I was nervous I would run out of time, so I woke up early that morning. I had 2 missions. One that was given to me by my bride-to-be (get myself and the groomsmen to church before noon) and one that I had assigned myself (procure an awesome breakfast for everyone.) The Krispy Kreme doughnut shop was further away, so that was the first destination. McDonald’s was right near our new house, so that would be much easier. Doughnuts and sausage biscuits. Not a bad way to get ready for a wedding.
Susie and I got married 10 years ago today. On one hand, it seems like only yesterday. But I also feel like we have always been married. I knew it pretty much from the start. We had only been dating for 2 months when I knew she was the one I was going to marry. I still can’t pinpoint an exact reason why. But after yet another wonderful date on a cool, autumn evening at Purdue, I knew we were destined to spend our lives together. Everything in my body and soul told me so. I even wrote it in a card and held on to it until our wedding day. Darned if I wasn’t right and I gave that card for my bride-to-be on our wedding day.
It hasn’t always been easy. They aren’t lying when they say that marriage is work. (Although I don’t know exactly who “they” are.) But I wouldn’t trade the past 10 years for anything. No matter what happens, the ups and the downs, the arguments and the celebrations, you develop and maintain a connection unlike any other in the world. A shared story. A history. You even can anticipate what the other person is thinking. In the end, there are no secrets. Sometimes, this takes all of the fun out of things because you can;t surprise each other with presents because the other can figure it out from a look, a glance or a nod. I can’t remember the last time that I surprised Susie with something. And I easily guessed the present that she was getting me for Father’s Day/Anniversary. For some people that might be boring. But me, I find it fascinating and amusing. Every time we have one of those moments, I just sit back and laugh. Because I can’t imagine how two people can be so connected.
Often times, people talk about being scared or nervous on their wedding day. However, for me, the darkest of the dark moments was actually the night before. I still remember standing at the front of the church, in the middle of rehearsal, scared out of my mind. Not about being married, but of the actual process of getting married. I had only been to a handful of weddings in my lifetime and had never been in one before. Neither had any of my groomsmen. I love all of them, but we looked like some bumbling idiots that evening. I thought we would have to be rehearsing for hours because our first run through was not good. But we got it figured out and the wedding went off without a hitch. (My brother Matt came up with a great plan and a great slogan, “Follow your mirror”. Basically, do whatever your corresponding bridesmaid was doing.)
Of course, there were a few funny moments from the wedding. Which leads to my first piece of wedding advice (wedding advice, not marriage advice. Even though I have been married for 10 years, I won’t pretend to be able to advise you on how to be in a great marriage. But, I can give you some good advice about how what to do once you find that special someone and want to make the day special.) As the groom, make sure that you try on your shirt a few days before the wedding. Otherwise you will end up like me, with a shirt that has sleeves that are about 2 times too long. So long that you have to fold them up all strangely so you can still utilize the cufflinks. So long and strange that it causes your blushing bride to turn to you, in the middle of the ceremony, to kindly and lovingly ask you what the hell is wrong with your sleeves.
My other favorite moment of the wedding was right as the priest was going to bless the rings. The priest was my great uncle and he was a wonderful man. Unfortunately, he was rather ill by this time. But, as he told us one day when we were meeting with him before the wedding, he has good days and bad days. And he was going to set up his medicine schedule so that he had a good day for our wedding. He was a thoughtful man and a wonderful priest. When it came time to bless the rings, he put them in the tray and blessed them…. with the microphone. I am not sure anyone else saw it because his back was to the congregation. The microphone looked and felt just like the holy water sprinkler. A moment after it happened, Father Al realized what had occurred. He looked at the microphone, looked at the rings and then back at the microphone. Then he briefly shook his head and got my cousin (who was one of the altar servers) to go and get some actual holy water. One of my favorite moments of the entire ceremony.
Wedding piece of advice number 2 is to make sure you eat some of the cake. (I say this to everyone I know who is getting married.) The only regret I have about our wedding is that I didn’t get to eat any of our cake. We cut the cake, served it and there was a very nice piece sitting at my place at the head table. Unfortunately, I got busy talking to guests. When I finally went back to get my cake, it was gone. When I went looking for more cake, it was all gone and served. All that was left was the topper which was wrapped up and saved for our first anniversary. (By the way, this cake tastes HORRIBLE and it did not make up for the fact that I missed the cake!) Biggest disappointment of the entire wedding.
I lied. I do have one actual piece of marriage advice. It came straight from the lips of my father. Unfortunately, you are going to have to wait for my (belated) Father’s Day post tomorrow.
So much has happened in the past 10 years. We have owned 2 different houses and 5 cars. Trips to Florida, New York, Wisconsin, Michigan, South Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, Jamaica, Las Vegas and Toronto. 2 beautiful children. Had a
religious conversion from PC to Mac. Survived a busted water heater, ice storms, snow storms, hail storms, surly contractors. Graduated medical school, grad school (both of us) and peds residency. (We have degrees from 60% of the public universities in the state of Indiana!) Survived not 1 but 2 Chief Resident years. 1 national television appearance and too many local media hits to count. (Chuck Lofton sure loved that taffy apple Circle of Lights decoration!) There are a thousand things I am missing. I can’t wait for nor imagine what kind of adventures we will have in the next 10 (although I am hoping that we will find a way to get to Vancouver together. Sorry, honey!) But I know that we are going to go through them…. together. And we will definitely be laughing and shaking our heads at each other the whole way through.