Sunday, April 28, 2024

24 Years of Wedded Bliss

So, April 28th, 2024 marks the 24th anniversary of Jamie and I making it official.

We'd "dated" for years prior, back to 1995, but that's if you call "dating" two people just saying "yup" to each other and now we were an item.  There wasn't much in the way of trying to figure things out regarding our status.  I wasn't taking her to a movie and then dropping her off and wondering what she was thinking.  We were just together.  And while I didn't know that we'd get married in the first months, there was just not a lot of work there - we just didn't have a trial period or casual dating phase.  

When I hear about people having relationship drama, I'm just of the opinion that you aren't writing a romantic novel about overcoming all kinds of obstacles in liking each other.  I'm not saying there isn't any work or misunderstandings, but, kids, it can be pretty good pretty early on.  With Jamie's medical history, we wound up having plenty of drama that wasn't us arguing, so don't mistake things for being all smooth sailing.  And I got cold feet a couple of times as we headed toward what looked like a lifelong relationship - what with college ending and next phases of life starting.

But into those next phases we headed, sharing an apartment for two years before nuptials.  We got married on a Friday in April of the year 2000.  We were 25, which was pretty young by the standards of my peers.  But, also, most of my friends responded to the news with "shocker, man".  Which means people probably knew we were getting married before I knew.  

Jamie is simply not wired to lose her mind about things like napkin colors, so she was about as far from a nightmare bride as you were going to find.   We probably spent a total of about twenty hours on wedding planning, really - not wedding prep, but planning.  Our venue provided food and drink, so no worries there.  We had a few options of cakes and picked that out in maybe fifteen minutes.  Jamie picked out a dress in just two brief trips out.  I picked the most classic, standard tux as I could find - something that would look okay in pictures two decades on for a rental.  

My brother was my best man, and Dug also stood for me.  Jamie recruited Rebecca and H as her crew.  It was pretty small.  We had some friends take care of ushering, guest book, etc... nothing too hard.  The minister was a middle school pal's mom who had gone to seminary.

Anyway, it was a lovely evening.  

Jamie had spent the night before in a hotel with her parents as they'd be starting early with dialysis and then lunch, make-up, hair, etc...  Jason and I just went for lunch and, for good luck, I picked up some Drag Worms and drove them over to Hyde Park.  Nice folks.  

We almost forgot the wedding rings, so had to turn around and pick them up.  

But, yeah.  Aside from that, everything went fine.  There was no wedding day drama.  Relatives from both sides came in from their respective locales, friends came in from out of town or from around town.  The ceremony was mercifully brief, and the reception was a buffet with an open bar and dancing.  

One of our wedding gifts was spending our wedding night at the Driskill here in Austin, a hotel of 19th century vintage.  And it was the first time I felt normal all day.  

We hadn't really had an opportunity to eat, thanks to the wedding tradition of Bride and Groom spending their time circulating amongst the guests.  We had barely even seen each other, honestly, except for first dances (Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love").  

But someone from the venue knew that brides and grooms do not eat, and so they'd packed up some food and sent it with us.  And so it was that around midnight, Jamie and I were sitting on the edge of a tub, now in our pajamas, in the glaring light of a hotel bathroom, eating shrimp and other food and trying to figure out what the night had been.

We had a balcony where we took our perch for a while, watching the crowds of 6th Street, the rickshaws and pedi-cabs.  

But, yeah, weddings are weird.  It's about you, sure.  But it's about a lot of things.  Family and friends.  Wrangling people from a dozen different parts of your life.  Telling people what everyone knows, but, you know, in nice clothes and official-like.  Everyone has a role in a wedding as gracious host, gracious guest, the folks getting married, the folks helping you get married.  It's a strange day.   

Then we got out of those clothes and were back in shorts and t-shirts and it was just us.  But an us that had the support and blessing of 150 of so folks.

Anyway, it's been 24 years of partnership ever since.  

If you want for me to explain that Jamie is an amazing person - she is.  And after all this time, being able to still marvel at someone is a gift, and one I hope you have or will one day get.  I've got minimal relationship advice other than that you need to want to make the other person happy, because they make you happy.  And, indeed, that is my personal situation. 

If I don't talk a lot about Jamie, there's some things that are still just for me or us in a world in which we like to overshare.  But it is not a mistake that 24 years in, I'm still here, and ready for 2400 more.

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