Preparations were underway. There’s nothing I do better than planning minutia. The smallest detail, the little things, that’s where I love to live. How creating a whole picture out of the tiny accents that culminate into the greater good. We discussed that since I had already had a wedding, this could be tailored a bit towards more of his wants and so with a few things that I wanted we began to plan. All I asked is that it be small. Not a big showy, everyone under the sun kind of thing, but something more intimate. Something more us, something more me. We, along with both sets of parents threw an engagement party. The night of this party would foreshadow a lot of things to come. The night of the party there was a Nor’easter. Can you say sign? The wind blew, the rain came down in sheets and it was like the Gods were screaming for us to pay attention. That night I got inebriated. That night I got so sick I dry heaved for almost a full 12 hours. That night I was sicker than alcohol had ever made me. I awoke the next morning to my children sitting in front of me shaking their heads. So much for mother of the year. Within a few days I realized from getting sick something was very wrong with me. I could not sit except this time it had nothing to do with my neck. I’d gotten so sick, that the pressure from vomiting had popped a hemorrhoid and I had to have it surgically removed. This wedding was proving to be the biggest literal pain in my ass. From there we moved on. Part of his dream was to walk down the aisle of our home town church. So with that, I went for an annulment from Gingham. The process was not as excruciating as I thought it’d be and I don’t believe it to be a racket thought up by the arch diocese to get money. It was, however a bit archaic and tedious. I had to write my story of why I felt an annulment should be granted. I had to find 3 witnesses, like the three wise men when baby Jesus was born. They had to come independently and write their stories as well; One having known me before Gingham, one having known me after Gingham and one having known me Before and After Gingham. I would submit, via postal service, which at times felt like the pony express to my assigned advocate and they would critique, edit and mix around my words in order to ensure I was in fact telling the truth and able to show the higher powers that in fact, in the eyes of God, my first marriage was a sham. Week after week I would run to the mailbox, awaiting a response. The suspense was killing me and the wedding date was fast approaching. What if I didn’t get it in time? What if they didn’t grant it to me? Would Friend Guy still want to get married? If it wasn’t in church would he not want it at all? Here is where I begin to have trouble with the whole marriage ritual. Does God really not want me to get married a second time? Did I really disappoint him so badly with my first debacle that I don’t get a second chance? How is that possible when all sins are to be forgiven? How in front of the man I thought I loved, my family and friends and with God in my heart could getting married outside a church be any less firm, committed, dedicated to a higher power? As the months rolled on and the summer turned to fall and the fall to winter and then again to spring, time was a ticking. During this time, Friend Guy’s parents came for dinner to “talk” to me. This can’t be good. As they spoke I could see how important it was for them to have their family at their oldest sons wedding. They asked if I would be willing to have the big wedding. If I would be ok with 100+ people and that they would handle the finances as long as they were able to tell the world that their son had found someone to spend his life with. From the moment I said yes, it was no longer my wedding or even our wedding….it was their wedding. I was merely the showpiece. I was to look beautiful, be gracious and smile. I was to essentially keep my mouth shut and look pretty. If that were only possible it would have come in handy many a time. It is amazing when you see something that was once in your grasp, in your control and then in one conversation it’s gone. It no longer resembles what you had pictured in your head and what you thought was “supposed” to happen is no longer even up for discussion.