Valentine, A Love Story


At the risk of being sickening, I'm going to bring up some memorable moments from the wedding that touched me in ways that had very little to do with the bride and groom. My husband and I have been together almost 30 years. Over the years a few 'truths' have become evident. My husband doesn't like to fast dance. He will, if he's had a ginormous amount of alcohol to drink and all his inhibitions have flown out the window. Although he likes a drink now and then, he's had years of practice and it takes quite a bit to get him to the point where those inhibitions have gone. It doesn't take a whole lot, however, for him to become sappy. He doesn't go around telling everyone that he loves them, but he certainly loosens up and will be rather generous with his love toward his family. It's become a family joke, in a sweet way, in that his famous quote is "At least I'm not a mean drunk."

Another 'truth' about my husband is he hates to dress up. His "uniform" has changed over the years from jeans, t-shirt and flannel shirt to jeans, t-shirt and sweatshirt (did I mention he doesn't like change, either?) If we go out in the evening, we go casual and his uniform works as well for that as it does for work. I live in jeans most of the time, too, so I can't say much. However, I must say when he grouches and grumps and fusses about having to put on those tuxes for the weddings, he does so reluctantly but oh, my! The results are stunning. His beard and hair have grown gray over the years, but as we all know that just makes men more distinguished and trust me, when he gets dolled up James Bond has nothin' on him!

This wedding was a bit different for me because my husband was the best man. He didn't sit with me at the wedding, he didn't sit with me at the reception. I was able to stand back and watch him from afar. It was a bit different for him, too, as he messed up once by going into the reception with me never thinking that he, as part of the wedding party, was not supposed to be appearing at the reception just yet! He started to mingle when the maid of honor came flying in and grabbed him, scolding all the way. We all laughed, knowing he was in trouble… and accepting that was nothing new for the day!

A bit later the wedding party made their official entrance. The song? "Another One Bites the Dust". Laughter exploded! First the bridesman came in – a good friend of the bride who, yes, is a man, and who stood up with her. Then my eldest son came in – he was standing up with his brother. Then came one of the bridesmaids and one of the groomsmen who happen to be a couple. They came across the dance floor in their entrance and he stopped in the middle of the floor and 'dipped' his lady. Then came my guy. Mister I Don't Dance. He came in with the maid of honor and when they hit the dance floor, they stopped and he spun her around! Oh, my! I was stunned. He actually looked like he knew what he was doing! The bride and groom came in twirling and hopping and the party got started.

Hubs had to give a speech, which he'd been worrying about for days. He made me proud and did a great job, only to be shown up minutes later by my elder son who also gave a speech and had everyone choked up. I was so proud of them both. Dinner, dancing, talking, the evening blurring into snapshots of memories. I was pretty much staying put and people were coming to talk to me as my husband mingled. He's one of those guys who can talk to anyone and I would look around occasionally to see where he was or who he was with. On one of those scans around the room I wasn't finding him… until I spotted him right in front of me, on the dance floor! I was shocked. It was a fast dance and I knew he hadn't had that much to drink! Come to find out the bridesmaids had been at him and had gotten him out there… and they were making him look like he knew what he was doing! (He swears it was all them, that he just followed and they led!) At any rate, I was stunned… but thrilled to see him out there and looking soooo good.

As the evening progressed, he would come by and sit with me for a few minutes and everytime he did he told me how beautiful I looked. You just know that did a lot for me! I had to keep reminding him he hadn't seen me with makeup or clothes on for weeks, so it wouldn't take much to make an improvement, but he claimed (as he always does) that it doesn't make any difference to him, that he thinks I'm beautiful all the time… but that I was exceptionally gorgeous that night. (Awwww…)

One of my most memorable moments of the whole event was mid-evening when the D.J. announced the next song was dedicated to the grooms' mom and dad. We went up to dance (a slow dance) not recognizing the song. My son likes most music, but tends to lean toward country the most and many songs of the evening were country. This song was no exception. I was trying to listen to the words, but couldn't really catch them until "Me Too" came out of the speakers. That was the song. Toby Keith's song, "Me Too". I had been sooo good all day and night, not crying…. until that. You see, for years and years my husband and I rarely say "I love you" to each other and never on the phone. But we never end a conversation without saying "me too". It has become a joke with our friends and family as we started out thinking we were being so sneaky… I could say it when I was at work or he was around people and they didn't know we were being mushy. Well, we got busted many years ago and now we get teased about it because it is so obvious what we are really saying. So when I heard that come out of the speakers and knew that my newly married son and  his bride had picked that for us, it just choked me up. I downloaded it on my iPod the next day and Hubs and I got choked up all over again listening to it… and have determined that is now "our song".

When the evening was over and things were packed up and we were home in bed, we were both still too wired from it all. We lay curled up together and rehashed the day – not having been together for most of it – and talked until we were talked out. Memories being made and preserved for all time.I realize this wedding was all about my son and his beautiful bride. It was a celebration of the "official" beginning of their life together. Still? For me it was a chance to be romantic and silly and sweet and to flashback to looking across a machine shed almost 30 years ago and locking eyes with a guy who I couldn't dream then would be my soul mate now. I wouldn't have had it any other way. Happy Valentine's Day, Honey… I'd do it all over again.