My husband and I were officially engaged on May 26, 1984, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was the eve of the historic “Memorial Day Flood.” Worst on record.
We set the date for our wedding on June 9. We celebrated with a delectable leg of lamb, new potatoes, and champagne. My mother had said, when I pulled out all the bridal magazines: “Please – I do not want to hear all your planning for the twelve months. Give me six weeks, and I can pull off any wedding you want.” We gave her twelve days. That was as much her fault as ours, since she’s the one who said, “Do you swear this is for life? You’re not going to change your mind and screw up it up?” We assured her we wouldn’t; she proposed we marry on her and my father’s 22nd anniversary – June 21. Thirty minutes later, we had lined up the minister who would perform the ceremony.
The only thing we didn’t have, for what we jokingly called, “The Twelve Day Wonder Wedding,” was engraved invitations. There simply would not have been time to mail them and give out of town guests time to make travel arrangements. We had matchbooks and seed in net bags with printed ribbons. We had fresh flowers, a gorgeous cake – also decorated with fresh flowers – an organist who approved of my request to walk down the aisle to the Processional from “The Sound of Music.” After all, the Von Trapps had a long, happy marriage.
It might not have happened that way, though. Two days before our wedding, my doctor wanted to put me in the hospital. I’d had an ear infection going on four months, and he couldn’t give me stronger antibiotics without admitting me and putting me on an IV drip. I told him no. One look in my eyes, and he conceded, insisting that I return and re-evaluate after the honeymoon. Before that, he’d had to prop me up on Percodan just so I could get through the agony of having my hair done and bridal photos made. People look at the photograph that was printed in the newspaper and describe my expression as “so dreamy and romantic!” I was marrying the love of my life, but the look was “stoned and poseable as a Barbie Doll.” But on one point, I wouldn’t be so malleable: I would not put off our wedding. We honeymooned in Dallas, at the Westin Galleria. We had a wonderful, romantic three days there, and returned home.
Eventually, the root cause of the ear infection was determined to be a yeast infection in my ear canal, probably caused by months on antibiotics. My stubbornness may have saved my hearing.
Flash forward to this past Memorial Day weekend.
We were visiting family in Dallas, and stayed at the Westin Galleria. I think our room was even nicer than the one we had on our honeymoon! The storms across north Texas and Oklahoma rivaled those of 1984; the flooding in Houston has been terrible, as well.
Meanwhile, Sunday I had lamb burger for lunch. Not leg of lamb, and it’s still a bit early for that – but it was excellent. Later, I twisted – and broke – my ankle (distal fibula), ending up with painkillers that gave me that dreamy, romantic, poseable-as-a-Barbie-Doll look. An adverse reaction to them nearly landed me in the hospital, hours later, the same day we were due to leave Dallas to return to Houston. But hey – you know how this ends. 🙂 I’m back in Houston with the love of my life. And tonight – which was supposed to be my night to cook, and the official anniversary of our engagement – I took a long afternoon nap and he made lobster.
And I have to apologize to you all – I’d rather nap than write up a more entertaining explanation of “how I broke my ankle” than “walking across the grass from the curb to the sidewalk.” I think it’s fair to fib about it, but I’m not sure I can – not with a broken fibber.