Sunday, September 20, 2015
Love is in the Air
It has been quite the week. On Tuesday September 15th I celebrated my 20,000th day alive, which will be recounted in the next blog post, but more importantly one week ago today Susan and I renewed our wedding vows. In truth we cannot even remember how the idea to do so arose, but whenever it was it evidently got us excited enough to carry it through.
When we got married in Brighton, England, twelve years ago, it was a beautiful but certainly untypical affair. We had no money, so it was very much a lo-fi, budget conscious do from top to tail:
- My suit came from a thrift store.
- My (admittedly very cool, Western-style) shirt was left behind by a member of the 'cow-punk' band, the Waco Brothers, when they stayed at our house (and played up merry hell) after a gig I promoted for them.
- Susan's dress was purchased in a sale.
- We got married at a registry office on a Tuesday, being Susan's favourite day of the week, as it was when Happy Days was screened when she was young! We went back to work the next day!
There are other things I could say about the day and circumstances surrounding it, but besides being the best and happiest day of my life the most important thing to mention is that Susan's parents and other family members could not attend. It's a long way from Vancouver Island and elsewhere in Canada, and expensive to travel to the UK.
So, when the idea to renew our vows as a further declaration of our love for each other (as if it was really needed!), we thought it would be a blast to do so in front of Susan's parents and aunt - all resident in Nanaimo - but that we would set it up as a total surprise. We simply invited them to lunch, saying it would be a double celebration for our anniversary on September 9th, and Susan's parents' 57th (!) anniversary on 6th. All we said was, for fun, that they dress up smart and not be late: 12:30 sharp, please!
In the meantime I had asked a friend, a regular customer at the store and also an Anglican minister, if he would agree to preside over a humanist wedding vows renewal ceremony, and to my delight he agreed without hesitation.
It was all set.
On the day the relatives arrived bang on time, and as we were standing in the kitchen chatting about this and that, the door knocker sounded. "Aha, that'll be our final guest," I said, to bemused exchanged glances from our guests. I answered the door and in walked our minister, resplendent in dog collar and robes! You should have seen the priceless expressions on the faces of Susan's parents and aunt.
As they stood there slack-jawed I explained that while our wedding was wonderful, their absence meant it was far from perfect on the day, so we had thought it a good idea to 'get married again' so the picture was complete. They were amazed, delighted and somewhat emotional. As were we.
We went out onto the deck - it was a lovely sunny afternoon - and I said to Susan's father that he could now give his daughter away if he wished. So Susan linked arms with her dad and he walked her once around the deck table, handing her off to me with a cheeky, "There, you can have her!" Hilarious!
We had chosen a beautiful humanist vows renewal service from a website (as one does in this day and age), which the minister enhanced with his own tweaks and the inclusion of an E.E. Cummings poem. It was just a delight. Hilariously, however, just a couple of minutes into the ceremony the telephone rang! We obviously ignored it, and never did find out who called. If only they'd have known what was occurring at the time! This silliness in some way reflects what happened on our actual wedding day, when Susan's bracelet fell off mid-ceremony, she had uncontrollable giggles, I started sobbing (with happiness) and leapt in too soon when saying my vows. Nuts, it was.
I could go on about the wonders and emotions of the day last week, but it was a personal time for the family so I shall reign it in there. What I will say, though, is that I just don't know what I must have done to deserve such an incredible woman in my life. Susan is my soul mate, my best friend in all the world, and someone who as a human being is simply spectacular for so many reasons. I love Susan with all my heart and look forward to growing old with her by my side.