by Bron | May 6, 2010 9:06 am
Last week, it was technically my 24th wedding anniversary. I say technically because I am no longer married. To him or anyone at this point.
I never knew what real happiness was until I got married. And by then it was too late. Granted we had a number of good years. Our attraction to each other was a matter of chemistry, which is why we ended up treating each other like toxic waste.
The definition of my husband? The man who did his best to stand by me through all the troubles I wouldn’t have had if I’d stayed single.
Each year on this anniversary, I have this ritual. First, I try on my wedding dress – not to get all wistful about the day; I use it as a barometer to see if I’ve put any weight on since I was a slip of a girl at 20. I haven’t been able to do the zip up for five years.
I once tried to palm my dress off to Lifeline but even they didn’t want it. Because it was from the 80s. Puffed sleeves, seed pearls, kilometres of tule, huge bow at the back, lace lace lace. Enough said.
The second part of this ritual is I watch the video of my wedding day. Yes, video. As I said, it was the 80s.
I settled onto my couch with a fresh cup of tea and hit play.
My first thought is how fabulously thin everybody was back then. Not just me – my parents, my husband, my friends. If only we’d known. Ah, but those who indulge, bulge.
I could see where the problem started as I watched my celluloid self tucking tinto a mammother helping of Bomba Alaska. Remember when that was all the rage? But it was the 80s. I should have asked for for meringue. To match my dress.
I only had two bridesmaids, which fell far short of the de rigueur 80s number which could often climb as high as eleven. One of them is still speaking to me, which is surprising if you consider the nauseating dress with matching covered shoes that I made them wear. At least I didn’t make them perm their hair, as I had done to mine.
My husband and I were toasted with champagne, served in those wide, flat little glasses favoured in The Sound of Music and Audrey Hepburn movies. No wonder it was hard to get pissed back then; you can only fit a thimbleful in one of them.
In the height of my 20-year-old sophistication I had insisted to the Beverage Manager, my Dad, that the champagne be Asti Riccadonna. Surprisingly you can still buy it now. Goodness knows why; it is the sickliest, sweetest, aerated concoction. The people who run the Queensland licensing regulations need this product brought to their attention immediately in order to have it removed from bottle shop shelves.
Are you ready for this? While we were cutting our wedding cake, we forced all our guests to listen to Karen Carpenter warbling on about how we’ve only just begun … to liiiiiiiiivvvvve. Then some rot about white lace and promises and a kiss for luck.
The bridal waltz heralded Anne Murray, perhaps fresh from the Nashville Country Music Festival, asking if we could have this dance for the rest of our lives. In my defence, it’s done in perfect 4-4 time and highly suitable to luddite newly-weds who can’t waltz.
I really need to ask Mum to dig out the guest list so I can hand-write apologies to everyone who was there. Or at least the ones who are still living, because I am sure there are some who went out the back and killed themselves when they heard the music and tasted the champagne.
Anyway, the day ended and eventually so too did the marriage. He asked me one day if love was the answer and I asked him if he could rephrase the question.
I fully appreciate why people elope, and why that Little White Chapel in Las Vegas does so well. Nobody is filming what goes on inside.
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