My dear friend Lorraine (dothedishesfirst.blogspot.com) has posted a couple of pictures from my wedding weekend (August 98). That was really an amazing weekend - actually an amazing ten days from the arrival of the first guests, my mom, my aunt Sue, and Julie, to the last departure.
I went to Paris to meet Mom, Sue and Julie. We had a few really fun days in Paris before heading to Nantes, where I was living at the time. My mother and Sue were staying in a hotel, Julie and I were in a hostel a few districts away. Mom and Sue had all kinds of adventures. My mother is a magnet for that kind of thing...
One evening, after dinner with Julie and me at a pizzeria where the owner shamelessly flirted with Mom, it was decided that they could make it back to their hotel unescorted on the metro. They got in, knew where to get off, everything was going well. Until. At their stop, they were the only ones getting off. And they couldn't get the door open. Parisien metros have a kind of flip up handle that seems pretty straightforward but it was Mom. So they look at a man standing near the door and Mom says the ONLY French word she can think of while pointing to the door, "Bonjour." Now, mind you, it's about 10:30 in the evening, so Bonsoir would've been the better choice but, either way, it was going to have minimal impact on the door problem. No response. She continues. And continues. Finally, after about the 6th bonjour, the man tilts his head and says, "Bonjour." And then kindly opens the door for them. This was followed by being caught in a downpour which was not kind to a badly tie-dyed scarf being used to 'protect' hair, being two blocks from the hotel and still being lost, and being given faulty directions by well-meaning police officers who couldn't stop laughing at the scarf.
A few days after we arrived in Nantes, Eric, Lorraine, and Dylan arrived. We ate, drank, and were merry through a civil ceremony, a religious ceremony, and a day-after party. My father-in-law had tears in his eyes when he said goodbye to Dylan.
There was also magic that weekend. Julie was actually pregnant with her daughter (and my goddaughter) Adele but she didn't know it yet, the moon was higher and bigger and brighter than I have ever seen it (it was full on the night of our religious ceremony), my soon-to-be father-in-law didn't even blink when I asked him to walk me down the aisle, and I actually got married. I never really thought I would get married - I figured I would always be with the older guy or the married guy or the older married guy or the young but very wrong guy. And yet there I was, next to the perfect man for me - right for me for all the wrong reasons and wrong for me for all the right reasons. He often says he knows me comme s'il m'avait faite (as if he had made me) - and he's right because in some ways he did make me. He made me into the wife and mother I never thought I would be. Even more incredible is that I got to begin down that road with my friends standing right there wishing me a bon voyage. I doubt they know how much it meant to me - they can't - as I couldn't describe how loved I felt in the church that day, knowing how far they had come and how much they had done for me.
Eric, Lorraine, Dylan, Beth, Julie, Mom, Sue - nearly eight years and two children later, thank you my friends. You are treasured.