Wednesday, 25 November 2009

First time

The first time I married my husband I wore a white trouser suit and a nervous smile. Even though it was a clear mid summers day I shivered as we waited on the registry office steps. Little beads of sweat began to form on the back of my neck and trickled down my collar bone, forming a small pool in my bra. My clammy hands gripped a mixed bunch of roses and lilies, hastily wrapped together, an empty symbol of our non-wedding wedding.

Our secret. One that burned inside of me, making me squirm every time I thought of my family, who had no idea this little event was taking place. I kept telling myself that it wasn't my wedding day, it was all for a mere piece of paper that would keep the boy I loved on the same soil as me.

Yet it felt real, this fake wedding. We trembled in front of the registrar, giggled like naughty school children as we stumbled through our vows and blushed when he slipped my great grandmother's ring on my wedding finger. I stared at the smooth rose gold, hugging my finger tightly, whispering it's forever promise. We'd only known each other a year. One year to the day in fact. In my heart I knew, he was the only boy for me - with his soft werewolf orange flecked eyes and handsome strong jaw, his blinding smile and laid back manner. But his visa had run out and no matter which way we turned, there seemed to be only one solution.

We opened the doors and a handful of close friends - and co-conspirators - tossed little flashes of colour before my eyes. We smiled and posed for photos, going through the motions. I'd seen it all before a million times in the movies and had the moves down pat. Yet it felt hollow and bizarrely, lonely. I crept away from the customary drinks and wept in the toilets. I had signed my life away to a boy and yet we weren't really committed to one another. We had called it the 'between living together and getting married day' - doesn't that have a warming ring to it? Through the whole day my Mother's face kept flashing into my mind and my stomach would churn at my nonchalant deceit. As we clinked glasses and laughed I marvelled at my ability to pretend. Was I meant to be celebrating? What exactly for?

Once home, I pulled the small worn ring from my finger and placed it inside it's usual home - a small velvet box at the back of my drawer. If I hid the ring I could pretend that today never happened, simply erasing it from my mind. I curled round my new husband and watched him sleep, knowing that tonight I would not fall into an easy slumber. Guilt kept me wide awake, fear it's sidekick. Had I done the right thing? My heart said yes, my head felt fuzzy and my gut had it's own little roller disco going down.

One year and two months later not-so-new-husband-who-I-still-called-my-boyfriend proposed. I said yes, then called my Mum at 2am so he couldn't take it back. We had a church wedding the following Halloween. I wore an off white dress and a nervous smile...

That was 5 years 1 month and 2 days ago. Guess I made the right decision.

12 comments:

Keenie Beanie said...

Wow, what a great post - so raw and honest.

I too got married in a secret wedding, 6 days after my 20th birthday. 18 months years later, we had a "real" wedding.

Your post brought back to mind so much of what I felt that day - things I hadn't thought of in years because unfortunately, my relationship - which largely functioned as an escape from an untenable home situation when I wasn't quite confident enough to face the world alone - didn't last.

Anyway - I just wanted to tell you how hard your post hit home for me. Thanks for sharing it. I found your blog through the great experiment" and look forward to reading more.

P.S. You two look great in the photo!

TheGirlWho said...

You are so stinkin' cute in that photo! I love your love story. So unique. And shows you have the balls to just jump. As usual, your writing is eloquent yet real. Just lovely.

Katy said...

Nice and sneaky! Love it!

Hair Bows & Guitar Picks said...

I love it....

Thank you for sharing.

Sadie said...

Very well written! Clearly you made the right decision, but isn't it ironic how it broke your heart just a little at the time.

Spawny666 said...

A good, well written piece, and one that strikes a little bit of a chord as I know several people who got married solely because of visa problems, and most of them didn't stand the test of time as the real deal....

Spawny

Daycare Lady said...

Close to home for me too but ultimately not a happy ending. I was young and stupid. Can still be stupid at times but I'm not so young anymore.

Your writing is engaging - honest, intelligent, likable and of course very entertaining.

Digital Bath said...

Wonderful story. I enjoyed reading it. Thank you for your comments on my blog, and for your vote on Monica's website.

-Digital Bath

Gina said...

Ya did what ya hada do! Nothing else you really could do at the moment.

That's real love, beautifully told.

mizkylie said...

You could write for pages on end and still keep me interested. I love your blog!

Kerri said...

Totally sounds like something I'd do :) Glad it worked out! Hope for many happy years to come for you

Anonymous said...

Loves it!