"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Wedding Meme

We received around eight inches of heavy snow overnight. The snow mountains on our big deck are so scary neither dog wants to scale them.

To spare you more snow pictures, and because it fits the mushy mood I'm in this week, here are my answers to this wedding meme. Probably more appropriate for our anniversary, or Valentine's, but it's a fun trip down memory lane. For me, that is!

1. Where/how did you meet? We were in the same grad schoool program. I was the youngest grad student in our department, yet I was teaching Television Studio Production to undergrads who were my age if not older. He was the oldest grad student in our department, and the newest, when he sought me out to ask if he could audit my class so he could "get familiar with the equipment."

2. How long have you known each other? More than half my life.

3. How long after you met did you start dating? Many weeks. I couldn't date a "student." My class started at 7:50 AM, and by the time it ended I was panting for caffeine, not being a morning person. So he and I got into the habit of going for coffee at the Union right after class was over. But he never asked me on a date till after he left the class. When he showed up for the date, he tossed little pebbles at my dorm window to let me know he'd arrived. (This was pre-cellphone!) I thought that was cool.

4. How long did you date before getting engaged? Longer than a lot of couples do.

5. How long was your engagement? From the moment he put the diamond on my finger to the day he slipped on the band, about 5 months.

6. How long have you been married? 23 and half years.

7. What is your anniversary? October 6.

8. How many people came to your wedding reception? Around 200? I don't remember. It was in an ornate mansion, with large parlours and a dining room and a ballroom where we received guests in an informal way. I just remember there were lots of people, maybe more than at the church.

9. What kind of cake did you serve? Multi-tiered pound cake (his request) with cream filling between the layers and superb frosting. Instead of a groom's cake we also had a beautiful "golden" cake at a special table for my grandparents to cut--they were celebrating their 50th anniversary the following day.

10. Where was your wedding? In my family's church, the same parish at which I was christened and confirmed and sang in the junior choir.

11. What did you serve for the meal? No sit-down meal, a huge buffet laid out in the dining room of the mansion. I only peeked inside--it looked fabulous. The Chap never even saw it. When we departed from the scene, we were given bottles of champagne and a basket filled with the yummy party food take along. I remember the crab puffs and the wedding cake, and that's about it.

12. How many people were in your bridal party? Fourteen in all. Five bridesmaids, two junior maids. Five groomsmen, two junior groomsmen.

13. Are you still friends with them? Of course. Of my bridesmaids, I still regularly communicate--even if only at Christmas--with all but one. And I could definitely track her down through some of the others. Of the groomsmen, we see my brother when I go home, my husband's brother annually and his boyhood and college friend occasionally. We don't see the junior groomsmen at all but I know exactly where they are because they're my cousins.

14. Did your spouse cry during the wedding ceremony? Oh, no. He was smiling a lot. He thoroughly enjoyed himself.

15. Most special moment of your wedding day? The kiss. In the 1928 Book of Common Prayer (which my family chose for specific and personal reasons) there is not and has never been a "You may kiss the bride" instruction. So when all the declaring of man and wife was done the priest suddenly went silent as a signal that it was time. My groom took me in his arms and really, really kissed me. I mean really laid one on me. I was thrilled. People still talk about it.

16. Any funny moments? As we came down the aisle afterwards, he looked over at his parents and said, audibly, "Piece of cake!" People still talk about that, too.

17. Any big disasters? If there were, nobody ever told me.

18. Where did you honeymoon? We spent a little time in Salem/Danvers, MA, so I could see the Porter River and Porter Street and other important Porter territory.

We spent most of the honeymoon at the Cottage on the Big Lake. It was foliage season, my first, and magical. We went to Sandwich Fair. We day-tripped over to Boothbay Harbour, ME, for a fresh lobster dinner. We zipped into VT so I could say I'd been there. We toured the North Country as well, using a relative's condo in Waterville Valley as our base.

19. For how long? A long week. Eight or nine days.

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change? Not a single thing.

21. What side of the bed do you sleep on? The right side, as I'm lying down. The left side, if facing the bed.

22. What size is your bed? Queen. It's a fourposter, but a reproduction not antique.

23. Greatest strength as a couple? More than one. Love, liking, laughter are the first that come to mind.

24. Greatest challenge as a couple? Keeping a straight face when we hear people say having a good marriage is "hard work." Seriously, I think we struggle more with individual challenges and are careful and considerate enough not to let them become divisive.

25. Who literally pays the bills? Both. He pays household bills. I pay my own bills.

26. What is your song? We have several. On our wedding night we slow-danced in the hotel room to Al Jarreau's "Teach Me Tonight," which happened to be playing on the Jazz Flavours radio show.

27. What did you dance your first dance to? The above. No dancing at our wedding reception, we had a chamber ensemble--harp, cello, violin.

28. Describe your wedding dress. Ivory satin with lace-edged neck, long sleeves and peplum. Same one my mother wore. A perfect fit. And I wore the Brussels lace veil (purchased in Brussels on my grandmother's Grand Tour) that my mother, aunt, cousin, and grandmother all wore before me.

29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding? The church altar was decorated with big bouquets of pink roses, shasta daisies, blue delphiniums, larkspur, greenery. I carried gardenias, because the Chap really likes them and so do I.

30. Are your wedding bands engraved? Initials and wedding date.

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