November 1. Now that’s a date I don’t need a reminder for even though I’ve taken all precautions and put it into every electronic media at my disposal as a reminder. That’s the day I got hitched, or to use the more polite form, married.
I remember it as one of these dismal rainy days adding to the usual set of worries about planning such an auspicious occasion. There were no wedding planners in those days to organize everyone and everything. You did it yourself, and it’s a fearsome journey you have to travel getting preliminaries sorted out, financed and delivered on time. As we were financing the whole shebang ourselves it was an added horror to see carefully mustered savings drain away at an alarming rate. What on earth would we live on after the grand day’s dust had settled and we entered the world of reality?
Relatives from afar had gathered in Adelaide, Australia for the grand event, so in addition to the tension of shepherding plans to a successful conclusion we had to see to their comfort. We’d heard horror stories of relatives coming to blows over protocol of seating at the reception, but thankfully nothing like that happened to us. Our relatives were docile and supportive and seemed to be happy to see us taken off the marriage market.
Apart from the little flower girls wetting their pants there was not much in the way of entertainment during the service. Not sure why they did that as we didn’t look that scary! No groom or groomsmen fainted under the strain of it all and no search was made for a lost wedding ring. There was no one to shout out an objection when the Minister of the Gospel paused meaningfully and surveyed the audience for what seemed an eternity after those fateful words, “If anyone has any objection, etc.” My brother who I’ve irritated on many occasions must have been under a great strain not to speak out at that time and expose me before the watching audience. I owe him!
It was at the reception I really excelled myself. After the usual round of speeches and response the MC whispered it was time to go change into going away outfits and reappear to be introduced to well wishers as man and wife after their appetites were sated. The Minister officiating pointed Georgine to the changing room. This was the moment I’ve relived over the years with a cringe each time it’s recalled.
“Where do I change?” I asked. The minister looked at me with initial amusement, but then seeing I was serious his countenance registered surprise. I was serious? The man of the cloth burst into a gigantic guffaw which brought guests rushing to see what the matter was.
“You’re married! You dress in the same room!” I could see his brain working full speed, and it said, “How did this innocent idiot capture this maiden?” As I certainly was not innocent this was the crowning humiliation and I slunk in to get changed.
It had been arranged that one of our old friends would take us to his home after the reception, and at an appropriate time later take us to our hidden car so we could begin our honeymoon journey without usual friendly harassment.
Now there was good reason for that. We had a wide circle of young adult friends who were determined to make our first night of marriage a memorable one. One would presume it was a funeral procession rather than a marriage judging by the number of cars following us to our friend’s home. Our young adult friends were certainly surprised at the turn of events. Was this idiot going to compound his foolish mistake at the reception by spending honeymoon night at an old couple’s house? They were not to be moved from their resolve to torment us on that first night however.
To our surprise a happy group appeared in the living room where we’d hopefully waited for them to tire and go home. They’d broken in! The master of the house went into orbit and threatened them with police action and that worked miracles. Within five minutes there wasn’t a car to be seen in front of the house. The young adults had fled in fear of a police visit.
We were spirited through a back gate to a neighbor’s house and transported to our waiting hidden car. We’d outsmarted the gang though they were probably thinking black thoughts of us at that moment. Maybe I wasn’t a complete idiot after all? The plan seemed to have worked well.
But there was one more lesson I had to learn on that occasion. We were on the road to a long anticipated honeymoon and enjoying the experience of being together. A suitable hotel being found on the way we unpacked the car and headed in to wash road grime from our fatigued bodies. My new bride graciously declined the shower and insisted I take first turn. Not long into my shower I was alternatively scalded and frozen as water jets increased and decreased rhythmically. Why did we have to choose a hotel with horrendous plumbing? It was during one of the scald sessions I noticed a delicate female hand manipulating the taps. My bride was acting up already, and we were barely married! What did the future hold if this was to be my lot in life? But I decided to ignore what I’d seen and wait my turn at the fun.
Very soon it was Georgine’s turn and I rubbed my hands with the balm of anticipation. Revenge would be swift and brutal! But my bride was watching carefully and admonished me in a sharp tone. “Don’t do that!”
“And why not? I asked. You’ve had your fun and now it’s my turn!” This was said as I flung back the shower curtain and eyeballed my mischievous wife.
Georgine surveyed me calmly, and with the authority of a professor said. “Because sudden changes in temperature damage a woman’s reproductive system!”
Now I had my serious doubts about the sincerity of this new woman I was being introduced to. How could this be? But on the other hand there are mysteries about women that men will never understand. Was this one of those mysteries? I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and backed off. Georgine went about her business without a backward glance in my direction, but I’m sure she was mulling over in her mind whether the Minister at the reception may have had my number when in a moment of thoughtlessness I asked the way to the men’s changing room. This would open many possibilities for her in future if it were to be true.
What a memorable occasion. After several similar experiences I’ve come to the conclusion even the most innocent looking women have a deep side to them no man can fathom. But then who cares? I like them just the way they are. Life is a surprise a minute when they’re around!
“© Copyright Ian Grice 2012 All rights reserved”