked and looked like a freak. My mother's friend decided to freestyle the decorations without me knowing about it and plastered brass cupids throughout the room. The hotel was hosting a children's group. Kids rode up and down in the glass elevator right next to the cocktail reception, pushing the buttons for each floor. My suitcases were left in my car and the best man who was supposed to bring them up to the room earlier in the day was too busy drinking at the open bar and smoking cigars to get them for me. I did it myself. Have you ever seen a bride schlepping her own luggage through her own reception? My dad bugged, ran after me and yanked the bags out of my hands taking care of the errand for me.

I remember having about thirty drinks in my hand and taking a sip out of each one, setting it down and losing it. No, I did not get drunk because there wasn't the opportunity. I think I had to dance to the electric slide, macarena and the chicken dance though the band was specifically instructed against those songs. I couldn't find my new husband when the time had come to dance with him. My friend started a fight with his sister because she thought his sister had taken his bouquet.

The two families didn't like each other, though we've known each other since I was in kindergarten. My ex-father-in-law thought giving me the finger at the altar during the rehearsal was high humor.

It was on my wedding night and during our honeymoon that I discovered my new husband had a phobia against having sex in hotel rooms. (He thinks they spy on you). In fact, the other guests at the small tropical resort where we stayed were always amused that the husband of the newlywed pair was always up late in the bar and the bride was always up early reading books on her patio.

We lasted eighteen months. I'm cool with that now. It turns out that "starter marriages" are hip. Wow, me, hip! Whodathunk?


Dr. Zaius said...

Jeepers! My regrets for your "starter wedding." The whole event sounds pretty painful, but I think that having to schlep your own luggage through your own wedding reception and your new husband being missing when it came time to dance are the worst parts of this sad tale.

I can understand why you might now dislike Valentine's Day. My condolences! And a pox on your ex-husband.

Splotchy said...

Jess, you have seen the best and worst of weddings.

And who knew the best was in a coatroom?

Love is where you find it, I guess.

Dean Wormer said...

Weddings - especially first weddings - are wayyyy more stress than they should be.

My wife and I decided to go low-key with the ceremony and then just throw a big party. Of course this was her second time down the aisle. He first wedding sounds like it rivaled Charles/ Diana.

Sorry the honeymoon sucked. I always thought people would at least get that right.

Anonymous said...

heh. you beat the duration of my first marriage by 12 months. i shouldn't have married my best friend at the time. i didn't realize that was 'hip', though. it's good to know that, nineteen (eesh) years later.

as a wedding photog, i see a lot of interesting things going on, especially at the receptions, most of which i tactfully refrain from photographing. there are some memories that the brides and grooms can probably do better withough, after all....

Anonymous said...

crap. i just typed "withough". it's 11:00 a.m. here. obviously, i need a drink....

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Every time I read a wedding horror story like yours I am glad all over again that I decided I will never ever get married. The one time I nearly did get married almost ended in tragedy for me. You have my condolences.

Anonymous said...

Starter marriage? Where have I been? I love that!

You are hip. No matter what you say.

Randal Graves said...

Yikes, relatively hitchless weddings can be annoying, let alone one like this.

Fran said...

Your gift of story is tremendous. Please don't ever stop. Get an agent. Get published. Please? Seriously- please.

What a tale.

I did the same thing with the drinks at my wedding!

I must go back and reread this even though I should have left the house 30 minutes ago and I am not even showered yet.

No time for blogging as someone I love often says.

I am rereading this anyway.

You are brilliant my girl, brilliant indeed.

Fran said...

PS - I had a dj and he was absolutely forbidden to play the macarena, the chicken dance or that blasted electric slide.

And how they tried to bribe him. I had already frightened him into submission earlier, there was no chance of it.

Freida Bee said...

Jess, I had a starter marriage too that lasted about as long as Commander Other's, but the wedding was awesome. I did know that day, however, that it was wrong. I was drunk though, so I was able to push all that to the back of my mind.

If I married my live-in guy of nine years now, he would probably tell me he's too tired to have sex on our honeymoon. That might be okay if I could blog about it. Sad.