I posted the story of our first meeting earlier in the year. Nancy and I snuck off and got married. We decided that rather than have a fancy wedding, we would just look up "Wedding Ceremony" in the yellow pages and use the first name listed. We called and scheduled an appointment. It was $100, cash only. I went to the bank machine and withdrew $160.
A few of our friends went with us to the outskirts of Columbus to witness for us. It was a ratty, run down neighborhood. The lady that answered the door had long gray hair and new age clothes with lots of crystals. She ushered us inside and sat all the witnesses down in the living room. There was big picture of her longhaired son, in soft focus with a gauzy blue background, with his guitar and crooked toothed smile next to a framed "Blood on the Tracks" album. "He loves Bob Dylan," she said, "He surely does love his Bob Dylan. Sometimes he plays at ceremonies, should I cal him?" Which was such an odd thing for her to say that I remember it ten years later. We refused, politely.
Then, she sat us at her dining room table with a printout of the wedding ceremony. "Usually, we have a series of meetings before the ceremony to okay all the words. But, this is a pretty typical Unitarian Universalist ceremony." Nancy took all the pages and quickly read through them. She crossed out whole sections with a red pen. I asked her what she was crossing out. She said, "Anything that mentions God."
The lady said she had a Navajo prayer that didn't mention God that she could read. She printed it out and we both approved it. "Where would you like to have the ceremony? Here or in the backyard?"
Nancy took a quick look around the room at the shabby furniture and brown carpet. We moved to the backyard. It was a green nondescript grass square surrounded by a chain link fence. Her neighbor was out mowing his lawn and a helicopter flew overhead. “Hey, this is just like Madonna and Sean Penn’s wedding,” I joked using a reference that was easily 5 years out of date even 10 years ago.
The Unitarian lady had to yell to be heard over all the noise. The helicopter flew in closer, intrigued by what we were doing. We both said “I do” and permission was given for me to kiss Nancy and I did.
The moment our clutch ended, the Unitarian lady was behind me whispering for her cash. I counted out the bills into her hand. As soon as the last bill was counted, she ushered us out saying she had business to attend to.
We got in the car. Nancy and I were all smiles, really excited to be married. Nancy looked out the window and saw pumpkins. Nancy loves pumpkins more than flowers. The only problem is that they last so long that she gets attached to them. I eventually end up having to sneak them out of the house. There is a moment of shock when she realizes her squishy, stinky, orange best friend is gone, but she knows it’s for the best. She asked if we could pull over for a pumpkin.
They were stacked outside a drive through beer store and gas station. As she was picking out the best one, she noticed a familiar face driving into the beer store and popping the trunk. It was our Unitarian minister. She filled up the whole trunk with beer and then handed them our $100.
After that, we went to Bob Evans for lunch. When we told the waitress we were just married, she brought us a brownie with a single candle in it.
When I went to get Nancy a pumpkin today for our anniversary, I considered getting her a rack of Bud to go with it. But, a pumpkin is enough, don’t you think?