Anyone who reads these pages knows I love my son. However, at times I also love being away from my son. And I don’t feel bad about that. Last night was one of those nights.
As you all know, times are tough right now. The economy is in the toilet, a lot of people are worried about keeping their jobs and to say money is tight would be like saying AIG executives made a poor decision about going on their retreat. A severe understatement. Therefore it’s not uncommon right now for people to be reaching the end of their rope with frayed nerves. That’s how MJ and I feel. So when she got home from work last night, we both decided to say “Screw it!”
She kicked things off by bringing home two bottles of wine. Then we had the idea to get Chinese food, which is quite possibly my favorite thing to eat on the planet. My final idea was take the aforementioned wine and Chinese food, and consume it while watching our wedding video after Will went to sleep.
Because when times are tough, I’m a firm believer that you need to take a few moments to focus on the important things. The things that make you feel good and remind you of a time when things were easier, and happier. And our wedding was just such a time.
First of all, MJ looked magnificent. I’ll never forget how I felt when she appeared at the end of that church aisle. It was like someone violently removed all the air from my lungs and feeling from my legs. Then we had our vows, which brought the house down. I told her that I promise always to take care of her, “even though I’m fully aware that you’re capable of taking care of yourself.” Conversely, she promised to understand my behavior in October and January, and thanked me for showing her what unconditional love is like with my fanaticism for the Red Sox and Patriots. Did I mention that we were introduced as husband and wife for the first time to the melodious strains of “Dirty Water?”
The reception was a collection of moments I hold dear to my heart. Our first dance which we practiced for weeks. The toasts by my best friend Craig and MJ’s best friend Alicia. And the dancing…oh my Lord there was some drunken dancing. It eventually led to me dry humping my brother-in-law, a completely awesome and out of control air guitar solo by my friend Licciardo to AC/DC and my lame attempt at an Irish jig to “Charlie and the MTA.”
But the best moment, by far, didn’t even involve us. My wife’s best friend Alicia was married to her husband Victor (one of the best human being I’ve ever met) while they were stationed in Germany. They are both Army medics who saw combat in Iraq, and although their ceremony overseas was great, they weren’t able to have a traditional one here in the states. So, we surprised them. MJ got on the microphone and told their story and asked them to come up in front of all our guests at our wedding to have their first dance as husband and wife stateside.
People were floored. I mean, they were bowled over with emotion. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house as Vic in his Class A uniform danced with Alicia. We actually had a few people (a few women actually) come up to us and ask us how we felt about giving up the spotlight on our wedding day. I can only imagine these were the Bridezillas we’re always reading about and seeing on TV. The ones who fight to the death over the discounted wedding dresses at Filene’s Basement every year.
But for me and MJ, it was an absolute no brainer. I have never fought in a war or seen combat (unless you count my fights with MJ). Selfishly, I hope I never do. But Vic and Alicia have. They have sacrificed for all of us and probably seen a lot of things that can’t be unseen or forgotten. The appreciation and the respect I have for people like that knows no bounds. So really the question isn’t how could we give up the spotlight on our wedding day, it’s how could we not?
With a kid, two dogs, a mortgage, a floundering 401k, economic uncertainty, too much debt and all the other problems people are facing, nights like last night are welcome. Hell, I’d say they’re necessary.
The last song played at our wedding was Lifehouse’s “You and Me” and it was great. We danced in the middle of a circle of friends without a care in the world. And last night, while watching ourselves dance to that song nearly three years ago, we danced again right in our livingroom with Will sleeping in the nursery just off in the distance. And I realized we’re going to be OK. One way or another, things would work out.
Further proof that Chinese food, a little wine and some time to reconnect will solve almost any problem.