The day was here, finally.
I really played this down to my parents. I said I was just meeting Ethan in Tallahassee to do some paperwork, you know, we had to get things started.
His mother and brother picked me up early that morning, and I was ready.
I had all my paperwork filled out. I did an online premarital counseling course, so we could just waltz in and get the marriage license and get married at the same time instead of waiting the three-day period that was required by the state of Florida.
Maybe there are some things that shouldn’t be done online.
I left wearing sweat pants and brought my white sundress in a bag.
Love you. See you guys later.
We got to Tallahassee, and boy, it was hot.
“I can’t be sweating, I am getting married today!”
I think I changed into my sundress in the bathroom of the library near the clerk of court’s office.
So, we waited.
I paced back and forth for an hour, at least.
He was late, of course. Cant he do anything right?
No, I was going to be positive, I needed to be.
This marked the day of a step forward.
Soon, we weren’t going to be long-distance anymore.
Soon, we were going to be better.
Soon, he will start keeping promises.
He finally shows up in his dress blues, with two guys I have never seen before.
Where were you?
I had to wait for my friends.
Of course, the one day I was supposed to be first, I wasn’t.
Was I ever going to be first?
But he did look handsome.
We sat together.
We signed the papers.
His brother, Evan, signed the witness line.
We watched a woman walk out in a full wedding gown and veil.
It’s just the courthouse, girl.
It was our turn.
I can’t believe I am doing this.
Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect her, forsaking all other and holding only unto her?
My family won’t like this.
I do. Does he?
Calm down, this is what you’ve wanted all along.
With this ring, I thee wed.
I love him.
I now declare you to be Husband and Wife.
His mother was so happy.
OK that was it, we were married.
Why is it so easy to get married?
We were heading back home to my parents’ house, the four-hour drive.
Those guys were with him so he could drop them off in Tampa on the way.
How nice of him.
He also knew someone else in Tampa, who had something he needed to pick up.
I wonder what that was.
Even on our wedding day? You have to?
I’m stressed, babe, come on.
My parents were waiting by the door.
They told us congratulations.
They didn’t mean it.
My dad started to tear up when I told him Ethan proposed a few months earlier, and that was probably one of maybe two times I had seen him cry in my whole life.
We went to Beef O’Bradys in Englewood to meet my sister and her boyfriend.
She wasn’t happy with me.
She thought it was a mistake. It was too soon.
I know it was, but I love him.
It will be okay.
I remember being shattered that no one supported me.
Why can’t you just be happy for me?
In retrospect, I understand.
They saw the negatives because they never knew the positives that I did.
They noticed that his pupils were the size of a pin.
They saw he was always sweating.
They saw when he made me cry.
Sometimes I was running out of excuses.
I don’t know. I just love him.
I didn’t want to be 25 one day and regret not marrying him, wondering what could have been.
Despite it all, I was happy, I think.
It is hard to remember those feelings now, how much I loved him to just forget how my family felt and run away to get married to him.
I would never be so blinded now.
I guess sometimes the best lessons come from the hardest experiences.
I never thought I would be 18 and married to the guy I was dating for EIGHT months.
Yeah I know, eight months.
I felt like we had been through a lifetime together in that time.
I was there the whole time he was in boot camp.
I flew to Illinois watch him graduate.
It was going to be a fairy tale.
Soon we will live together, and everyone will see.
We will make it.
If we love each other, we will get through anything.
I can’t wait to live with him.