The summer of 2015: Ordinary, with very little extraordinary. Endless brilliant sun-filled days, peppered with ordinary walks through the same old woods with the same not-very-old boys and our newest baby, Princess Zoe. Truth be told, summer is both blissful and monotonous for a stay-at-home-mom. The days stretch on eternally into evenings, which seems to never come when you live in the far reaches of the Pacific Northwest. We find ourselves in the woods and at the pool, walking the paths of the dog park and walking the paths of Green Lake. We know all of the baristas by name at our coffee shop, and Zoe has become quite the pudgy puppy from her immeasurable stream of dog treats courtesy of her full-time seven-year old trainer, who takes his job very seriously. We’ve gone through seven jars of peanut butter, four pounds of hamburgers, and twenty-nine pounds of peaches. I stopped applying sunscreen last week, because I decided I was done with summer, even if summer wasn’t done with us.
In the midst of the monotony of our endless summer, my mom stopped by with some fancy steak knives a week ago. “I bought these for you, since you never seem to have sharp knives around here.” Which is true. “Thanks for the wedding present, mom!” I replied. She looked stunned, as I suppose should be expected, given that Dave and I have lived in unwedded bliss for ten years, two children, three dogs, two houses, and one failed p-patch experiment.
“You’re getting married?!” she exclaimed, bursting with a joy I imagine only a crazed mother can exude after ten years of patiently waiting for her baby girl’s big day. “Yep mom, and we’ve decided on you and Rita as our witnesses,” which we reasoned would be a little more festive than hiring a couple of homeless people in front of the courthouse. (The thought crossed my mind, and weighed in heavily for more than a few moments. You who know me know that I’m anti-wedding and about as chill as a girl-Macklemore, I’ve been told.)
So Dave arranged to take a stay-cation and the big day was planned around my nephew’s knee surgery, when Rita could hitch a ride into town. I came downstairs, hair probably still dripping wet from my shower, in my wedding attire, to which Dave said, “You’re wearing a dress? I guess I should change out of shorts, then.” I was reticent to put on lipstick, but you know, it was my big day and all, so I dug through the glove box and found a muted gloss to really bring the whole look together. Dave wore linen and blue. Wrinkled linen and blue, which is out of character for him, but I let it slide this once. After all, it was his big day, too.
We dropped the boys off at Lucy’s, about which they were delighted, especially Oliver who declared that we were already married a long time ago, because that’s how it works, mommy. We cued up in line to join the glorious traffic that only Seattle and a handful of other honored cities can boast about, and we headed to the Justice of the Peace downtown. We were very nervous and excited. I am 100% lying. I just wanted to get this shit over with, because you guys, weddings are stupid, and that’s how I roll.
We popped out of the elevator on the tenth floor, and the scene that unfolded was stunning, to say the least. There were brides in full regalia, wedding parties, men in suits and professional photographers. Brides were carrying bouquets. Grooms had boutonnieres pinned on suit jackets. Dave had his wrinkled linen, and I had my summer tan lines from endless days spent outdoors in tank tops. I wondered to myself if it would be tacky to borrow a bouquet from one of the brides for our photos.
(Not sure if we look like we are getting married or getting ready to be fingerprinted for jail-time.)
We slipped into Judge Ed’s office quietly. I duly noted that he didn’t have any certificates on the wall, and wondered aloud if he was a fake judge. He threw on his robe for the occasion and offered to take us to the courtroom for our ceremony, in case we needed to go all Law and Order for our wedding. We declined, and chose the “view room” which doubled as a conference room for stodgy lawyers. He asked for our rings, to which I replied, “Can we just skip that part of the vows. We don’t have rings.” Judge Ed, without missing a beat, offered up cigar wrappers and paperclips, and I decided that I really liked this guy, fake judge status notwithstanding.
My mom was everything one might dread in a mother-of-the-bride. She took far too many photos and digitally recorded our wedding vows, despite my insistence that she refrain from doing so. She forgot that this day was about me and my husband (did you hear me say husband, there?) and drove us batty. I thanked my lucky stars that our wedding lasted all of three minutes. I can’t even imagine the monstrosity that would unfold if my mom had months to prepare for the occasion. (I still love you, mom.)
We celebrated in style while we were downtown, consulting Yelp for recommendation in the neighborhood that would accommodate everyone’s special dietary needs, of which there are plenty. I got a free molten lava cake for my special day, and they provided us with extraordinarily slow service to commemorate the institution of marriage. Meanwhile, the boys were obliviously eating pizza with Lucy while their little family unit, as they knew it, was being transformed in ways not quite imaginable before this moment in time.
It’s been four days since Dave and I got married. Yesterday I realized I had misplaced our marriage certificate, and hoped I wouldn’t have to spend another $80 in cold hard cash to go through the motions a second time. Think of the fabulous dress I could have worn. Imagine the bouquet I could fashion from flowers plucked from neighbors’ yards. Envision Judge Ed’s joy at taking another cash payment for five minutes of his time. Alas, my mom found the certificate tucked between seats in her car. Phew. Because weddings are tough. And as far as I can tell with my four days of experience, marriage is even tougher. I suppose it has been an extraordinary summer, after all.