Today should have been my 10th wedding anniversary, but it’s not. Instead it is on Monday, July 7th and the story behind it is comical.
Jacob and I were young by today’s standards when one gets married. He was 21, and I was just 23. We had been dating for 4 years, and no contrary to popular belief (can we say mother in law) I was not at that time pregnant. Jacob had joined the Navy in February 1997, and was living in Connecticut. I received my degree in April, and in May found myself on a Greyhound to New London. Jacob had no idea I was coming, and when I arrived there was great speculation as to my state of being as I arrived in the legal department of the United States Navy. Once his superior officer confirmed thru Jacob that I was not a jilted bride, or that I was carrying his love child after a drunken night at the local tavern we were free to begin a life together.
In October we rented our first apartment together. It was the tiniest studio apartment you can imagine. We owned a tv, rocking chair, futon, computer desk, and table. That was the entirety of our furniture. From October through June we lived in sin, unbeknown to my parents who thought we were married in September—they wouldn’t come to visit us unless we were married, and I was so home sick. In July I finally decided that it was time for Jacob to make an honest woman out of me, so I decided to be a little passive aggressive. Boy, would I have had egg on my face if he called my bluff!
On July 1st I told him “I am content this way. I don’t need to be married. After all if I wanted too I could just leave it wasn’t like we were married” Moments later he was on the computer. “What are you doing?” I asked, and he informed me that he was researching where we could be married without needing to wait. He settled on Brattleboro Vermont. It was just over the Massachusetts border and he happened to have leave for the 4rth of July holiday. We would be married on July 3rd.
Early in the morning we piled into our car and headed north. When we arrived in Brattleboro we immediately sought out the court house. Unfortunately, there was a note on the door. Written on an 8 ½ X 11 sheet of plain white paper “SORRY BUT WE ARE CLOSED FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY HOLIDAY” I was crushed. It was July 3rd, not the 4th and I wanted to get married. Immediately I broke down in tears. “You’re never going to bring me back here. We’re never going to get married” So much for my bluff! He knew exactly how I felt. He assured me that not only would we be married, but that we would be married soon….Mind you Jacob was in the Navy, and I had my degree yet it didn’t occur to either of us, you can’t just put a hand written closed sign on the court house door. Even so we headed home….As we headed back to Connecticut I couldn’t help but thinking that I was no closer to becoming his wife than I was the week before. Heck, at that time we didn’t even have a wedding ring for either of us. What made me think we were actually going to be hitched?
Remember, July 7th is our 10th anniversary. The story of how I finally got to the altar…and how we came to realize that July 3rd really could have been our wedding day if we had just paid a little closer attention will be posted on Monday…