Saturday, 5 July 2008

Happy Anniversary

Today is our 33rd wedding anniversary and we could be happier. I could have no cancer and we could still dream of having a bunch of grandchildren around us and having thoughts of living happy-ever-after.

But with all of that aside, we couldn’t be happier.

I am not going to talk about our marriage, I am choosing to talk about our wedding day and the preparation for said event. Of course I can only give you my side of the story because Wahid likes to keep his side of the story out of the blog. (I will go and try to pull some of his version [because it is always different from mine] out of him, but I don’t know whether I will get any info for us. Wish me luck.)

Wahid and I got engaged in February, 1975 (no it was not on Valentines). Our wedding was to be in October, 1975. We got material for the bridesmaids dresses and we also got floppy hats. The dresses were orange because I thought it would look great in the Fall.

Luckily for us, Angelique came knocking at our door and so we moved the wedding up to July.

The wedding party consisted of Mickey and Zello (Maid of Honor and Best Man) Charlotte and Denis, and Shelly and Gerry. The flower girl and ring boy were Tammy and Michel.

Now you need to remember that I was only 19 and so I still thought other people knew better than I did (I unfortunately suffered from that disease for many many years).

This is where my father steps in and tells us we should have a double wedding with my sister Colette (she has been a partner-in-crime of mine for my whole life). His rationale (and I still remember him saying this whenever he could) was to kill two birds with one stone.

God, even when I write that I can’t believe I went along with it. After all we paid for our own weddings for Christ’ sake. My Dad did pay for Holy Family church hall basement though. Colette and Rick, Wahid and I just all went along with it. I don’t even really know if any of them liked the idea.

Of course you all probably think that we were a foursome planning our wedding. Oh contraire. Wahid was in Trinidad breaking the news to his parents that we were getting married and they were trying to set him up with some girls down there at the same time.

So Colette and Rick, and the third wheel (me) went together (why, I don’t know) and got all the things we needed to get this show on the road.

Honestly, I am shaking my head. No wonder I have no fond memories of my wedding day. This is not a doom and gloom tale though. It is a reality tale of a girl too young, too naïve, and most of all not knowing that she knows what she knows.

Another crazy thing that used to happen in 1975 was that because I am Catholic and was going to get married in the Catholic Church, my husband did not have to convert (he is Muslim) but he did have to agree that any children we had would be raised as Catholics. He even had to sign a contract stating such. To me it is outrageous now, but at the time it was okay because I was the one that was a practicing Catholic, and he did not practice his religion.

The one thing that Wahid and I did together to prepare for our marriage before the wedding was to take marriage preparation classes. They were mandatory then and I believe they are still mandatory now (Nadalene and Charlton took them).

Wahid and I both enjoyed the classes, when I think of it now, we had lots of fun. Almost every single thing we worked on or every questionnaire we did, our answers were completely different. I still remember him looking at me very seriously after my responses as if to say ‘Are you for real?’ Ha ha ha.

I remember the one about ‘What do you look for in a wife/husband?’ He wanted a cook, cleaner, someone to be very domestic (in other words he wanted a mother). I wanted romance, to be taken out for dinners and movies, to go dancing, to have fun (in other words I wanted a fictional character.)

I had my wedding dress and going-away outfit made for me by Mickey’s friends’ mother. I should have known that there were problems when the week before the wedding, the dress still wasn’t made. The going-away outfit hadn’t even been touched.

A couple of days before the wedding I try on the dress and the top was so big she had to add in an extra piece and even though no one else probably noticed or thought it went with the dress, it didn’t and I hated it. (Years later I let a couple of people borrow it. Wahid couldn’t believe it he thought it was like a holy shrine. I on the other hand was pissed off that the people didn’t ruin it. I still have it but have plans to cut it up and use it for something for the kids.)

Day of the Wedding, or should I say, day of the weddings. As in two, as in double. Imagine the commotion as there are two brides getting ready. (So fucking funny now that I think of it.) It just came to me why on my wedding day I slept in till 10:30 and no one even noticed. They must have been getting Colette ready. Ha ha ha.

I get up around 10:30. I have to run to K-mart for pantyhose so I hop in the car and go get a couple of pair. Come home, have a shower, and my sister Kathy who was a hairdresser starts to do my hair. The seamstress drops off my going-away outfit. Don’t forget that the wedding is at 3:00 and I still have to get pictures done at home, again, I believe after Colette. My Dad is the photographer.

Drive to the church (Colette will have to confirm) in the same car with Colette. Mickey the Maid of Honor takes over in the picture department when Dad is doing his thing, like helping us out of the car or walking us down the aisle.

I am caught between a cringe and a laugh when I picture my Dad walking us down the aisle. One bird on each arm. Don’t forget the ‘killing two birds with one stone.’ Honest to God.

I remember not being nervous at all. I do remember, however, when I was walking down the aisle and thinking “What the hell are you doing?”

I remember the priest (Father Raimbault) asking who gives this bride away. I remember thinking no one should be giving me away. I am not an old blouse. How archaic.

Wahid and I sat on the left hand side of the church and Colette and Rick on the right (Colette is that right?)

“You are now Man and Wife. You may kiss the bride.” “You are now Man and Wife. You may kiss the bride.” Wahid and I kissed first as I am the older bride after all.

We go off to the park across from St. Boniface Hospital and get our pictures taken. I remember it being so windy that the bridesmaids had to hold on to their floppy hats. After that we drive back to the hall at the church.

Because Wahid had no family here except for his brother Zello and his family we had less people at the wedding. So my wedding was a wedding with a bunch of people I had never seen in my life (all of Rick’s relatives).

We do all the typical suspects: pretend to cut the cake, eat dinner, have a presentation line, and of course have our first dance. This is so weird because I know that we danced to the song ‘We’ve only just begun’ by the Carpenters. Then our wedding party joined in. We must have stood to the side, as Colette and her wedding party would have danced too. How funny.

Back in the day, July 5th, 1975 to be exact the couple left the wedding around 10:00 so that the bride could change into her going away outfit. All four of us go back to my parents’ house to change while everyone at the wedding is still dancing and waiting for us to come back.

Colette is changed and is waiting for me to go with her. I tell her to go ahead and tell them we will not be coming back.

The outfit of course did not fit. You actually could have fit me in it at my size now with two other people. I pulled the pants up, they fell down. I put the top on; the neck was at my hips. This is making me laugh now, but believe me at the time it was not funny.

I put my wedding dress back on, tell Wahid we are not going back to the wedding, he doesn’t understand why I can’t put something else on. To be honest, I can’t understand now why I wouldn’t have put something else on. There really is something to be said for going with the flow.

We get in our car and drive off to the International Inn by the airport and we have the honeymoon suite.

My wedding was certainly not what I wanted it to be. When people ask if I had fun at my wedding, I say no.

But the most amazing thing is that even though I didn’t enjoy the wedding. I have absolutely without a doubt enjoyed the marriage. I love the man. I love my husband. I love the boy I married that became the man I am married to.

Happy Anniversary Wahid, you are a dream person. In the end you are my fictional character but in a different genre than I had expected. Who could have known that in the end, that is exactly what I wanted.

P.S. I put the screws to Wahid and all he would say is “Dearest, 33 years is a long time.” ‘I say yes, but it was a good time.’ He laughs and says “It has its ups and downs.”


Camille said...

Congratulations to the both of you. I haven't laughed so hard for ages. (And Cried) How do you remember so much of that day? All I remember about the 1st time I married was being 8 months pregnant & Auntie Jean telling me a dream she had that my water broke walking down the isle lol. Loved your Story Renee. Still laughing

JACQUIE said...

love story ?



Anonymous said...

Happy Anniverary!

That is too funny! It reminds me of our wedding in Oct. 75, with all those old stupid rituals.
Hope Wahid is taking you out for supper and romance!

Mickey said...

Renee this is the most hilarious post I have read so far Love it too funny.

Happy Anniversary to both of you and I beleive you and Wahid are a perfect match you are definitely married to a good man and he an amazing woman. Love you both.

Let this post be a lesson to all the girls who will be getting married in the near future try your hardest to enjoy every single minute really absorb it all in and if everything doesn't go perfect remember to go with the flow and enjoy.

Deanna said...

Happy Anniversary! You just cracked me up, and reminded me that there were many things about my own wedding that were annoying and stupid. I too love the man that "took me" when I was given away. I thank god he hasn't given me back yet...hee hee.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to the both of you! Your blog certainly brought back a lot of memories. You added a lot of background information that I certainly didn't know and you did it all with such humour. The one thing that I do remember is that you both looked so beautiful to me as you walked down the aisle. Congrats again!
Love Jeannine XOXO

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary to both of you!
What a great story Renee...thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Setting the Record STRAIGHT

Now keep in mind that I too see it my own way, and of course my way is that it was totally wonderful with a hint of romance! Renee did all the organizing as I needed her too and two birds with one stone is absolutely FUNNY and True... I don't think that I could have done it without her, so therefore, I know that without a doubt the one thing she missed out was that I would have been her maid-of-honor, I just pretended that she was mine now that I think of it.

"Now you need to remember that I was only 19 and so I still thought other people knew better than I did (I unfortunately suffered from that disease for many many years)."

FUNNY, me too, but I still do it, Renee runs my was just 18 - a baby)

"Colette (she has been a partner-in-crime of mine for my whole life)" TRUE, again, look at me suffering from that same old disease. But once again Renee was the ring leader, I did everything thing I was told to do by her as my mother told me to respect my elders...

Gotta say that I did like the idea, it was made that much easier on me and I didn't have to make the decisions, Renee did most of the planning and Rick was up north all the time so mostly we just went along with it (we did not go to pre-marital classes because he was up north. I do remember that I was a little too honest with the Preist as I told him that either way I was getting married and that it would not look good for me to have to wait and waddle down the isle with a BIG-GUT and therefore Rick and I would have to go somewhere else to get married if we had to do the pre-marital classes. (which by the way, sounds like it would have been fun)

Yes we sat on the right, (come on it was 33 years ago) and I don't recall what time it was either, or do I was it OMG, 3 or 6. We arrived in the same car and Mickey took the pictures.

Love that we are sisters, that we got married together and that we had our children together, I would never, ever, change that... Love you and Happy Anniversary to all four of us.

Love Colette (partner-in-Crime)

Taylor said...

Happy Anniversary to all 4 of you, whom I love whole heartedly.

First of All, I had never heard this story so I was caught completely off guard and was laughing my ass off!! Could you imagine seeing this today? haha and the hats - hahaha.

Also, love the comments. Brought me right back home! xoxo

Ribbon said...

You are a survivor :-)

to survive a wedding like that has enabled you to survive marriage with ease...

love the love story

x Ribbon

Julie said...

Oh my goodness, Renee, I'm sorry to laugh at your expense, but your wedding story takes the cake!!! I too was pregnant with Isaac at our wedding (which took place a little over a year after Tim and I had a just-for-kicks drive thru wedding in Vegas). And I remember it being a big blur as well, not quite my idea of fun, but the guests seemed to be enjoying themselves.

BT said...

Oh that is sooo funny Renee, what a hoot. My weddings were all 3 fun and I had a great time. lol. I think I enjoyed the one to Jim the most as we had our photos taken on the beach and went for a paddle in the sea in full wedding gear! It was fun and funny too. What a great tale.

rochambeau said...

It wasn't a dream wedding, BUT isn't life ironic? So many twists. You have a solid relationship with your Wahid for 34 years now!! Many people that had a fairytale wedding aren't married anymore.
I waited for SO many years Renee, but FINALLY the right man came to me! We are good together. We love each other and look out for one another's best interest.

You and I are most richly blessed!


You are the worlds BEST story teller.
Do Wahid's family accept you?

Artistic Accents by Darla said...

Awwwww, what a great story Renee! It's reminding me now of a not so romantic part of my wedding day as well! (1977) We had reserved a 'honey moon' sweet up in East Grand Forks. Had it picked out, it was beautiful. When we got there, it was NOT the room we had reserved, just a regular room. I was upset. Then we opened the door and all the bedding was torn off the bed!
My new husband went down to the front desk to complain while I stood in the hallway, worn out, exhausted and still in my bridal gown :)

He came back and they moved us to another room. Seems someone had a heart attack in the room next door and they stripped our bed to cover him until EMTs could arrive.

Yes, a romantic (?) night to remember!

Again, happy anniversary dear Renee!
Love, Darla

Deborah said...

Another fantastic piece of writing, Renee. I loved it. You make my heart smile. I love you.

Jen said...

This sounds like something I would post! Hopefully I'll stay strong through my wedding planning and will escape without too many woes.

I love that you were able to share this event with your partner in crime! It sounds fun- in theory. I think I would clash too violently with my partner in crime, and we'd have a great, big wedding mess!

I'm completely go with the flow for other people's events, and day-to-day stuff, but never for anything huge and MINE, lol! You should hear what I did for my last birthday. Very UN-go-with-the-flow as I canceled the festivities that were to be spent with my bunch of ingrate friends. I secretly took off to Disneyland instead ;)

Deborah said...

Oh Lovee, you still make my heart smile. **blows kisses to heaven** Deb