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.

Paper news

Herald: a person or thing that precedes or comes before; forerunner; harbinger.

Herald.com: the receptacle of grammatically poor and intellectually flat commentary that sets us back the to The Dark Ages.

I wonder if Henry M. Flagler looked up the definition when he bought The Miami Evening Record and renamed it The Miami Herald. Or maybe he just got the name from an existing paper. And that’s okay. I forgive him for not getting creative with the name of our daily paper, after all he was connecting trains to Key West for Christ’s sake.

I think about Mr. Flagler a lot. Particularly in the mornings when I drive through the 826-836 bridge/merge/mess construction-situation that is happening directly under the exit sign that bears his name. There is another sign too, the one that proudly boasts a completion date of 2016. Clearly the County government and the D.O.T. are aiming to get out of finishing the project, as they’ve projected the end-date after the Apocalypse.

I also think of Mr. Flagler when I visit Herald.com. I used to receive a physical paper, but I ended my subscription on the day I opened the travel section and found a full spread about visiting Egypt – on the same day the State Department issued a travel restriction due to the flipping revolution. Just a minor oversight.

I now subscribe to the New York Times, but I still get some local tidbits from the Herald’s online edition. But, really, I just like to read the comics.

Seriously?

 

This town needs so much more than another Henry M. Flagler.

Rubbers

This weekend I returned to the place I used to consider magical. The place I used to long to retire to. The place where Hemingway drank and Cubans arrived. However, I’ve found that in my four-year absence, Key West has been overrun with rubbers.

Two types of rubbers, actually.

The first type is men who wear rubber bands on their wrists. Not Livestrong rubber bands. I mean Office Depot rubber bands. With so many stores selling bracelets along Duval, I’m not sure why they would opt for a rubber band. I’m also not sure what deep philosophical meaning this fashion statement represents. I can only imagine they are longing for an office job.

The second type is women that violently rub their vaginas on objects, people, and street lamps. I witnessed three women gyrating on parked bicycles while posing for pictures. I also saw two women give a new meaning to bumping uglies. Such violent dry-hump-dancing in the keys is dangerous, considering the nearest hospital is 40 miles away.

These behaviors must change by the time I reach retirement age. Otherwise, I will have to consider a more appropriate and fashion-forward city – like New Orleans.