©2016 Andrea Bowman.
Margaret had one request of me for our wedding day: that I wear clothes that had no memories attached.
I seldom wear a suit. The one I own, which I bought at Goodwill of all places, has seen duty just at interviews, weddings, and funerals over the 15 years or so I’ve worn it. That’s a lot of memories! A new suit would be in order, and this time I decided to do it up right. I went to a tailor Downtown, selected a suit they made on the premises, and had it fitted to me. It is the single most expensive article of clothing I’ve ever bought.
And then I selected that orange tie to go with it. Margaret loves orange.
Margaret, on the other hand, bought her dress on clearance. I think she said she paid $10 for it. Oh my, how I admire a frugal woman! And she looked lovely on the day we were married.
We invited just close family: parents, children and their spouses, siblings and their spouses. And then my oldest son, who lives in a distant city, texted late with bad news: his car had broken down and he and his wife wouldn’t make it. It was the only disappointment in an otherwise wonderful day.
The ceremony was brief. A preceding slideshow of family photographs, set to music, ran longer than the ceremony itself, I think. We exchanged vows, rings, and I-dos, let the photographer photograph us, and then headed to Margaret’s for a party. She’d spent much of the week preparing all the food. I’d made a long playlist on Spotify of upbeat tunes from the 1940s through the 1980s. It kept the party rolling.
Margaret and I thought we’d slip out at about 8 pm, and then it turns out that was when the party naturally broke up anyway. We drove Downtown and checked in to the tall, blue JW Marriott hotel and then took a long walk downtown. The evening was warm; the setting sun lit the sky in oranges. We ended up on the old National Road bridge over the White River, now for pedestrians only and part of White River State Park. We had a late dinner at the hotel.
We attended my church together the next morning. Margaret works at one church, and I’m an elder in another, so we will be a two-church family. And then we went back Downtown for lunch, and for a walk along Massachusetts Avenue for window shopping and ice cream.
Then we parted ways. It was the moment where our temporary two-home arrangement became real for us, physically and emotionally, and it was hard. Merging lives at our age, with teen and young-adult children in various stages of stepping out of the nest into their own futures, creates some challenges and this is how we’re choosing to handle them for now. We’ve made over-and-above effort since our wedding to spend as much time together as we can.
So far, so good. We know we’ll end up under the same roof, and that we’ll be fine in meantime. Because we both chose well.