May 1, 2013
May Day is a Spring holiday in many parts of the world, but to Brian and I, it’s our Anniversary.
When we decided to get married, we knew that we didn’t want to accomplish this in the traditional way. I mean, I couldn’t imagine standing in a church, in front of an audience, and having people witness something so personal. I just couldn’t. And Brian went along with this. He pretty much goes along with anything. That’s the kind of guy he is.
So we “eloped.” I don’t think we can really call it eloping because we told everybody what we were doing, and we had a vague plan of how it would go down.
On a Thursday in April, 1995, we headed West for a 10-day “vacation-honeymoon” that proved to be something we have never regretted. I’m not knocking traditional weddings — they just weren’t for me/us. People should do what they want to do. Period. Our parents never said a negative word about it. They were just happy that we were happy.
We arrived in Sacramento on a sunny, warm day, and drove two hours to Reno, where Brian’s brother Joey and wife lived. We spent the weekend with them in Lake Tahoe (we ended up naming our first dog Tahoe after that memorable weekend) and had many discussions about how to accomplish what we set out to do.
We initially planned on getting married on Sunday, April 30th, but instead, Joey took us to Virginia City, Nevada that day with an idea for our wedding. He brought us to Silver Sadie’s Old Time Photo Shop, suggesting that we all dress up and have a wedding ceremony. Brian and I liked the idea, and Silver Sadie’s was on board.
Next, we found the jail to see if an official person with vested powers could see us through our wedding plans. “The Judge will be in tomorrow morning” the Sheriff said.
The next morning, Brian called the Judge from our hotel room to ask if she would do us the favor of presiding over our wedding. She agreed, and met us at Silver Sadie’s at 1:00pm on that Monday afternoon.
Brian worked out all of the details. I “just showed up.”
We had a very small wedding. There were five in attendance. Brian’s brother and his wife were our witnesses. The other 3 we didn’t know. They were the store owner and 2 customers.
After the simple ceremony, the four of us went to a little coffee shop about 3 doors down and had coffee and pie.
The next day, we left the Reno area and headed south for an eight hour ride to a little town called Vegas. I remember sitting in the passenger seat and looking over at Brian and thinking “Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m married, and to such a nice guy.” I was 33 years old, and lived pretty independently up until then. I wasn’t afraid of being married. It was just a new role and a new life. Our responsibilities to each other had reached a new level.
The night before our wedding, I received a message that we were doing the right thing. I wasn’t looking for a sign, but it came anyway in a fortune cookie. Six of us had dinner at a Chinese Restaurant in Reno. When the plate of fortune cookies came out, I picked the first cookie and passed them to the next person. To my surprise, my fortune read: “You are domestically inclined and will be happily married.” I sat for a few minutes before saying anything to anyone. I read my fortune a few more times and believed that I was supposed to pick that cookie.
I still have the fortune. I still carry it in my purse. I still believe it was meant for me.
I’m still married to that great and wonderful guy, Brian.