Thursday, May 15, 2014


On August 13 my husband, Butch, and I will have been married for 13 yearsBut we had known each other for ~20 years before we got to the wedding.  We met when Butch was my son, Jeremy's, after-school teacher in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  Butch was going to school at UNC for a degree on education and working at Everett Elementary.  The lead teacher, Leslie, who was a mutual friend, asked Butch to bring Jeremy home each evening because I did not own a car.  I started fixing him dinner to repay him and we became very close friends.  When he graduated he moved to Orlando and Jeremy and I moved to California to be near family.  We lost contact until 1995.  Right after Jeremy graduated from high school Butch called.  He had moved back to North Carolina.  I was very angry that he had stayed out of contact for so long but slowly and surely we repaired our friendship.

I moved back to North Carolina in 1999 and Butch started to visit me in Winston-Salem.  After a year all of a sudden something was in the air.  To tell you the truth, it creeped us both out!  But within a couple of months we were engaged and starting to plan our wedding.  

Friends and family came from all over the country and from Canada to see the wedding that they had been hoping would happen for far longer than either of us had thought about.  When someone would say, "You and Butch should get together", my response was always, "No way.  His socks never match and he doesn't rinse after brushing his teeth!".  So much for the plans that we didn't make!  I put together the program for the wedding and wrote a note on the back to all of our loved ones.

My mom, my sister and my daughters helped me get ready.  My hair was carefully styled and the veil put in place.  Unfortunately we all forgot that I still had my t-shirt on!

I didn't realize it until Jeremy pointed it out and said that if we cut the t-shirt off, he would not replace my Chico Mom shirt so we had to start all over again.

My sister, Laura, was using the steamer to make sure all of the wrinkles were out of the back of my gown.  Unfortunately, since I was wearing it at the time and she was very intent on doing a good job, I ended up with a burn on my ass!  I was on Cloud Nine, however, and I didn't realize it until the next day!


The minister told me during rehearsal that if I happened to drop the ring, he would pick it up.  I thought that would never happen but sure enough, I dropped the ring.  And commenced to bend over to pick it up.  The minister was bending over at the same time and we actually bonked heads!  

I thought that Butch was very tired from having stayed up until 4:30 a.m. with Jeremy, Leslie (our mutual friend) and my sister-in-law Cindy.  So when several members of the audience said that he looked like he was almost asleep, I didn't think anything of it.  I realized later that the man who had promised he would not over-drink was totally hung over!

Afterward when the pictures were being shot, it seemed to take an inordinate amount of time.  In addition to the hired photographer, my daddy, my father and Leslie, who introduced us, were also taking photos.  When it came time to take a picture of Jeremy, Butch and I, everyone was encouraging Jeremy to smile.  Instead he styled the photo himself.

The rest of the pictures with him are wonderful but this one always makes me laugh, just at it did at the time.

I had crushed my left ankle at the beginning of the year.  It took 6 hours of surgery and a cast worn for months to get to the point of being able to stand up.  So I wore ballet slippers down the aisle.  However, after standing for so long for the pictures, I was worn completely out and had to sit with the foot up before continuing.

At the reception I danced with my new husband, my son, my daddy and the last dance was saved for my father.  It was lovely but the song (Circle of Life) was long and someone called me over to cut the cake.  I didn't realize the song wasn't finished and I walked away.  I also didn't realize that my father stood in the middle of the floor very surprised that I had left his embrace.  In 2006 when we visited Texas, he told that story much to my chagrin.  It was the first time I was aware of what happened.

My parents (with the help of Jeremy) had worked for 3 days on our wedding cakes.  They made the traditional tiered cake and a sheet cake to ensure that everyone had a piece.  However, a lot of people who had RSVP'd didn't show up so a huge amount of cake was taken to a local rest home to share with the residents!

Yes, they made this cake!  It was gorgeous!

When Butch was ready to throw my garter, there was only one bachelor in the room . . . Jeremy.  And he wasn't at all interested in catching it!  So when Butch threw it, Jeremy tried to cajole our grandson, Sam, who was 18 months at the time, to pick it up.  Sam wasn't interested either!

As we left the reception hall, my daddy and Butch's mother were right outside the door.  My new mother-in-law threw a huge handful of birdseed directly down the bodice of my dress.  Yes, it was deliberate.  And when we got back to the house I had to lean over the bathtub while Butch unbuttoned the dress so the seed would fall where we could easily clean it up.  I found out after our honeymoon that my mother had vacuumed repeatedly and we STILL found birdseed on the bathroom floor.

Despite this sabotaged exit, we were very happy.  All of our loved ones were there to see us off, the breeze was blowing and we had actually done it!

There other mishaps afterward.  My mother-in-law encouraged my brother-in-law and sister-in-law to "decorate" our car.  We stopped very soon after leaving so that Butch could cut the cans off of the back but we couldn't figure out the strange odor.  So we stopped at a service station.  When Butch lifted the hood, there were two very large onions sitting right on the engine.  And then the car wouldn't start.  So we had to call back to the house and have Butch's brother and brother-in-law come help get it started.  We made it to our destination but the next morning, the innkeeper had to charge the battery so we could make it back home and exchange cars.  We were finally off for Williamsburg.  

I still remember all of these details very acutely.  I've been to the weddings of my children and they were so beautiful I cried.  But this was the best wedding I've ever attended!