White wedding

Everything went silent. I couldn’t hear the officiant. I couldn’t hear the waves. I couldn’t hear the seagulls. I was in a complete sound vacuum, as I watched her lips. I wanted to absorb the moment she said, “I do.”

Mrs. & Mrs.
Mrs. & Mrs.

Everything up to that point was chaotic. A whirlwind of ridiculousness, from a late start to a long drive caused by a disastrous manicure to a traffic delay due to weather and hunger. All of this compounded by an additional 25 minute tour of all of Key West’s dead-end streets in an effort find our hotel, which was outside of the purview of our GPS, but somehow still under the control of President Truman.

From the moment we finally set our bags down in our room, we had  exactly 30 minutes to get ready. Thirty minutes. Two brides. One bathroom.

“I need the eyeliner,” she said

I looked in the monster make-up bag I had packed just 5 hours prior. But there was no use, I knew the moment she said eyeliner that I forgot to pack it.

Nearly fourteen years of togetherness are all riding on getting through the next 19 minutes and counting. I was not about the let a shitty black crayon get in the way of marrying the woman I love. I contemplated a few options, like sticking one of her thin make-up brushes into the mascara tube or just handing her a pen.

“You’re not going to believe this,” I said, full knowing that she would believe it.

Profuse apologies followed and then her half-acceptance of them, but really, we didn’t have time to fight about eyeliner. We barely had time to look at each other. And every time we did, one of us would get teary-eyed, so I think it was a good thing we didn’t have the stupid eyeliner.

We made it to the beach exactly 2 minutes before our scheduled time, but our officiant was already there, which meant I didn’t have time to tell her all of the things I wanted to say. I couldn’t tell her that she looked more beautiful than ever. I couldn’t tell her that I loved her. I couldn’t thank her for planning this beach wedding because I am too much of a princess to get married in a courthouse where Alex Hanna is fighting traffic tickets in the next window. I couldn’t tell her that she made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I couldn’t apologize for forgetting to pack the eyeliner and all of the other countless stupid shit I do on an hourly basis. I couldn’t say a word. We were too busy making small talk and going over forms and making transactions.

And the more I desperately tried to slow down the moment, the faster it seemed to go. Before I could get my bearings we were under a palm tree holding each other’s hands. This was really happening. I was really marrying her. Officially. Legally. Forever.

I was asked to say, “I do” first. The words fell out of my head like the contents of a plastic Easter egg. Two words have never been said more clumsily. I could’ve as easily said, “Yeah, yeah.”

But now it was her turn. The person that swore marriage wasn’t for her. The person that argued the concept of marriage was antiquated and patriarchal. The person that even to this day feels like we are rushing into things when we make plans six months in advance. The most private person I know is now being asked to publicly affirm that she was completely cool with having a wife forever. For. Ever.

“I do,” she said in her softest, most graceful voice.

And with that my hearing returned. The roar of the ocean, the click of the camera, the officiant’s memorized speech about the significance of a ring. All of it came back and louder than ever.

Since then life has been just a little more bright and just a little more loud and just a little more perfect.

Here’s to another fourteen years…this time we get to be newlyweds.

Bikini kill

I used to think about dying all the time.

It wasn’t always this way. I mean, just a decade ago the thought never crossed my mind. Actually, lots of thoughts didn’t cross my mind. I was carefree, immortal, and had no qualms about what I looked like in a bikini.

Somewhere in my early thirties, this overwhelming fear took over. It was subtle at first. Funny things, like I could choke on a piece of chicken and die – only the chicken was boneless, skinless, and shredded. That turned into not being able to finish a screenplay or any of my projects because as soon as I finished it, I would undoubtedly croak, leaving it as my legacy. And it would probably be a shitty legacy full of typos.

This fear got somewhat out of control. Somewhat. It was on really bad days that I didn’t want to leave the house for fear of some Final Destination scene playing out on the Palmetto Expressway. Luckily, those bad days were few and far between. What was prevalent was an acute awareness of my actions – in how every action had a potential consequence of death. Like running down the stairs. Or swimming in the ocean. Or yelling at a driver. I became consumed with these thoughts. And, at the same time, I became increasingly concerned with being seen in my bathing suit.

Somehow death and beach became the two most important things to avoid.

The thought of being among a multitude of strangers in clothes that could double as underwear freaked me out. I couldn’t understand how after a lifetime of beach-going I had never noticed that I was basically taking a communal bath with hundreds of people. Where the heck were my parents in all of this? Oh, that’s right, they were right there, in their “underwear” too. I mean, my mother didn’t wear sleeveless shirts in public, but on the beach, she was near-naked. Sometimes fully exposed by a rogue wave. And she’d laugh and laugh.

I don’t think she’d laugh if that happened to her at the grocery store.

Maybe I would.

This past weekend I went to the beach. In a bathing suit. I even mustered the courage to remove my cover-up and actually lay out in nothing but my bathing suit for all Fort Lauderdale to see. But, I sat up every two and a half minutes to make sure no one was staring. It’s not like I had a plan of action if I caught a gawker. And, as you can guess, no one looked. I was practically invisible. But, every 120 seconds I’d shoot up from my towel to scan the perimeter.

After an hour of this madness, I started to feel light-headed. I chugged water like a desert-dweller, but that just made me nauseous. The sound of the ocean faded. The sun became covered with black, sparkly spots. My labored breathing became loud enough to hurt my head. And, just when I was about to close my eyes and accept my fate, my inner voice screamed, “Holy fuck, you’re going to die in a bikini!”

In my thought-to-be-last-act on Earth, I grabbed my shorts and struggled to pull them up my legs. In my weakened state, I rolled around like a clumsy seal, kicking up sand and causing a bit of commotion. With the shorts around my thighs, I used the last bit of energy I had to stand up and finish pulling those insanely tight shorts over my bathing suit bottoms. There I was, upright, for all the beach to see, but I couldn’t see anything or anyone. I couldn’t hear anything either. I had died and the only thing separating my vagina from the masses was spandex. Without a complete screen play. Without a finished book. Without having told the Librarian where I hid her favorite pajamas that I hate so much.

The impact of my chest hitting the sand woke me up, like a defibrillator. And, as I slowly turned my head to open my eyes, I realized that I was alive. That the Librarian was still reading her book. And that the entire beach hadn’t even noticed.

And that day, all was right in the world.

Two weeks

It is highly suggested that an employee offer their employer at least two weeks notice before vacating a job. However, in an unprecedented move, my new employer has given me two weeks notice to vacate my pajamas.

Two Mondays from now I’ll be in front of a computer, not in my living room, but in an office. In an office, surrounded by people. People that are co-workers. I will have office hours and rules I must adhere to.  So, I will be unable to do the things I normally get to do during the day – making the next  weeks extremely important. I have to pack in three-hour lunches with middle of the day beach breaks between people watching and writing.

For the next fourteen days, I will share my middle of the day to-do list with you. And will also take suggestions. If there’s something you would like me to do in the middle of the day that you can’t, let me know, I’ll add it to my list.

Tick, tock. Tick, tock. Two weeks. The countdown begins. Now.

Today’s task:

3:00 PM – Hang with Grandma at the beach