Ten years ago, I stayed up too late sipping wine with friends who have long since faded away, and cutting flowers for vases that we’d bought at IKEA for ninety-nine cents each. The flowers came in industrial white pails and we had no idea what we were doing. It doesn’t matter.
I had a hot bath at 1am and slept for three hours, before getting up to get my hair done. A bridezilla and her entourage filled all the other chairs at the salon. She was serving champagne to the chosen ones with her veil pinned onto her shirt like a cape. She called two others “dumb sluts” while my Mum and I sipped our coffee. The “sluts” told their bride I was beautiful and her hatred for me was immediate and palpable. I smiled at her, anyway. It doesn’t matter.
You and I laughed through our ceremony and relaxed in the sunshine, while an art photographer took journalistic shots and we daydreamed about food. We were so hungry without time or inclination to eat anything. A handful of nachos at home. Then back on display in the too-hot hall with timing shot and patience over and more food we didn’t feel like eating. I threw the mini-bouquet and hit a rafter, and a little cousin snagged it. I should have thrown my own, to give the grown-ups a chance. But heat exhaustion was imminent and we’d chosen not to serve hard liquor, so I laughed and let it go. It doesn’t matter.
Later, we had club sandwiches and watched The Simpsons. The straps on my shoes left criss-crosses on my feet that lasted through our honeymoon, and my manicured gels had already begun to peel. Those don’t matter, either.
Ten years ago, I pledged to love for always a man who held my heart on our first date and has cherished it ever since. The flowers and the hair and the ceremony, the contract, the tradition and the buffet; they didn’t matter. Not really. I could’ve married you in a snowbank on the side of the road, or on a mountain, or in a field, or in an LRT car on the way to a hockey game. In my jeans. And that little shirt with the camels on the front. No bustier required…. (Heh.)
Happy anniversary, my love. I didn’t need to marry you – I’ll love you for always, anyway – but I’m so happy that I did. The hall was too hot and my shoes were too tight and I was nearly hallucinating with starvation and fatigue. But those sandwiches, after? Those were awesome.