When we walked into that chapel 23 years ago today, we’d already been on a long adventure together. We had long since vowed eternity and had been through our ups and downs. I had proposed to her years earlier, after a Super Bowl Party, naturally. I had always intended to make her my bride.
We had owned a small business together for a few years already, but my parents – whom we lived with at the time – decided to move on from our home town. My mother asked if I wanted to buy her house. I did. We started the process, closed the process, and decided the timing was perfect to tie that knot. Business owners. Home owners. Husband and wife.
We didn’t have a lot of money at the time, so a big wedding was either a big debt or out of the question. Luckily, Mrs C didn’t require it, and I certainly did not. Vegas. The plan was Vegas.
My best buddy at the time, and her best friend at the time, accompanied us to Las Vegas, along with our two moms, and we did the thing. It was at the Chapel of the Fountain inside Circus Circus. It wasn’t Elvis. I get asked that all the time. It was a very nice, if flirty, pastor of some sort. Neither of us are religious so the denomination of his faith meant nothing to us. He was funny, and his schtick was to try and convince Mrs C to run away with him. Maybe it wasn’t schtick.
On the VHS I clearly remember seeing myself becoming aware there was a camera rolling, and trying to force a goofy smile that didn’t take. I was nervous as hell. I also remember Mrs C’s mom babbling incoherently through the ceremony, so much that the pastor had to turn and shush her halfway through with a “ma’am, please.” Funny stuff.
It was really only a few years later that we sold that house, and that business, and moved from our home town ourselves. It’s funny how everything that can seem so important at one stage can mean nothing the next. Mrs C still means everything to me.
A couple of years ago we did it again.
For our 20th anniversary we went back to Vegas. We’d wanted to for our 10, but there was a financial collapse. We wanted to at 15 but … oh, I can’t remember why we didn’t then. But we did it for our 20th. One day, at our local church, we mentioned that we might go to Las Vegas and renew our vows. Before you know it we had some 40 people going with us. Family. Friends. Even a couple of notable acquaintances tagged along. It was the most beautiful week and moment of my life. Hard to top it; maybe I never will.
Mrs C wants to do it again, of course. I don’t mind that a bit (except for the staggering expense). At 25? 30? 50? 100? Maybe. So much can happen in a year, and so much is happening right now that makes any plan hard to plan.
But I do know this: I love the girl with all my being. My life partner. My best friend. My confidant. My biggest fan and my idol. Together forever, for how ever long forever will be. Like we always say, “Times infinity plus a Monday.”
Happy Anniversary, Mrs C. Thank you for you.