Ah me, l’amour The End

Or is it the beginning? 

I’m standing in the foyer of the church in my dress that I bought from a shop called “IMAQT” (no lie, scouts honor, if I’m lyin I’m dyin) helped by a woman who looks just like Susan Powter in her STOP THE INSANITY phase.  My dress costs more than my first car, but I feel like a smokin hot mama, so maybe it’s worth it.  The train is really long and I feel sort of like Princess Diana (only I won’t tell anyone that because, hello, that is a dumb thing to say).

I’m holding my bouquet that was designed by some famous floral designer for Bride magazine that my flourist called to see if I wanted.  We just switched out some ribbon and voila!  It was perfect.  My best friend Robin had bought the bouquet since she couldn’t be there for my wedding.  It was her way of still walking down the aisle with me. 

I hate my veil.  I feel like the Little Mermaid, that end scene where Princess Arial has some cartoon crown tiara, but I let Susan Powter’s look-a-like talk me into it.  Oh well, we’ll just look at the pictures one day and laugh at my Little Mermaid crown.

And wow, who knew I could have so much cleavage? 

I’m staring at the double doors, trying to calm my breathing for the big moment, the moment when I’ll walk (hopefully not trip) down the aisle and I can’t walk too fast or too slow and everyone will be looking at me and I must smile because the cameras will be flashing and…and…ok, must calm breathing.  Breathe in, breathe out.  Good, Daniel-san.

My Altoid is gone.  One of the groomsmen offered me one saying only, “Curiously strong”.  Lance’s friends are really strange.  And tall.

My mom is standing beside me and is doing her I-must-not-cry face. I can’t even look at her, I’m so emotional inside.  So far, I’ve managed to only shed one, maybe two tears when I told my brides maids how thankful I was that they had come such a long way for a little wedding.  A drive in the middle of summer all the way to the birthplace of the KKK is worthy of gratitude, lemme just say.

All the hard work folks had put in, the transformation of a dingy gym into a beautiful reception hall, the things our friends gave to us in order to make this day happen…there were no words.

Suddenly, I hear a trumpet and the doors swing open and Oh.My.Stars. everyone is staring at me.  My mother takes my arm and we begin the long trek down the aisle. Must not trip.  Shoes are really uncomfortable.  Veil is annoying, keeps sticking to flowers.  Wow, flowers are really heavy, what was I thinking? Should have gone for smaller bouquet.  Look up, not at floor.  There’s everyone I know, staring at me.  Oh, God, must keep breathing.  But then in the midst of all my insane thoughts, I look up and see my Lance.  He’s a hottie in his tux, he’s smiling at me.  And are those tears I see?  Oh, God, must not cry.  Must not cry.  Am not a pretty crier.  Not wearing water-proof mascara.  Can’t wipe my eyes anyways as I am wearing ginormous veil.

And I’m there.  I’m holding hands with Lance, very conscious of the fact that 9,000 eyes are trained on us.  But I manage to forget about them as we start the ceremony.

Lance and I had decided to make our wedding ceremony a clear declaration of our faith in God.  It was God that brought us together, God that made this all happen, it would be God that we would be pledging to love and honor each other to.  And most importantly, it would be God who would help us to do all this, even in the hard times (although we had no idea what “hard times” would really mean).  But our wedding was also a celebration of fun.  Everyone who was there that day were people who we loved and loved us.  We had a blast the entire week before the wedding, from cleaning the gym, to decorating, to the Bridal Luncheons and the Pretty Panty Parties. 

The ceremony was simple, but sweet.  Traditional, but fun.  Light, but meaningful. 

We said our vows, kissed and became man and wife.  I was now Mrs. Reitzel Lance Murphy. 

We didn’t stay long at the reception, so most of that was a blur to me.  I shook hands with gobs of folks who I had never met, we got the silly pictures of eating cake and the weird arm-in-arm drinking punch thing.  And then we were off.

I actually cried once we got in the car.  I felt so bad that so many people had worked so hard to make the wedding a beautiful experience and then they were just going to have to take it all down.  Such work.  I wonder if this is how people who make movie sets feel. 

We left in our wedding clothes.  Lance’s groomsmen did the traditional trashing of the exterior of the car.  They had tied Sun Drop cans to the bumper, sprayed shaving cream all over the windows, even put some kind of pasty food under the door handles.  I should have known what to expect when Lance whispered to me that when the groomsmen walked down the aisle, they surreptitiously handed him condoms concealed in a handshake.  We didn’t realize they had also removed the windshield wipers, which proved problematic during the thunderstorm that hit us in Birmingham.

We honeymooned at two different hotels, one in downtown Birmingham and at the Opry Land Hotel.  Lance surprised me with the second leg of our honeymoon as a nod to the beginnings of our engagement.  We had a ball. 

Little did I know until later that ALL of the bridal party ended up with a stomach virus that made ALL of them vomit and/or have diarrhea.  And when I saw ALL, that includes me. 

Perhaps one day Lance and I can honeymoon again without the presence of Imodium AD.  Sexy, lemme just say.

So here I am, 10 years later, looking at pictures of us, young and fresh, excited and smiling.  Embarking on a life of matrimony.  Wouldn’t it be great if an older, wiser version of you could speak from the future to prepare you?  What would I say to myself before marriage?

I would say…

*  Pick your battles.  Some stuff is worth the fight, most isn’t. 

*  You’ve been paired with a man who is your total opposite.  You think this may be bad, but really it’s the best thing for you because if you were married to someone just like you, you’d kill him.  He will balance you.

*  Being married means you are like one person.  That means someone must lose an arm, someone must lose a leg.  Both of you will struggle with this, but it must be done.  (Actually that’s advice I got from an awesome lady, Mrs. Cloud)

*  Being married is like living with a mirror. The junk inside you that you hide from the world will come out and it won’t be pretty.  Be prepared.  You’re a sinner and you’re going to sin.  Not only that, but he is a sinner, too.

*  Have fun!  Be silly!  Let stuff go and be ok with that! 

*  Not everyday will be trumpets and roses.  Many days will be bologna sandwhich days.  But that’s ok, because they make the filet mignon days extra special. 

*  And this is the most important, so pay attention:  have grace with your husband.  Forgive him.  It will be harder at times than others, but CHOOSE to do it.  The more you do it, the easier it is to do.

Ten years.  I did, indeed, have much to learn.  I had to learn how to communicate, how to forgive and receive forgiveness, how to view my radically different husband as a blessing as he balances me.  I had to learn to have fun, that when I make Lance laugh, I know I’ve hit a home run.  That sometimes just hanging out on the couch watching food porn while holding hands is just as special as a night on the town.

I also needed to learn to TELL Lance what I was thinking.  To not be afraid to let this man inside my head.  To learn to trust him with the innards of my soul.  Don’t we all need someone like that in our lives?  Someone to sort of spill out the intestines of ourselves and say, there it is, the real me.  The cool thing is, he lets me see his innards, too.  He trusts me and values my opinion.

I also had to learn lessons like not trashing my spouse to other people.  How even in the spirit of haha, you guys wouldn’t believe what my husband did this weekend, can really hurt.  Lance, to my knowledge, has never once done this. 

And I had to learn that we can’t do this alone.  That we need someone bigger and stronger to lean on.  God is that for us.  We based our marriage on a verse we found once.  It’s Psalm 127:1 and it says “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”  Meaning, either He does it or it doesn’t work.  We can’t have a marriage without God, because it will suck otherwise.  The truth of it is, I’m a terrible person.  I may be nice on the outside (and plenty of times am not!) but the inside I’m thinking all kinds of mean things.  I’m really not a good person.  Not many are.  So in order to be a decent wife, I’ve got to have someone’s help, someone to teach me how to do things right.  How to forgive and communicate and all that good stuff.  And that’s God.  It’s worked for us.

Happy anniversary, dearest.  I hope it only gets better and better!  Let’s go eat sushi and watch a movie! 

17 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anonymous on June 13, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    First of all, I knew you could have such cleavage…HELLO! (Jealousy talking there). Secondly, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Richard’s innerds, but I have seen something else of his, thus the three kids;0


  2. Posted by Cristy Finucane on June 13, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Sorry, that comment was mine.


  3. Posted by Cristy Finucane on June 13, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    First of all, I knew you caould have such cleavage…HELLO! (Jealousy talking there). Secondly, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Rich’s innerds, but I have seen somethng else of his, thus the three kids;0


  4. Posted by Cristy Finucane on June 13, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    That’s could, not caould.


  5. Posted by Kamryn on June 13, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Happy anniversary to my most favorite sister!!!


  6. Posted by candy0108 on June 14, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Cristy strugglin there with the comments lol… Kearsie I have to say I sooo enjoyed your wedding and will not soon forget the ride home puking and I do believe Miss Kamryn (at the time) started it all lol.. you were beautiful but what I remember the most was at Delana’s wedding Joel saranading (sp? just sound it out) you and Lance as you danced I know you were just being silly and playing around I will never forget how the two of you looked into eachothers eyes totally into eachother true Newlyweds. Never knowing I was going to miss this wierd new guy Greg while at both your weddings lol..


  7. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on June 16, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    So funny you remember the serenading! Our wedding was awesome because of the folks who were there. I wish I could have been at yours!!


  8. I’m thinking a wedding photo is in order. I remember your dress, by the way, even though I was not at your wedding. I have really enjoyed these posts!

    What church did you get married in?


  9. Oh, and I love that advice Mrs. Cloud gave you. So true!


  10. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on June 16, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I got married at Highland Baptist Church in good ole Pulaski, TN. And I am trying to figure out how to scan/jam a picture into the computer but alas, I am techo-tarded. So I have someone helping me, so soon!


  11. Posted by Mom on June 20, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    You are SO DAMNED AWSOME!!! Sorry for the swear but It’s really appropriate, ya know? I am so amazed by your humor and your ability to take fingers to keys (instead of pen to paper) and re-create what occured. You had a BEAUTIFUL wedding and it was tons of fun for all of us, except for the part where I could not look at you and you could not look at me as we walked you down the isle or we’d both start crying (there is no waterproof mascara strong enough to protect from those kind of tears)..and I’d forgotten about you all getting sick. Ah, such sweet memories! Sigh. You were a beautiful bride and have developed into a beautiful mother…and you still have cleaveage that competes with Dolly Parton! YOU GO GIRL!:)


  12. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on June 20, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    I love you MOM!


  13. Posted by Misty on June 20, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    I’m just sorry that I missed the whole thing! It would have been worth vomiting! I hope you guys had a awesome anniversary! Love ya!


  14. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on June 20, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Well, you may have missed my wedding, but we partied hard for yours, where I first discovered the cleavage from booby hell!


  15. You were a gorgeous bride. I shed tears of joy for you and Lance at your wedding. But you forgot to re-tell the story you told at your bridal shower. In your beautiful dress, you were so animated as you told the story about the cow earrings. Charlie & I still laugh about it. You really need to tell that story for your readers. It truly is one of our favorites.


  16. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on June 25, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Oh yes! The cow story! Yes, I must root around in my mind for all the details and resurrect that…


  17. Posted by Carrie Mace on June 7, 2009 at 2:20 am

    I’d love to see your whole wedding album, it sounds like it was a blast!


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