Ancient History

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Nine years ago I was serene. I was going to be married the next day. no, we don't smoke, I just liked the picture

We had a lot of last-minute details to address—white twinkly lights to deliberately hang so they looked effortless, centerpieces to fuss over, the rehearsal to attend. I welcomed the busy work because it would bring me closer to my silken, heirloomed, jeweled, glowing glory and the look I anticipated on my boyfriend’s face when he saw the woman who would husbandize him, big time.

I didn’t think about how I was going to be a wife the next day. I thought of wives as glorified girlfriends with greater responsibilities and nicer perks. I was going from Miss to Mrs., from fraulein to frau, from single to settled. I loved my boyfriend and was excited about taking such a huge step after our whirlwind romance. I believed then and now marriage is meant to be forever and had no jitters or doubts about our decision to unite.

I was so naive.

It is tradition to rehearse the ceremony the night before the wedding (we complied with all the instructions shouted at us by “Modern Bride” under the impression if we didn’t have handmade satin roses to hold bird seed all our guests would storm out in disgust). We gathered our wedding party and immediate families together to laugh through a faux ceremony before the obligitory dinner. We rehearsed the wedding. Nothing, however, can help you rehearse the marriage.

Imagine pretending to move, find out a baby is on the way, start a new job, end another job, have fights over silly things, have fights over major things, split holiday time with in-laws, worry about bills and money, travel, decorate, fight some more, make up, have a child, develop amnesia for several months after, work, struggle, pay bills, go back to work, find out another baby is coming, search for a different job, move, laugh, work, lose job, another baby, find a better job, work, bills, work, fight, make-up, play, work, illness, bills, baby, cry, illness, baby, baby, work, loss, move, illness, laugh, fight, make-up, grow, grow, grow.

As the pastor launches various spousal scenarios, bombshells, bills, and blowouts (of the diaper and news variety) most brides and grooms would run screaming for the door. Marriage is hard. It isn’t all romance and making each other deliriously happy with moonlight and roses. Those moments happen when we make them happen. It is hard work, but worthwhile and rewarding work.

Today is the anniversary of our rehearsal and I am still striving to get it right.

Tomorrow: The Wedding

15 comments to Rehearsal

  • Happy Anniversary! It sounds as though you have had quite the nine years, but how wonderful that you could spend it with the man you love. May this year be filled with blessings for the both of you.

  • Isn’t this the truth! Marriage, in a lot of ways, becomes a business partnership. You have to work to keep the magical part alive (how cliche sounding but true). Happy Anniversary!

  • JoAnn

    WOW! You explained it perfectly! You clearly have a way to putting things to paper! Thanks for sharing, and have a happy anniversary!

  • This is so beautiful, scary, and true. You have really captured it. mopsy. On my way to link.

  • Happy Anniversary! That’s the way it is.

  • Mel

    Perfectly put. Congratulations on the first nine years. 🙂

  • Happy rehearsal anniversary (and **happy anniversary** tomorrow!)! You are so right – marriage is hard work, but very worthwhile. Congrats to you and hubby on nine years together.

  • THAT was good. Really really good.
    Really really really really good.
    (Oh, did I say that already)?

    Glad I happened your way!

  • The other Gretchen

    Happy Anniversary! Ours was today – 13 years! We picked Labor Day weekend so that hubby could get an extra day off without using up vacation time.

    You are so right, there is no way to rehearse marriage. Lots of work, but so far definitely worth it!

    Congratulations on a great start!

  • Dawn/LizzySue

    Happy Anniversary!!!

    Someone once said that you had to be happy when married. I said really? I am suppose to be happy all the time? I think I missed something!! Every day is not romance and roses, that is what makes those days special. 🙂

  • Russ Eldredge

    Such a good post, Gretchen! Oh, and since today is the 7th, Happy Anniversary!

    You have a very gifted way of putting things into words, and I believe your paragraph that starts out by “imagine pretending to move…” and ending with “grow, grow, grow” sums it all up rather nicely.

    Thanks for putting a smile on my face as I now reflect back over 10 years, 2 months and 2 weeks of the same!

  • Since today is the 7th, happy anniversary! Great post; how true!

  • Robin

    Happy Anniversary…….you summed it all up perfectly, what a talent you have writing, keep it coming!!

  • mopsy

    Thank you, *everyone*!

    And happy belated anniversary, Other Gretchen.

    Happy 10 years, 2 months, and 2 weeks, Russ 🙂

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