Sunday, February 13, 2011

Double hitched

Where's Waldo? Uhmm, Linda? His red boutonnier is prominent and we are in the center. See us? Click on photo to enlarge.

Tune: He Ain't Got a Barrel of Money

Oh, he ain't got a barrel of money,
and he might have a big old tummy,
as we travel through life
I'll be this man's wife
standing side by side.

He likes his ice cream and candy,
but I think this big guy's just dandy
Young love's exciting and new,
ours is like an old shoe,
I love my big old guy.

Silly lyrics, you say? A fun little ditty? A tribute to my honey before Valentine's Day? All of those would be true, but the real reason behind these lyrics is the reason that my husband married me twice in six weeks.

We had our wedding date set for the first Saturday in April. I asked my best friend(we met as army wives in Alaska and maintained a long-distance friendship Boston to St. Louis ever since) to be my Maid of Honor. Her husband, who became my husband's best buddy, was to be his best man. A small, family wedding, my cousin, a minister would officiate. The plans were laid, the hall rented, travel tickets purchased and then, well if you know anything about me, you can kind of figure there will be an "and then".

Late January I was driving to work listening to my favorite radio station, Y-98, when I heard the DJ, Guy Phillips announce a contest.

"Send in your best, your funniest, you sweetest, your most unique reason why YOU want to be married on Valentine's Day and YOU could win a complete wedding package, from wedding bands to tuxes, flowers etc. Gals, you buy your own gowns."

I went home and penned this little ditty, and unbeknownst to my hubby, I mailed it off on pink paper and bordered it with red heart stickers.

I giggled periodically and wouldn't tell Bill why. He thought he was marrying a kook. He found out how kooky I am. A couple days before the contest winners were to be announced, I began to panic. I stood on tip toe and kissed him.

"Honey, if I could WIN a wedding, and it wouldn't cost us a penny, would you go along?"

"Ha-ha, surrrre." He winked, smiled and nodded.

I was driving to work when I heard my name (at the end of the list because it began with "W" back then) and I went nuts, screamed, pounded the steering wheel, made a spectacle of myself in front of other drivers, screeched into a parking place, ran down the halls laughing maniacally adn announced to my coworker I was getting married.

She looked at me and said, "I KNOW! It's a still a few weeks away."

I called my honey at work and said, "We're getting married. We have to be at the court house by 5:00 p.m. Meet me after work."

"Slow down. We have plenty of time."

"No we don't. We need a marriage license. NOW! Today."

He continued to try to calm me and I excitedly broke the news that I had won the contest. I did not tell him until after we got the marriage license that we would be getting married in a grand ballroom, with 97 other couples for a grand total of 98 (for the radio station call numbers) and the ceremony would be aired live on the radio station, and over my school intercom.

The night before, we sat sipping a drink on an indoor balcony overlooking the hotel lobby, watching brides arrive with their long gowns. I had my suit with a beaded, sequined collar hanging in our room. I panicked again.

"I can't do this."

"You bailing, NOW?"

"No, I just can't wear a dumb suit while all these young brides wear gowns." I was in tears.

"You'll look just as beautiful."

"You're biased."

"You're making too much of this."

"You're not the bride!"

"Okay, well, we can leave in the morning. We're having our real wedding in a few weeks anyway."

And then I saw her down in the lobby. She was my age and she had a red evening gown slung over her shoulder. Another bride walked in carrying her turquoise 'prom' dress. An older woman arrived with a suit on a hanger and wide hat with a huge plume.

"Okay, I'll wear my suit now." I wiped my eyes.

My honey just smiled and nodded. He still does a lot of that.

A few weeks later, instead of professing our vows before thousands of listeners, we declared our love and renewed our vows in an intimate cermony before family and friends.

Proof that writing DOES pay off! I sold this story to a magazine. Double pay off.


Sioux Roslawski said...

I love your "ditty" and your story. "Goofy Bill" is a keeper!

Linda O'Connell said...

Thanks Sioux. It was a time to remember!

Donna Volkenannt said...

Oh, Linda. What a wonderful story, and I like your ditty, too.

Ain't love grand?


Julia Williams said...

This is a great story and your "ditty" is cute. I have no idea what it would be like to be married along with 97 other couples. Plus, I wonder why they just didn't make it an even 100! LOL

Tammy said...

What a wonderful story in so many ways. Happy Valentines Day!

Anonymous said...

Just in time for Valentine's Day! Thanks for sharing. :)

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Great story! And it paid off in so many ways. :)

Susan said...

That was a cute story, Linda. Glad you were even able to sell it! Great job. Susan

Linda O'Connell said...

Hi Everyone. It has been one continuous happy moment after another for the past seventeen years. Thak you all for stopping by.

Welcome Doris!