01 May 2011
Once Upon A Time
For starters they didn't live happily ever after, but while watching the Royal wedding I did get a few moments of frisson about the man I married twice and the mornings (plural) after the night before. So we will kick this off with a song that makes me think of that once upon a time
After the wedding, we headed for a hotel. The day after would be consumed by the drive to Northern California and our escape from our families (Boy did we need to escape). I was 18 and he was 20, He lied about his under 21 California requirement age of the time (grounds for the later annulment ... impediments they speak of in the ceremony)
The following morning in early hours we are driving back when the cop pulls us over. Me in my wedding dress. He in his suit. Officer being protective as they can only be in 1962 ... "Why are YOU in this car with this "GIRL" at 5:00 AM ... yes the police really did that back then. Policeman writing out ticket on some minor complaint, new husband explaining about the wedding night, the honeymoon, the trip ... cop so apologetic but the ticket has been written. That was the FIRST morning after the night before. It's August and six months later he will be hoisting her very pregnant body above Grant avenue in San Francisco to watch the ushering in of year of the Rabbit.
In March 1963 while he was still under 21, they split for ten months just to send him back to college, give the child a name, we even held hands in the lawyer's office ...
Ten months later those two idiots went to a Christmas party and a New Year's event with B B King and by February he knows that if she wants pan-fried Chinese egg noodles, they might have to get married AGAIN. (Yes people still did that then.) So they headed for Vegas because the Best Man and Matron of Honor knew a ranch on the outskirts where we could honeymoon ... Best laid plans of mice and men ... It is going to get very cold, as the sans telephone honeymoon location has been taken over by the owner's daughter and brood. There is nothing as cold as the back seat of a car in the middle of the Nevada desert in February unless it is a best man shooting at jack rabbits to wake up the wedding party.
It will come as no surprise that this was not a union watched over by angels. That they still sort of acknowledge each others existence with somewhat good humor and occasional passing warmth almost 49 years since that first policeman interrupted morning long enough to say, "How have you been?" and such is a freaking miracle.
Life is funny. It may not turn out the way you expect, but there is a lot to be said for two really nice adult children and a peaceful resolution as you creep up on 50 years of not happily ever after.