Scott and I started dating in October of 1999. We moved in together in February of 2000. Yes, it was fast. That is about the only thing we did quickly. Much to my mother's chagrin, we were not married until July 29, 2004. Today is our wedding anniversary.
There are several reasons we waited for five years to be married. Paramount was the fact that, during our five year "courtship" I battled both cancer and endured numerous surgeries to keep my foot. I had my foot amputated in 2003. I didn't want to get married until I could walk down the aisle unhindered by pain and crutches. I think both Scott and I knew that we would be married, so neither of us ever felt pressured to "make it official."
We opted for a small destination wedding opposed to the traditional church ceremony. On an earlier vacation we both fell in love with the island of Anguilla. On our first trip to this island, we both knew that we wanted to exchange vows in the beautiful tropical setting.
To be completely honest, if I had the opportunity to repeat my wedding, I would have done most things differently. I would still pick Scott as the groom. This is probably the only variable that would remain the same.
My destination wedding was relatively simple to plan. My mom and my dad and his wife attended from my family. Scott had his mom and sister and her husband. It was a small, intimate group. I hesitate to use the term "destination wedding" to describe the event. In reality, it morphed into a family vacation which happened to include a wedding.
A few days before the ceremony, the entire wedding party headed to the beach for a day sunny fun. Feeling like a youthful, adventurous bride, I convinced Scott that we should rent jet skis. Big mistake.
At this time, I was overweight and still relatively weak. My amputation was just a year old, and I was still adjusting to moving with a prosthetic. I did not have a water leg, so my prosthetic had to be removed to ride the jet ski. No leg, fat and weak. Not a good combination.
After about 15 minutes of tooling around the Caribbean Sea, we promptly tipped the jet ski. Scott was unable to right the machine, and it was starting to sink. I was holding onto my brother-in-law's jet ski, desperately trying to climb on. Because I only had one leg, I wasn't able to get onto the seat.
I was getting tired, and Scott was slowly floating away from me as he was frantically trying to hold on to a sinking jet ski. The sun was beating down on us from above and being reflected by the waves. We were stuck. We were scared.
Finally the jet ski rental representatives were alerted to our plight and came to our rescue. One man helped me onto a seat and took me to shore. My Mom met me with my leg. I was crying because Scott was still floating in the ocean. I thought that the jet ski had been completely submerged. I was worried for his safety. I was also worried that we were going to have to pay for the ruined jet ski.
Thankfully Scott was brought in by another rescuer. The jet ski was salvaged and we were not charged. We both sustained painful sunburns, just in time for our wedding.
My Mom and I went to Anguilla the next day to prepare for the ceremony. I vomited all over the deck hand as we were docking on the small island. We were shown our room and I began to unpack. This is when I discovered that my "sweet little kitty" had peed all over the groom's outfit before we left for the trip.
We hand washed the shirt and aired it out to dry. We were desperate to try to rid the garment of the distinct odor of cat urine. We were unsuccessful. Scott was married smelling of cat pee.
On the day of the wedding, my Mom and I went to the ultra fancy Cuisinart Spa for an afternoon of pampering before the ceremony. We checked in for our appointments and were instructed to change into the provided robes.
I am so glad that I was with my Mom. We both tried the robes on, and were horrified when they were too small. Actually, I suspect that we were simply too big, but it makes me feel better to blame it on the robe! Upon hearing us chatting and laughing, the attendant presented us with what we dubbed "fat woman" robes to wear.
The ceremony was beautiful. A steel drum played as I walked down the aisle. I underestimated the difficulty of walking in the sand on a prosthetic, but I managed. Finally, we were going to be married.
Scott and I agreed on a non-denominational ceremony because we simply wanted to exchange vows. We thought that the minister was aware of our wishes. We were wrong.
Half-way through the ceremony, the minister paused and quizzed Scott and I on the Bible. I was absolutely dumbstruck. I was uncomfortable. My Jewish father and my Catholic step-mother were uncomfortable. These feelings remain raw after all these years. I try not to think about this moment because it stirs up such emotion.
After the impromptu Bible quiz we were finally ready to exchange our vows. All of a sudden, I see my Mom approaching me out of the corner of my eye. She licked her hand. Before I knew it, she was giving me a spit bath in the middle of my wedding ceremony. Apparently my make-up wasn't laying correctly. To her defense, my make-up was difficult to apply because of the sunburn I sustained from the jet ski incident. (To be fair, my Mom and I continue to disagree about the exact time the spit bath occurred. She does not deny that it happened.)
Seated next to my new husband, who reeked of cat urine, we dined on steak and lobster under a clear sky and full moon. The food was wonderful, and we were married. I even have the wedding license to prove it, where my name is preceded by the title of "spinster."