Wednesday, June 09, 2004

The rest of the story:

Sunday morning we awoke to cold, rainy, gray skies. I was profoundly disappointed to discover a continental help-yourself breakfast. This B&B doesn't cook. I scooped the contents of an individual packet of cream cheese onto my Lender's bagel and choked down a bowl of cantaloupe and honeydew. At least the coffee was fresh.

I snuggled with my sweetie in the room for about an hour after that, basking in the glow of the space heater. I couldn't believe I had to let him go. Given Eh's odd behavior, I was dreading the day... So sweetie and I made the best of the morning. We laughed through breakfast, I tried on my new dress for him, we just held each other and snoozed, listening to the rain. Eventually he kissed me goodbye. He said he would try to make it back on the last ferry that night, but I knew that wouldn't likely happen. I was on my own. I changed back into my jeans and sneakers for the trip across the fields to the wedding venue, little black dress stuffed into a bag. I pushed up my umbrella and set out into the soft green grass to face the wedding music.

Despite being moved indoors, the wedding was utterly dreamy. Galpal was a vision of womanly perfection. A porcelain bride doll, sweetly crying for joy, pearls in her hair, flawless skin and elegant sweetheart-necklined gown, strapless, beaded, with a full skirt and chapel length train. Her veil just demurely brushed the top of her dress in the middle of her back. Groom was adorably nervous. They both cried when they said their vows. We all did. It was, in spite of the rain, the perfect wedding. Everything was gorgeous. All done in shades of purple, a little blue and pale yellow here and there. A seashell/seaside theme, very delicate, uniquely Block Island and the very essence of Galpal. Real Lilacs were woven into an arched trellis, under which the ceremony was perfomed. The whole room smelled divine. When they kissed we thought they'd never let go of each other. We were all caught up in the magic of patient, understanding, lasting love.

At the reception, both Galpal and Groom each took a turn singing with the band. They are both professional musical theatre performers with years of experience. They sang to each other. She sang "Someone to Watch Over Me" and he sang "It Had to be You."

Not a whole lot of people there I knew very well. I sort of knew about 6 people there, whom I had met at various parties Galpal had thrown over the years. They weren't very friendly. I got sick of trying to worm into various conversation knots. The few people who actually were conversant either left early, were drunk, dirty old men, or had dates handing on their arms, giving the impression that they were talking to me out of sympathy.

EH was a complete black cloud who refused to interact with me in any way. He avoided me like the plague. My multiple attempts to be friendly and have fun were icily rebuked. When practically the entire wedding was on the dance floor, I asked him to dance with me. "I don't think so," he said, looking away. "Fine," I said, "I'll be taking pictures." I walked around snapping candid shots with one of those single-use cameras that are always present at modern weddings. At some point, EH just vanished. He left early without saying goodbye.

This shouldn't have bothered me. I felt like dirt. I was positive that his seeing me with bf the previous night was the cause of his behavior. But - we had discussed this! He assured me that he was ok with it! WHY IS HE ACTING THIS WAY!? I was devastated. I meandered about the hall, trying to wrench my mind off of him and the enmity so thick in the air, trying to get someone - anyone - to dance with me. I was desperate to have some fun. EH's complete and total rejection of me was a knife in my heart.

I swear to God, I was the cutest girl in the room, and nobody would dance with me. I mean I was a snack treat in that dress, those shoes, perfect hair...! Eventually I danced with one old guy who was a perfect gentleman. This turned out to be grand, since older guys really know how to dance. He jitterbugged me around like a sailor on shore leave at the USO. Shortly thereafter I dragged one of the sewing hands - an adorable gay guy - onto the dance floor. He and I had chatted before the ceremony. There he was with his little sewing kit, nervously hoping the bridesmaids didn't step on their hems. He was a terrible dancer, but a very good sport. Eventually there was some fun "circle" dancing, a bunch of gals shakin' our butts to Mustang Sally and whatnot, but for the most part, I had nothing to do but kibitz and drink.

The bride danced with her dad. I did a shot. The Groom danced with his Mom. I did another shot. Wander, kibitz, eat some cake, another shot. You get the picture. Thank God I'm a happy drunk. I grabbed galpal and waltzed her around the floor. Her laughter rang like bells in the air. Someone took photos of us, having a ball. Time for another shot. Then the bouquet toss.

Now, I sort of had a companion in Soprano. She and I are both too old and have been through too much shit for a bouquet toss. We sort of hunkered down at the bar and watched the twenty-somethings prepare to dive. All of a sudden, out of the blue comes Groom. He grabs my shoulders and wheels me toward the floor. "Come on, let's go."

My blood ran cold. My stomach churned. "No, I can't..." "You have to!" He said, still pushing.

I panicked. Too much booze, too much emotion. "Groom, I can't - EH LEFT! HE's GONE!" Groom stared at me in disbelief. "I'M STILL IN LOVE WITH MY HUSBAND!!" I cried.

Groom stopped pushing. He pulled me into a very sweet hug. "I'm so sorry..." he said. "I thought you were just being shy." "No," I said, "I'm being serious." I felt myself starting to cry and pulled away. "You better get out there," I said to him. Groom released me somewhat apologetically and rushed off into the crowd.

I felt my face turning crimson. What on Earth did I just say?? I deftly moved to the other side of the room. I drank a glass of water. I waited until Galpal was done, then I quietly told her I was done for the night. She was too happy, I think, to realize what was going on. She hugged me goodbye, and I exited the arena.

I changed back into my jeans in the bathroom, sobbing loudly. I called EH's home answering machine and listened to his voice. I hung up the phone. "You Jackass!" I sobbed to the walls. "How could you let this happen! I married you! I actually married you! I went through with it! And you just let it go!" I cried and cried and eventually snuck out the back door, back out into the rain.

Trudging through the fields, about halfway back to the B&B I noticed a tiny miniature housefront set up near a small creek running between the wedding venue and the B&B. It looked like the front of a doll's house. Probably used for taking photos. I walked over to it, went around behind it and crouched. Sitting in a doll's house. Looking out windows from non-existent rooms. Like my marriage. A very nice front... with nothing behind it but my imagination, my fantasies, my little girl's dreams. I stayed there behind that little house front for a long time, letting the rain fall on my umbrella, feeling my sneakers soaking through, wondering if it was the rain or my tears that I was drowning in.

I was still crying when I reached the B&B. It was still light outside when I changed into my pajamas, and got into bed. Somewhere around 7:30. Last ferry off the island, I thought to myself. Sleepily, I called bf's cell phone. Voicemail. I cried again. "I had a really great time," I sobbed. "Call me." My ears were ringing very loudly. I closed my eyes. The room wasn't dark enough. The images rolled through my mind, the insides of my eyelids becoming a home-movie screen... Galpal in her dress... Groom in his tux... EH in his white wedding tux... me in my wedding dress... Galpal singing at our wedding... EH and I singing at hers...

At about 10:30 PM, I woke with a splitting headache. I got up to pee and wash my face, then discovered I had no Advil or any other type of pain killer. Serves me right, I thought. I laid down and let the pounding in my head drive me back to sleep.

The next morning, I awoke to the dawn sun poking in my windows. 5:30 AM.

Awoke again at 6:15. Again at 7:24. I don't have to get up until 8, I thought. Breakfast was served from 8 to 10 AM. Ach, I got up anyway. At this point my body was screaming for the world's oldest hangover remedy: Coffee. I was showered and dressed by 8:30, so I donned my shades and ventured out.

At 8:30 AM, it was about 70 degrees and sunny. Now that the wedding was over, the weather was perfect.

After breakfast and settling the bill, I had about an hour's worth of free time before I caught the ferry back, so I sat on the front porch of the B&B, reading my novel, and listening to seagulls diving in and out of the ocean. The wedding seemed years ago. I finally got what I came to Block Island for: a moment of peace. It was almost as though someone was trying to cheer me up. The Great Mother, drying my tears, saying "I'm sorry, it just HAD to be rainy, cold, and awful for those two days, nothing to do with you, I'm just sorry you got caught up in it..."

David's behavior on Sunday hurt me deeply. It shouldn't have. But then every time I think I'm past this pain, I'm not. This has happened before.

I hate that my pain eclipses my ability to enjoy other people's happiness. Why couldn't I just push my own feelings aside and swim in the happiness of Galpal and her Groom? I was shocked, embarrassed,and confused by my own emotions, and humiliated by what I could remember of my resultant behavior.

I think I needed my boyfriend at the wedding more than I realized. At least, I know that his presence would have kept me from over-drinking and over-thinking. Not only does he cheer me up and support me in my blues, but he reminds me that the present is now. I think I see him as my future, as some kind of healing. He is like a reward for all I have survived... and a motivator to keep myself honest. I want to be a better person than I was Sunday afternoon. I want to never doubt that I deserve a happy, simple future - the kind of future that bf is offering me.

The problem is, I have virtually no faith that it will ever happen. Even if I deserve it. Even if I get married again... of course it will also fail. I never get to keep good things in my life - that's for other people. I feel cursed. I know it sounds trite. But it's how I feel. Shit just happens. Every foundation I tried to build a House on has crumbled. Selfish CEO's sell 200-year old companies and ruin livelihoods. The best church ministers never stay put for more than 2 years. Husbands turn stubborn, childish, and bitter. No matter what choices I make, no matter how hard I try to prepare... Weddings get rained out. Life just sucks.

Bf and I both have stories about a lifetime of bad luck - weather- and other-wise. I told him it led me to come to the conclusion long ago that I'd better not ever really want anything or look forward to anything - it's a sure bet that it will never come to pass. He says things like "You can't let yourself think that way." Oh, well then.

I have no idea if what I said to Groom at the wedding is true. Part of me feels that I have no business whatsoever dating anyone. Another part of me says that I'm just confused, I was drunk, and I should just forget it. I will always love EH in a very special, private way. And I do love my bf - in what I feel is a much more honest, real, tangible way. I guess if I could say what love really was, and how to tell which type of love was the forever, build-your-life on it kind... well, I'd be a Goddess. Or a millionaire.

The wedding was perfection. The Spring House Hotel does an average of 60 weddings per year. They had a contingency plan - weather schmeather. They effortlessly moved the entire thing indoors, and it was magical. All shades of lavender and cream, beautiful music and good food. Galpal was radiant. We singers were flawless. That's all that matters. If I was a mature person, a stronger, healthier, less self-centered person, there would be no "but."


No comments: