Six Days on the Road and a Wedding

July 28, 2010

Let me say this right up front–I would rather stick a hot poker in my eye than go on another road trip.

Here’s how it begins. Anticipating the impending marriage of our daughter, Maria, Richard–aka Hubby– decided we should drive the 1,200 miles to Minneapolis where the wedding was to take place.  This way, he said, we could bring his specialty dessert, Torte Maria, to be used for the groom’s cake. So the trip went like this:

Good first day, ate a wonderful dinner at the Two Frogs Restaurant in Ardmore, OK. Displayed on the walls was a fine collection of rock and roll musicians’ autographed guitars.  We sat under Johnny Winters’ Firebird! “This is not so bad,” I thought.

Second day, spent two lovely hours in Burger King in Somewhere, Kansas waiting for the Imodium to kick in. Got as far as Des Moines, Iowa for the night.

Third day, drove in the rain through the rest of Iowa. Survived a killer mosquito attack at a beautiful Minnesota rest stop.

Finally in Minneapolis, Hubby, Maria, and I plan to drop off the cake at the reception venue. Driving around lost for an hour, Hubby is holding a 25 lb. cake in his lap all the while the warning bell is going off because he can’t buckle his seatbelt. Phone battery died, so no Google maps.  Finally find the ballroom, hand over the cake and get ‘shortcut’ directions to our friend’s house from the manager.  Lost for another two hours, Maria finally goes into a bar and gets good directions from the bartender.

Friday wedding rehearsal at the Lakewood Chapel. The groom’s mother, who evidently never even heard of Emily Post, doesn’t introduce any one of the wedding participants, but proceeded to give us each our marching orders. “So, Adolph,” I say to the young man escorting me down the aisle, “how do you fit in the family?”  “I’m Scott’s boyfriend.” “Cool,” I say.

After rehearsal, six cars of folks caravan all the way across Minneapolis to a “surprise” restaurant for dinner. Surprise!!–wrong restaurant. After another hour of driving around, trying to find the right restaurant, Hubby and I decide to call it a night and go back to my friend’s house, which we actually find this time fairly easily.

Wedding day. The groom’s mother keeps calling me Maria’s mother, when I am in fact her step-mother. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but she does this in front of the real mother’s mom and sister. Geez, could things get worse you ask.  Pastor Jeff Cowmeadow (I swear that was his name!) did a simple, sweet ceremony, calling Jason and Maria “you guys” about a dozen times.  Maybe he was practicing for Scott and Adolph’s wedding.

Reception speeches were all by the groom’s family. They never even asked if we would like to say anything. And, for the pièce de résistance, the entertainment was an Elvis impersonator who only vaguely resembled a very young Elvis.

By this time, all I can think about is getting home. The next day at the airport, after the plane to O’Hare gets pushed back for the fourth time, I realize there is no way I can make my connection to San Antonio. Re-route to DFW, stay overnight in a hotel (American Airlines’ dime) and catch the morning plane to San Antonio; kiss my front door and collapse on the bed.

All that being said, I wouldn’t have missed the marriage of Jason and Maria for a perfect trip to Hawaii or anywhere.  It was the shining star that made the trip worth all the driving and other misadventures.

Oh, and if you are invited to a formal wedding–DO NOT wear Capri pants and flip-flops

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Destiny and Demolition

December 3, 2009

Whether you consider it fate, destiny, kismet or just plain luck, I venture to guess most of you recall where and when you first met your true love. Every day, as we drive down Broadway to work, my husband and I pass the place where we met—that derelict, graffiti-covered eyesore, once the home of Broadway Dodge.  In this building, as employees of a bustling, successful dealership, Richard courted me and won my heart.

Several weeks ago, demolition began on the property.  As the building was being dismantled, we noted its progress and reminisced. I was working in the parts department, surrounded by a motley crew of auto parts clerks and mechanics. I listened all day long to shop talk, drinking stories, and boasts of sexual prowess. Fresh from a painful divorce, I tuned them all out–including the quiet guy on the other side of the window in the warranty department.

An avid fisherman, Richard is an artist at tying fishing flies. In case you don’t know, fishing flies mimic bugs fish like to eat. Imagine my surprise as huge cockroaches and spiders began showing up on my computer keyboard. All the guys thought it was hilarious making the lone woman in the department squeal. Believe it or not, this sophomoric tactic worked and Richard and I began talking and taking refuge in each other.

So, almost 25 years later, the building is razed to the ground, but we are still standing together. Any married couple will tell you marriage is not a constant love-fest. With all the usual problems and trying to make that ‘blended family’ thing happen, it is often hard work.

So, what is the secret to a good marriage? You and your spouse may have your own, here are a few of mine: It is not necessary to share all the same interests. Appreciate and listen when your spouse goes on about their favorite hobby, even if you haven’t a clue–like fly-fishing. Try really hard not to criticize your spouse’s family. It OK for them, not OK for you. Be friends.

Next time you are together, take a few minutes with your spouse, significant other, partner… stoke that love flame and remember your first meeting.

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This blog was published by Alamocitytimes.com December, 2009