Since I can remember I lived in a vivid fantasy world where I was loved by a handsome, powerful, brilliant man who was tall and muscular and who had just the right amount of chest hair. In my fantasy he would make fulfilling, passionate love to me with the haunting swell of a cello and the flicker of candlelight playing in the background. I did not ever know this man, but I was certain he existed somewhere. I can still see every detail of him, except for his face, even now…
That is not how the story really goes, however.
I don’t remember getting married. At least I do not remember the details. There is a piece of paper with my signature on it but I do not remember how it got there.
I don’t remember where I got dressed before the ceremony. The dress was a pale yellow, though. I do know that because it still hangs in my closet. There is only one picture taken of that day that I am aware of, and it is blurry.
I don’t remember my vows. I do remember insisting that the phrase “obey” be cut from them a few days prior but I do not remember actually saying, “I do.”
I don’t remember my wedding night except that I was mortified that my parents and the rest of God’s creation knew what was going on in that hotel room that night.
No. I was not drunk.
To be honest I am not sure when I stopped remembering these details. I have not thought much about the event until last night. I was a bit shaken by how much I was missing…
It was not a happy time.
My parents had said that it did not matter who I was marrying, they would never pay for any amount of a wedding for me since I was going to medical school. Even after seven years of “dating” this man with their seal of approval, my disobedience to the divine order of things would not be sanctioned by them.
So we eloped.
We planned it in a week while I was going through medical school orientation.
My wedding dress was sewed by my almost mother-in-law from the pattern and fabric I had initially picked out for bridesmaids dresses. We were married under the giant tree on campus at sunset by a religious studies professor who happened to be an ordained minister.
I told my parents the day before. I did not allow them or anyone else to “give” me away.
The ceremony was on a Saturday.
On Monday, I started my first day of classes.
Then gross anatomy happened.
Family and friends whispered about it being a shotgun wedding and waited expectantly for the bulge to show. The bulge never materialized and the whispers eventually died down but not until after quite a bit of unkindness had taken place. They just did not understand and I did not know how to explain it to them.
I was afraid to do it alone.
To be continued…