The Wetting. That’s what you get when you take two imperfect people, put them in the hottest, muggiest place in Georgia on a rainy day, pronounce them man and wife and send them outside into the rain.
Every young girl dreams of the day she will say I do. Skies and birds — both blue — sunshine and light streaming over the couple. Our wedding, which was to be a black/white-themed wedding, ended up being a bit more colorful.
My dad’s business had just folded, and he only had $5000 left for his daughter’s big day. We began to improvise, doing the decorating and begging favors from friends who opened up their home to us for an outdoor reception. Just before the ceremony, we blew up enough black and white balloons to flatten our lungs, and floated them on the pool. It was impressive; but by the time we got to the reception from the church, all the balloons had popped or blown away.
June 22, 1990 was a hot and very humid day on St. Simons, Georgia, and rain wasn’t the only thing falling; my big hair was breaking the #1 rule of the 1990s by going flat, and my make-up was running in streaks down my face. I understand what the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz meant when she said: “Oh, I’m melting . . . what a world, what a world!”
Just before the ceremony began, I realized I had left my shoulder pads for my dress at home, breaking 1990 rule #2: Never wear a 1990’s-style dress without shoulder pads! The Raymond sisters panicked when they realized their sister, the bride, was lopsided, and Darby ran home to retrieve the pads to hoist my dress to the proper level.
When we started twenty minutes late, the lightning and thunder had reached peak decibels. “Ron, do you take this woman to be your lawful wedded wife?” was followed by a huge crack of thunder which shook the church and everyone it it. But nobody ran. And for that I am thankful.
Our life together has been far from perfect. We’ve gained; we’ve lost. And in keeping with our theme, there have been black times and white times; but for the most part the areas we have tromped through together have been gray. But we stuck together during the times when others would have called it quits. We consider ourselves lucky, but it takes more than luck to hold a marriage together. It takes hard work, patience and gentleness, kindness, laughter and love.
Ron and I have been blessed with a lifetime of imperfection, held together by love.
We commemorated that day by planting a sapling at the church, which has grown into a lovely tree. And that tree, I’m sure, was grateful for The Wetting!
PS- Just a tip to all the newlyweds: If you each give 100% to the marriage, it works out to be 50/50. Just saying . . . .