pardon the schmaltz
pardon the schmaltz
I was engaged once, a long time ago, to a psychotic egomaniac. My father offered me a Corvette to call off the wedding, but I was a stubborn idiot and turned him down. I eventually called it off, but too late for the grand prize. I settled for escaping with my sanity as the second place parting gift.
On the day I married my ex, my father and I pulled up to the church in a limo and I sat there, frozen solid. My father said that it wasn't too late, I should just say the word and he would have the limo driver take off. I didn't have to go in. But I did.
Father does always know best. It just takes a long time to learn that. Sometimes the lessons are very hard.
Next week, one week from this very day, I will be getting married again. My father has not offered me cash or a quick getaway in a limo this time. He has, on the other hand, told Justin there is still time for him to run like the wind. He's kidding, of course. Really.
I've been asked, what makes this wedding day different than the last? What makes me so sure this time when I wasn't sure last time? What makes me think that I can do this all over again and do it right, so that I don't have make people give me gifts for an occassion which will be committed to memory by a divorce decree?
Sometimes it takes making mistakes to learn the truth. Somtimes it takes mistaking need for love and control for concern to help you learn.
When I stood on the altar in May of 1989, it was in the mistaken belief that I was marrying someone who loved me. I realize only now, so many years later, that a person who is so selfish and self-obsessed can never truly love anyone else.
I used to look at couples, even my parents, and see them hold hands and whisper sweet things to each other and giggle and just enjoy the comfort of the presence of one another. I heard couples talk about how they slept cuddled up or spooned, how they sat in their living rooms at night and just talked to each other, how they surprised one another with little gifts that cost pennies but meant a whole lot.
I wondered why we didn't have that. I thought perhaps it would come in time, that a comfortable level of love like that comes with age and wisdom and experience.
But we never held hands. We barely slept in the same room. We never, ever sat around and talked because nothing I had to say was important enough to listen to. At least not as important as his hobby, the hobby that took over his life and our bank accounts.
I didn't think marraige meant being sad all the time. I didn't know it meant being alone. I realized at some point I had it all wrong. Not when I made the concious decision to leave him, not when I signed the divorce papers. I didn't realize how wrong I had it until I met Justin.
I know now about holding hands and giggling and secret words and long talks. I know about shared passions and sleeping as one and getting lost in each other's eyes. I know now what it means to give of oneself, to support and cheer on and have those things done for you, also. I know what it's like to be loved.
So when I am standing there next Sunday, holding Justin's hands in mine and pronouncing my love and devotion to him, it will be without worry, without question, without that tinge of fear that colored my last wedding.
Next week I will marry the only person who has every truly loved me for who and what I am, complete with all my flaws and imperfections. I will marry the only person who has ever made me feel as if forever really means something.
Today, and for all my tomorrows, I consider myself the luckiest person on the face of the earth. I finally got that grand prize.