Well, I reckon I’ve given away the topic of this post right from the start, haven’t I? As you may be aware, my sweetheart and I met for the first time right at the end of 2018 and I moved in four months later to the day. I’ve never been happier in my life, and my sweetheart and I have, as yet, not had even a strong disagreement, let alone an actual argument. I had been pondering our future for some time, and had made up my mind to ask her to marry me, but had been waiting for the ideal opportunity. The thing is, since my divorce, now some eight years ago, I’d never considered the possibility that I would remarry. Certainly, there was no way my ex girlfriend and I would ever marry, even though we were together for five years. Yet when it came to my sweetheart, there was no doubt in my mind that we would marry.
The perfect opportunity presented itself on Christmas Eve of last year. I had a seven pm finish and we agreed that we’d have dinner at “our” restaurant, the one where we’d had our first date. I arrived second, after changing at work and we settled down in a booth. I tried to keep a lid on things and waited until my cocktail arrived before starting my spiel. At first, my sweetheart thought I was just making conversation as I mused on the previous (almost) year and how weird it seemed that we’d progressed so far in such a short time. In fact, she kept interjecting as I worked toward my punchline. She was very much taken aback when I asked her to marry me, and she accepted, through tears of joy.
Our waiter, on the other hand, was thoroughly nonplussed, and I assume he thought we were trying to wangle a free drink. As you can imagine, the rest of the evening went very well, as did the Christmas holiday in general.
The next step was to tell the kids, which I did once they were back from their usual trip to Whistler for the period between Christmas and the resumption of school. My daughter was stunned, and my son took the announcement with his usual equanimity. That done, we make the public announcement, in person to our close friends and via Facebook to the rest of the world, and congratulations ensued.
I won’t bore you with the details of the wedding planning. Suffice it to say my sweetheart found a dress the first time she went looking for one, we settled on a venue pretty quickly, the photographer was booked, the cake was chosen and the menu decided. In fact, we had a menu tasting just as the Covid 19 shutdown was gearing up, and I have to say that as free meals go, it was pretty darn good. A friend of mine was delighted to be my best man, and another of our friends agreed to be ordained so that he could perform the ceremony, although I think part of this might be due to the fact that being referred to as the Reverend Doctor Jones quite appealed to him.
You know where this story is going, don’t you? That’s right. But at least the handcart was provided free of charge. You see, we settled on a date in early July due to the constraints of holidays, my son going to college, family birthdays, etc. as well as allowing people time to plan their trip. As soon as the stay at home order came into effect, all our plans went out of the window and landed on the ground with a splat. Lest you think this is a misery moan, think again. Unlike many people, we had all our arrangements locked down within about two months, compared to the 12 to 18 month average, so it could have been a lot worse. I think the reason we got everything squared away so quickly is that it’s the second time around for both of us, and we just want to get married as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we hit upon a plan B. We contacted the wedding planner and asked her in the event of restrictions being eased, could we go onto the grounds with a small group of friends for half an hour purely to have the ceremony. You see, it’s an outdoor venue on tribal land, and so is not beholden to state regulations. We also booked the corresponding date next year so we could have the reception/party portion of the wedding and use it as a reason to renew our vows in public. This part wasn’t an issue as the venue is not taking any new bookings until all the current clients have been accommodated. Our plan was to have a hit and run ceremony followed by dinner for the dozen or so local friends we thought would be able to make it.
Being the kind of people we are, we also had a plan C. Some friends of ours have a high water bank home with a large deck, so at a pinch we could have the ceremony there, followed by some sort of reception, probably featuring some of Costco’s finest products. The long and the short of it is that we WILL be married on the date we set, presuming, of course, that we can get a marriage licence. This may be an issue, but we should be fine as long as we can get an appointment at the Court House to get the licence issued.
I must admit that it has all been a bit of a whirl, as you would expect. Had everything gone according to plan it would still have a bit of a nervy period until we had an exact guest count locked down. One question you may be wondering is how my co workers reacted to the news. Well, they didn’t, because I haven’t told them, and I regard them as no more than “People I met”, to quote Arnold J. Rimmer of “Red Dwarf”. When I put in my leave request so we could have a short honeymoon, I put “Attending out of town family wedding” on my request form. Technically this is correct, as it’s taking place two towns to the north, and involves both my and my sweetheart’s family: i.e. us.
My co workers aren’t exactly the most observant bunch, and so I ran a little experiment: for the whole of February I wore an old silver and lapis lazuli ring to work. The idea being to see if anyone would notice in order to give me some idea of how long I could keep the news of my marriage to myself. Of course, no one noticed, so I reckon it will take a slip up on my part for the news to leak out. I know all of this may sound a bit mean spirited, but I didn’t want to have to answer all the usual questions about the wedding arrangements or deal with hints about invitations. None of them are invited, as you’ve no doubt guessed, and it just makes life easier for me. In fact, I’m going to start a little competition. Our wedding is set for the first half of July. Anyone want to guess how long it will take someone at work to spot my ring? I’m serious. Just to give you another marker, I got new glasses about a year ago. So far, only one person has noticed, and it took her three weeks. I’ll work out some sort of prize for the person that gets the closest to the actual date. Any date before July 15, 2021 is valid, as I reckon that if no one has noticed by then, no one ever will.