They say time flies when you’re having fun …
… but then, as I’m always telling my students when marking their essays, “who the heck is ‘they’?”
That’s right, on October 1, 1983, Pat and I got hitched. It was a low-budget affair, rather hastily put together after we got the news that the doctors had given up on Pat’s mother’s cancer, and she was not expected to live much longer. Matters weren’t made easier when Hurricane Alicia blew through Houston, leaving the two of us and our cat as refugees (albeit only for a short time).
The wedding was in my home town, and it was challenging to arrange everything on short notice. Photographers, caterers, florists, and so forth really like to have longer than a month’s notice to put together a wedding. And the best photographer in town and the best florist in town were both retiring, one the day before the wedding, one the day after.
Even though the photographer was planning to retire before the wedding, he agreed to talk to us. We walked into the studio, and there was a little chair in the corner that I remembered. “Hey, I remember getting my picture taken in that chair when I was four!” I said. Bingo. The photographer decided to delay his retirement by a day.
Next door, when we told the florist that we didn’t need anything fancy, he said that he could squeeze us in that weekend.
There wasn’t time to order a fancy, custom-made dress. But two mothers of friends of mine had started a boutique, which they ran with the help of their teenage and young-adult daughters, and they carried a small selection of wedding dresses. I found a nice ivory-colored one that matched my mom’s wedding veil, which had originally been white but by that time was also ivory-colored.
We arranged for Pat’s best friend from South Texas to be best man, and my college roommate to be maid of honor. For ushers, we recruited my brother and one of his buddies. Then, a week before the wedding, my maid of honor came down with mono and her doctor forbade her to leave Houston. So the best man’s fiancée was pressed into duty at the last minute.
There was also the issue of the minister – he had been struck by lightning (yes, really!) two years before, and he was still recovering. So we had the associate pastor officiating.
With all of those disasters, near-disasters, and narrowly averted disasters, some people might have decided that this wedding wasn’t meant to be. But we went ahead with it.
I guess that was the right decision.