Now that July 4th had arrived, so had our wedding day. We joined everyone to breakfast at the diner Jill works at and I had my cinnamon roll and egg, ham, and cheese on a biscuit, along with a cup of tea. I got playfully made fun of putting milk in my tea–heck for having tea, instead of coffee–received a few exasperated words from Tammy for eating my biscuit sandwich with a fork and knife, instead of picking it up, and then asked if I’d be made fun of for doing the same with my cinnamon roll before tucking into that.
“No, that one’s understandable,” she said.
I just can’t win sometimes. At least it was enjoyable to share breakfast with everyone in a town where everyone knew everyone. Anyone coming or going said hello to others at our mashed-together collection of round and square tables, and Brian, Tammy’s husband, gave me a running commentary on everyone he pointed out to me, including an elderly gentleman who loved babysitting, would sit for anyone, and your kids were a 100% guarantee to be taken well care of.
Nope, wasn’t putting it past him to subtly push me to move to Kansas as well, but I kept the thought to myself.
A good chunk of the day went by in a blur. Simon and I checked into the hotel, napped, returned to Tammy’s to allow sufficient time for Jessie to do my hair and makeup, met the certified minister who carried an oxygen slung over a shoulder, and calmly waited for 2PM to roll around. The original time was 1, but Jill couldn’t get there any sooner than two, so we waited as long as we could before the minister had to head off to other weddings. The minister coughed a lot to the point where I jokingly whispered to Simon, “I hope he doesn’t die before we get married.”
Apparently Simon and I were quite the calm engaged couple on our wedding day. We hung out together all day (to Hell with wedding superstitions!) before heading to separate rooms to get dressed up. Tammy sent Simon outside to wait for my arrival and a minute later they called for me to exit the house. I hurried down the front steps as fast as my dress would allow, kicked my Adidas sandals off when I hit the grass and fast-marched under the trees. Brent sang a nasally wedding song for me, which got me smiling and his wife Jessie told me I’m supposed to be walking slower.
Being a former waitress, my gait is set in permanent zoom mode. “Eh. I can’t help it.” I didn’t see the point in drawing out my approach to Simon’s side. That and all the eyes and cell phone cameras on me made me nervous.
The wedding itself was short and sweet, very sweet. The minister read from the Bible, a gesture that worried me at first, but the passage turned out to be a very sweet and heartfelt one about the duties of a husband and wife to each other. Rings and vows were exchanged, and a kiss once the minister remembered to include that part, and five minutes later, we were officially husband and wife with legal documents to back the moment up. Simon disappeared to free himself of his “penguin suit” and I followed shortly after talking with a few people.
I can’t say the moment held any magic to it. I’d anticipated–well, I don’t know what I’d anticipated but, to borrow from Pirates of the Carribean, “I don’t feel no different.” No magic, no wife vibes, nothing; just some emotionless legal papers and heartfelt congratulations from a bunch of people I’d just met that week.
I wasn’t disappointed, thought. Quite the contrary, I’m relieved I kept it low key. Simon and I felt no different from any other day and we took it as a good thing, an indicator that we truly belonged together and had made the right choice. All the pomp and circumstance was to officially mark the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. We tested our official status by saying, “Hello, Wife” and “Hello, Husband” to each other, which I must admit gave me goosebumps. That part was cool but my brain needed time to absorb it. Wife was an elusive title I’d been craving to achieve yet assumed would never wear, and now that it was mine, I didn’t know what to do. So I did the smart thing and went on as normal, and life was good.
I wish I had pictures of the moment when we all gathered for some wedding cake but I think it happened too fast. Simon and I took tiny pieces of cake in our hands and were told to feed each other. Having watched too much AFV to pass up the opportunity on my own wedding day, I mashed Simon in the face and he clogged up my nose with lots of frosting.
Damn, that cake was tasty! We returned to the house to wash off as I coughed and snorted cake and frosting for a good few minutes before dishing out squares to everyone.
The shortest parade I’ve ever witnessed followed later that afternoon. Everyone from Peabody lined Main St. as police, EMTs, boy scouts, old vehicles, local businesses, and more paraded down the street and threw candy to kids. It was short and sweet like the wedding, and Tammy gave me a lift back on her Harley while Simon and Mom drove back in my car. She took a circuitous route back to her house, wanting to floor it on the final stretch, but we ended up getting stuck behind a tractor and did the exact opposite for a quarter mile. I enjoyed it, yet probably came close to popping one of her hips out because I was clenching her thighs with mine every time she accelerated.
When we returned, Brian took me out on the highway on his Harley, which was both thrilling and terrifying to someone who’d never ridden a motorcycle before. The feel of the wind on my face and the openness of the vehicle was great. The only part that terrified me was accelerating. He had not back seat and I damn near squeezed his kidneys to death, hoping I wouldn’t slide off the back. Leaning to turn didn’t scare me, nor did bumps, oncoming semis, or anything else; just the fear of my ass cheeks not staying glued to the black leather. Still, I’m eager to learn how to drive a motorcycle one day, when life allows.
I pecked at food and cake until it was time to head to the park to insure that we got spots for the fireworks. I impatiently waited for the sun to go down, climbing a rock wall, eating a pulled pork sandwich, and some locally-made vanilla ice cream, and trying to take a nap to pass the time. It was a good thing that we got in hours early. Over 3,000 people poured in from all over the country to witness Peabody’s fireworks, this quaint 1-square mile town where everyone knows everyone.
I’d stopped watching fireworks back in my hometown because it was the same exact routine year after year. Peabody’s were nothing like I’ve ever seen before. An announcer narrated between ground and aerial fireworks, creating a story out of the whole program. I finally understood why Simon loved coming here every year for his favorite holiday. I recommend the whole experience to anyone, ember dodging and all. And yes, the announcer would warn people to look out for embers.
At first I thought I was stupid they’d let people sit so hazardously close but it ended up being another entertaining aspect of the show, even when a piece bounced off a stroller in front of me and got me in the face.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98zBiOlAgbY Thank you MrChumps1 for posting this! (the video isn’t mine). The battle doesn’t start until around the 4 minute marker.
Once the show was over, we walked en masse back to Tammy’s to shoot off every last firework we’d bought from Roxanne. The ladies and elderly sat in a semicircle of law chairs while the husbands reverted to children and sent firework after firework in the air, saving Roxanne’s gift package to Simon and me for last. The children lit their own sparklers, crackers, and whatnot, and I watched on, eagerly anticipating finding out what the gift display would look like. A few dud fireworks were had along the way and were dumped in the campfire once an adult deemed it safe, and then the boys sat hunched over the gift box, struggling to get it to light.
All four men ran from the exploding box and a multicolor display shot into the air. There’d been a few close calls shaken off with giddy laughter throughout the night, but none of the guys had cried out in surprise, until the very last box. I watched the display half in awe and half in worry, hoping the guys were okay, which they were. Just gotten quite the surprise after struggling so long to get the damn thing to light.
Now that the all the fireworks were spent, I headed inside for a quick trip to the bathroom and grab some stuff to take the leftover cake with us. As soon as I stepped out the back door, and explosion erupted from the campfire and colorful light shot out 20 feet in all directions. I ducked behind the grill in front of me as two more went off. Several people were sitting maybe ten feet from the explosions but they just sat there as if the unanticipated detonations were no big deal. Holy crap.
Once everything was packed in the car, Simon and I headed back to the hotel and the rest of that night is no one’s business but ours.