|Santa Monica, the weekend we met.|
That phone conversation went on for an hour and a half, and during that time, we found out that, not only were we both from Missouri, our hometowns were only an hour apart, which eventually led to nine months of dating long distance before we got engaged and set a wedding date of August 7. (Note: for the record, we wanted to get married in September or October, but our parents were TOO BUSY then, so we had to go with August, the hottest, most humid time of the year in Missouri.)
Our plan was for me to stay in Nashville until the end of May, then I would send everything I owned to Los Angeles in a moving truck, go spend two weeks at my parents' house, tying up loose ends with the wedding, and then drive on out to California. We would then set up housekeeping while maintaining separate bedrooms (shut up, it's my story) until a week before the wedding, when I would fly back to Missouri. My soon-to-be husband would follow me out a few days later, not wanting to take too much time off work before the wedding, so he could take off afterwards for the honeymoon.
Just one wee little problem.
Missouri had a three-day waiting period for a marriage license. Soon-to-be husband would not be arriving until the day before the wedding.
Fortunately (and thank goodness for small towns), it was possible to have a judge waive the three-day wait. And my dad was friends with a judge. Disaster averted.
Fast forward to August 6. Everything was in place for the wedding. My soon-to-be husband was flying from LAX to Kansas City and would be arriving in the early afternoon, at which time he would rent a car and drive the two and a half hours south to my hometown. This would get him there in time for us to go to the Recorder of Deeds and get the license before the office closed at 4:30 and then head to the wedding rehearsal.
Next little problem.
The Great Flood of 1993.
|Missouri River at Kansas City|
Heavy rains that began in the fall of 1992 led to record flooding the summer of 1993. FEMA had been dispatched to the area, as had other relief workers. And those relief workers had rented cars. Many, many cars. And it left very, very few rental cars available for anyone else to use, as in, apparently, only one.
When my soon-to-be husband arrived at the rental car office, the agent told him that he realized he had a reservation, but there was a little problem. Seems the family that had rented the car that was to be his wanted to keep it a little longer, even though the agent told them it was not possible, as the car was already promised to someone else.
The husband told his wife they would have to give up the car.
The wife would not give in and refused to get out of the car.
My soon-to-be husband was flipping out. He had a small window of opportunity in which to pick up the car and drive to my hometown before the Recorder of Deeds closed for the day.
The husband begged with his wife.
She sat firmly in the car.
Finally, my soon-to-be husband leaned in, told her he was getting married the next day and needed the car to get there, and she reluctantly got out.
Land-speed records were broken as my soon-to-be husband turned a two and a half hour drive into one that lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes, but he made it in the nick of time, the license was issued, and we were one step closer to being married.
All went smoothly after that point. Rehearsal, fine. Rehearsal dinner, fine, except for the seemingly endless amount of time that my cousin, on one side of me, turned to talk to the person next to her and my soon-to-be husband, on the other side of me, turned to talk to the person on the other side of him, and I was left with no one to talk to and nothing to do but pick at my food.
Mother Nature was kind to us that week, because instead of horrifically high humidity and hot temperatures, it was delightfully, unseasonably cool. I still didn't want to risk sweating in my wedding dress, so I turned the air conditioning down in the church just about as low as it would go. You could have hung meat in the sanctuary.
Our ceremony was scheduled for 10:30 in the morning, and the food at the reception would be breakfast food, plus cake, of course. There would be ham biscuits, turkey sausage, little muffins and sweet rolls, and breakfast casserole. Orange juice and apple juice, but no punch. (I went 'round and 'round with my mom on that one, because I hate punch and refused to have it at my wedding. When I said there wouldn't be coffee if we had to have punch, she backed down.)
We took our pictures before the wedding (I am not superstitious and thought it was silly to make everyone wait for the reception to begin while we took them). Everything was progressing nicely. The string quartet was playing. The church was filling with friends and family.
I was waiting in the narthex when my dad came up to me and said, "Problem. The caterer isn't here, but we're not telling your mom."
Seems the caterer, who had come recommended by my MIL and with whom my mother and I had met and discussed the event extensively, was having car problems. We kept it from my mother until we heard back from the caterer that she was finally on her way.
Just as I was ready to walk down the aisle, the caterer wheeled into the parking lot.
Everything else, I am happy to report, went without a hitch. My childhood minister married us. The ceremony was short and to the point and had a lovely responsive reading in it. The reception was relaxed and festive, and we were able to visit with everyone who came. (My parents fixed us plates of food, but we didn't take more than a bite or two, because we were so busy with our guests.)
Who would have thought that one chance phone conversation would lead to this?
Happy 20th anniversary, Skippy. I love you and wouldn't want to take this ride with anyone but you.