Exactly 9 years ago right now, I was on the DC metro, trying valiantly to choke down a donut as my best friend sat next to me, warbling "Going to the Chapel." She wasn't exactly accurate -- we were actually on our way to my parents' hotel, where I'd be getting ready for my wedding.
I never dreamed, as a kid, that I'd ever get married. My parents' marriage wasn't exactly an inspiring example, as they openly hated each other. My dreams of my adult life pretty much centered around two goals -- to become a lawyer, and to get away from my family. The possibility of marriage and children was simply not one that ever occurred to me.
So I remember being a little shocked that morning that I, at the (relatively) young age of 23, was about to get married. And what's more, that I was downright giddy about the idea. 2 1/2 years before, I'd met the boy of my dreams. The one who made my heart leap a little bit every time I looked at him. The one of whose company I never, ever tired. The one who knew, with just a glance, what I was thinking, and who usually had some snarky quip that would reflect my own thoughts so exactly that I'd have to laugh.
By now, my memories of our wedding day are mostly a blur (though a happy one). I remember leaving the hotel to meet my bridesmaids in the limo and the limo driver laughing at me because instead of carrying a dainty bridal purse, I'd slung my battered green backpack on over my gown. I remember that it was 105 degrees that day and that the chapel was inadequately air conditioned. I keep trying to forget that my parents were an hour and a half late to the wedding, but that I was too nice simply to go ahead without them. I remember being relieved that there hadn't been another wedding scheduled after ours in the chapel, because then we'd have been forced to get married without my parents there.
Our reception, I remember, was lovely, if simple. Since we were both just out of undergrad relatively broke, there were no fancy centerpieces or chair covers of meticulously matched linens (frankly, even if we'd been wealthy, these details probably would have been overlooked. I'm not exactly Martha Stewart). But the DJ was great, and we'd assembled a playlist of favorite songs that encouraged everyone to get up and dance. Our reception was held at the top of a hotel in Virginia, and the view from the room was spectacular -- we overlooked the Potomac and Georgetown University,where the ceremony had taken place. And, of course, there was good food and plenty of booze.
Until I started typing this, I'd forgotten that after the reception, we went down to the hotel pool, where many of our guests had congregated. We had a blast splashing around and enjoying the company of the friends and relatives who'd traveled to share our special day. And when we returned to the room, we learned that the wedding coordinator (bless her) had delivered plates full of food and wedding cake to our room. Bliss.
Finally, I remember our first morning as a married couple. How we ate leftover wedding cake for breakfast and opened presents as we laughed together, hardly able to believe that we were a husband and a wife. And I remember thinking how very lucky I was.
Nine years later, I feel even luckier. I've never, not even for one second, had reason to regret marrying my Boy. And frankly, even if things went to hell tomorrow, I cannot imagine ever being sorry to have spent these last nine years with him. This kind of thing may sound blindingly obvious to normal people, but to me it's a big deal, since the one thing that most breaks my heart about my parents' marriage is that neither one of them ever made a secret of the fact that each dearly regretted ever having married the other. I look back at the last nine years and the happiness it's brought me, and I cannot imagine things ever being so bad as to erase that happiness and make the entire marriage a mistake.
But anyway, my point. I'm a lucky woman. I know I'm not exactly the ideal wife. I'm a little lazy, a barely-competent housekeeper, and I can be kind of a bitch. And I'm not exactly arm candy. But somehow, not only does The Boy love me, but he seems to think he's gotten the better part of the deal. Now, I know he's totally wrong. I'm the winner in the great marriage sweepstakes. I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend.