What the hell was I doing???? I told a guy whom I had been dating for 2 and a half months that I would marry him!! Was I insane? Was I on the rebound? Was I trying to make the hurt go away? Wait a second – I was happy. Wasn’t I? I had more emotions (good and bad) than I could shake a stick at. Where were we going to live? How were we going to survive? I was in university and only worked part time at a store in the mall making minimum wage. Mike had a full-time job at the radio station, but would that be enough?
I had to put all of this on the back burner for a while. I was getting ready to do a work placement for my course and I had to focus on that. I love radio and speaking and wanted to get my placement at the radio station. I knew a lot of the people who worked there and I knew I would learn a lot from them. It was settled. I did up all the appropriate paperwork and I was starting my work term. I was over the moon with excitement!
I learned quickly and began to get the swing of things. I was working in the music library, which was really interesting. There was so much to absorb, it was great! Everyone was really friendly and helped me in any way they could. Wellll, almost everyone. Remember – “the other fella” (Mike’s dark, ominous music can be inserted here!) worked there too. That proved to be interesting. He would tell everyone who would listen that the only reason I was marrying Mike was to get back at him and that we would never last. He ignored me at best and made me feel like a stupid moron while I was there. If I had to go into the control room while he was on shift it was quite awkward, but I remained as professional as I could. The people in the station saw that and didn’t seem to pay too much attention to his going’s-on. Thankfully.
My last day was a Friday and I just happened to be sitting in the control room when the Program Director walked in looking for the guy who was working to work the following day operating a remote. He was unable to work. I piped up that I could do it. He looked at me like I had 3 heads. I had been around the station long enough and I am nosey enough to keep an eye on what’s going on that I really felt I could produce a remote broadcast. He hesitantly considered it. I went behind the board for the next 3 hours to become familiar with the hand’s-on of everything and he was very pleased. I went on the payroll the next morning and quickly became a top-notch operator. Mike was instrumental in helping me learn the ropes. On nights that he wasn’t working, we would go into the station and he would take me into one of the production studios. He would put me through the paces and try to teach me everything I needed to know. He was very patient with me and I was thrilled that I was working (albeit casual) at a job that I truly loved.
Again, a few weeks later they were in a bind. They needed someone to fill an on-air shift for a Saturday and Sunday evening. I darn near fell on the floor when they called me and asked me if I was interested. Interested????? This is what I was going to university for. Speech Communications. I love talking and I’m pretty darn good at it.
Over the next little while I worked more shifts than I could count. It was a great place to be. Mike and I even ended up working some of the same shifts. It was fun but we always kept it professional at work. We both worked too hard to get where we were and I was not about to jeopardize that for either one of us.
During all this Mike and I continued to work together and grow as a couple. We started planning our wedding. My favorite colour at the time was purple(GAG), so that was an easy one. We decided on August 24 as our date but quickly had to change that when we found out that our DJ was booked (he was quite flattered that we changed our date so we could have him play..lol). He worked with us at the radio station and played the most fantastic dances we had ever been to. Consulting with him (and his schedule), we decided on August 10. Then it was a matter of picking our bridal party, flowers, cake, invitations, supper, decorations…I was loving it!! Mike wanted to just go and elope. ~~ (Just kidding!)~~ I’m a girlie-girl, I can’t help it. I have sat and dreamed of what my wedding would be like. I wanted it all, nothing over the top or real flashy, that’s not me, but I did want to have my fairy-tale wedding.
One day I was at my cousin’s house and we had started talking about “the dress”. Good grief, I hadn’t even thought about that, yet. We spent a lot of time with my cousin and his wife in the early days of our relationship and were always very close with them. They had been married 3 years previously. Imagine my surprise when my cousin’s wife came out of her bedroom this day holding her wedding gown. “Here, try it on. Just to have an idea of sizes.” I did and not one of us had to say a word. It fit like a glove. I had just found my wedding dress. How thrilled was I? And the funny thing is, I’m about 6″ taller than her. The dress looked completely different on me. I tried on her headpiece (a hat and veil), which again fit perfectly but looked nothing like what it did on her. What a big load off my mind this was.
One thing we did decide from the get-go which made life a whole lot easier on everyone concerned was if we can’t afford to pay for it in cash, we don’t have it. Period. We started putting money aside out of each pay and began to pick things up here and there as we could afford to buy them. I wanted the nice silver-frosted wine glasses for our head table – you know, the TACKY ones with “Bride”, “Groom”, “Maid of Honour”, “Best Man”…blah blah blah on them. I’d pick one up a pay and started my “wedding stuff” collection. We ordered our invitations early and we received them one day in February, during a humungous snowstorm. I had them all sorted, addressed and ready to go by the time I went to bed that night.
We had decided from the beginning that we weren’t having a supper – we just couldn’t afford it and we did not want to start off our marriage in debt. We’d have some nibblies (is that a word, Ann???LOL) during the reception and pick up a few trays of things to have at the house. There’s no need for a supper, right? Apparently not. The parents had issues with that. There was no way we could expect people to come home from away to attend our wedding and not at least give them a meal. What would they think? Well, number one, we didn’t expect anyone to come from home or away. We’d be happy if they did, but certainly didn’t “expect” it. Number two, I wasn’t worried about what they would think. Would they be worried about how we were going to pay for it after they were gone home? ~~ Anyway, during a very civil conversation with my parents and Mike’s Mom and grandmother we told them that we planned on paying for this wedding ourselves and we just could not afford to put on a supper for 200 of our nearest and dearest family members and friends. If they felt as though a supper was “expected” they would have to pay for it, otherwise, we were not having a supper. We ended up having a supper (sigh).
As the time approached I was very pleased with how little we argued. Mike was so easy going. His biggest issue was that he was NOT wearing a tuxedo. He wanted to wear a morning jacket with an ascot. A what with a what????? My thoughts quickly conjured up an image of red jogging pants, a lumberjack plaid shirt, a 10 day growth of beard (at least), sideburns half-way down his face, coke bottle glasses and hair that looked like it should have been cut months ago. My “sideburn-boy” wanted to wear a morning jacket and an ascot??? Whatever floats your boat, Mikey – go for it. Once that was decided on, he left pretty much everything else to me. He just wanted to know where he had to be and when (this line grew old verrryyy quickly..lol!)
Our families started getting into “marriage-mode” as well. Bridal showers (yes, showerS – I had 3) were being planned, my sister picked out my china pattern(I’m having a china pattern??), and Dad and Mike started construction of our apartment (in the basement of my parent’s home – ~GULP~!) Time was moving along quicker than I would like, but everything was falling into place.
There are a few other things you need to know about before we actually make it to the altar to say our vows – if we make it to the “altar” at all, for starters. Plus there are a few other items to fill you in on (where is Mike’s Dad, and how is Mike going to cope with moving from his town and joining my family and community).
Perhaps I’ll start off writing about how we dealt with the whole issue of a mixed marriage. I’m Catholic and Mike’s Baptist. It gets interesting here, don’t go anywhere just yet.
Until next time…