Saturday, 5 July 2008
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.”