We wanted a small wedding – and thank God it was!
Honestly, David (we’ll call him The Beanpole) wouldn’t have made it through otherwise.
It still strikes us strange that The Beanpole, who by that time had appeared on stage in front of hundreds of thousands of people as a musician, could be so nervous.
Our ideal wedding was to get a few close friends and family together, hang out for a bit, and when we were ready, we’d walk up to the preacher and get hitched.
No drama. No fuss. Just two young people (yikes, we were young!) who were madly in love, celebrating love with loved ones. Done. Easy enough.
Do weddings ever turn out how they were originally conceived?
Being the first of anyone we knew in our generation to join in matrimony — we had no idea how to go about it and no one to ask for advice.
So we walked blindly into the church closest to our house and asked what we needed to do.
The preacher was great; he offered his services and the church basement for our nuptials, then explained to us how to get a marriage certificate and a blood test.
Ohhhhhh… maybe this is where the Beanpole started getting nervous. There is no one more needle-phobic than David. We have the stories to prove it.
Here’s the one about our blood test:
Veronica (we’ll call her The Valley Girl) isn’t a big fan of getting her blood drawn either. She has no veins – or has never encountered a health care provider who could easily find one. It takes multiple jabs to draw blood from her stone.
The Beanpole and The Valley Girl had never been together in a situation where a needle made an appearance. When The Beanpole suggested that The Valley Girl go first, she noticed color draining from his face, but thought little of it and sat down with the nurse to commence the proceedings.
We are going to refer to our nurse as Ratched, not because she was evil and conniving — she was very sweet — but because she wore the same outfit.
White dress, white hose, white shoes, and one of those special little nurse hats (is there a name for those things?) on her head.
Naw, that’s just mean, we can’t call her Ratched. Let’s call her Rachel.
Anyway, Rachel sat down next to The Valley Girl and, after multiple slaps and half-a-dozen jabs, got enough liquid for her purposes.
The Beanpole, meanwhile, was reeling, his grip on sanity ebbing as the blood pressure escalated. He must have loved The Valley Girl very much to have stayed in that room.
Nurse Rachel, concerned that The Beanpole was about to burst, instructed him to lie on the the examination table to calm down a bit. Hiding the needle from his sight, Rachel chuckles to The Valley Girl out of the side of her mouth, “I’m certainly not going to have any trouble finding his vein.”
No joke — by this time they were struggling to contain the highly-pressurized hemoglobin.
So much so that when Nurse Rachel inserted the needle, she released a veritable fountain of blood. It was like one of those scenes in the O.R. on M*A*S*H. Seriously, it looked like she had been in a car wreck or something.
The contrast of the red on her white dress was startling, who knew that could happen in real life?
The vial filled up in record time and, after mopping up, we were deemed biologically compatible. Off to a great start.
Once the big day arrived, everything started out according to plan.
We were relaxed and The Beanpole was in an especially great mood because the Green Bay Packers had just finished pummeling the semi-dreaded St. Louis Cardinals in their first playoff appearance in ten years.
When we walked up to the preacher, however, a weird change came over The Beanpole. He looked as if he wanted to bolt.
As the ceremony went on, it got worse. His knees began buckling and, after fidgeting for a while, he jammed his hands in his pockets.
He later admitted that during the ceremony he kept thinking, when are we officially married, where is the point of no return?
Hardly the romantic stuff of happily ever after.
The Valley Girl, unable to address the situation without disrupting the proceedings, did what one does when uncomfortable in church — she began a series of uncontrollable giggles.
The situation steadily devolved into sheer ridiculousness. When the preacher said, “You may kiss the bride,” The Valley Girl received a quick little peck followed by The Beanpole whispering to the preacher:
“Is it over?”
Once assured that it was, The Beanpole made a beeline for the nearest chair and plopped down. Not having thought about an exit strategy (this is why smarter couples have rehearsals!), The Valley Girl stood in place looking around confused before deciding to head over and assist her new husband.
So is it over? Not by a long shot. We’re over thirty years in and still going strong.
YOUR TURN: You’ve heard our story. What’s YOURS?