Promises, Promises (aka Wedding Vows)

“And will you be writing your own vows?” the wedding officiant asked.

“Yes,” Michael said, immediately and definitively.

I looked over at him. “We are?”

“Of course!”

Hmph. News to me. It’s not that I didn’t want to write them. Or did want to write them. Honestly, whether or not to do so had not yet crossed my mind.

A few days later, I asked Michael about it. “You’re the writer in the family,” he reminded me. No matter how many times I try to explain to Michael about the different types of writers, it never sticks. Copy writers. Travel Writers. Novel Writers. I am none of those (yet). Blog writer. Yes. That I am. I write stories. Not promises.

A few days before the wedding, I learned Michael had finished writing his vows. Which meant I should probably get started. So I did what any modern bride does: I googled, “How to write wedding vows.” I can’t imagine getting married pre-Google.

That night, I said to Michael, “So we don’t really write our own vows. We just google them, and copy what we like, right?”

“And personalize it,” he responded. Crap. “Some humor, some seriousness, a few promises . . . ”

The next night I said to Michael, “We should probably hear each other’s vows before the wedding.”

“We can’t do that! It’s supposed to be a surprise!”

“But what if I only have four lines written and you have four hundred?” I asked.

“You’re not going to have just four lines.” Silence. Waiting. “How about this,” he offered. “I’ll tell you how many words I have.”

“Oh, good. That’ll help.”

“You’ve written them, right?” he asked.

“Uh. Well. I’ve copied a bunch of things I like. I just haven’t edited them yet into something good.”

Luckily, on her wedding day, a bride has lots of time to wait. The hairdresser and make up artist both told me they’d arrive at 11. “For a 5:30 wedding?” I asked.

“Well, when does the photographer come?” the hairdresser asked me during my trial appointment.

“3:30.”

“So everybody needs to be ready by then. I like to have an hour for each person,” she said. “Just in case they don’t like it, we have time to redo it all. And for your nieces, they’ll take probably thirty minutes each.” I added it up in my head. Yep. She did the math correctly.

So after getting my hair and make up done, and eating lunch, I sat on an upholstered chair in the bridal suite, pulled out my computer, and finished revising (395 words to Michael’s 370 — perfect). I handed the computer to my maid-of-honor who read them and cried. Mission accomplished. At 2:39 p.m., I emailed them off to the wedding planner to print. And ultimately, I’m happy we wrote our own vows.

At my dream wedding, I’d have invited every single person I know, and had time to talk to each of them for hours. But, sadly,  I’m not an Indian bride (their weddings have thousands of attendees and last for days!). So I was not able to invite all of you. And some of you I invited were unable to come, so I present to you, dear friends, our vows.

If you’d like to hear us saying some of them (which I recommend), my dear friend Tara recorded some of them:

If you’d prefer to read them, Michael went first at the wedding, so here are his, followed by mine:

Rebecca, my darling. For over 4 years now, we have embarked on an incredible journey together. You are my my dream come true.

I look forward to loving the smallest moments, like the treasure that happens when watching you belly laugh to the point where you are out of breath. Or watching you stare at the wall when you first wake up. And I know it’s not quite staring at a wall (it’s just you thinking about the upcoming day), but oh does it make me smile.

Let’s make bad choices, eat the wrong things, take wrong turns, and then let’s tell great stories, the same ones-for ever and ever until no one can stand us but each other.

I promise that when you wake up in the morning, I will continue to show interest in hearing about your dreams, as mundane as they sometimes are.

I promise that I will join you on a Camino walk and share in one of your passions and to be there to help support your own dreams.

I promise to hold you when holding is needed. Not talking or giving advice, just holding. Because sometimes you just need to be held.

I promise to have food available for you on short and long trips as it is quite a sight to see the hangry that appears. I must admit though this is mainly for selfish reasons.

I promise to be there for you, to help support you in times of need and to laugh with you, belly laugh, silly little laughs, and all types of shared laughter. I truly believe that our collective smiles and laughter will bring us through many uncertain or trying times.

However much you love me, I love you more.

I am so excited that you entered my life over 4 years ago and that we get to spend the rest of our lives together. Our journey began a short time ago and my only regret is that it didn’t start sooner.

And with that my darling, let’s us move towards our next stage and continue to laugh and love together. I’m beyond joy with what lies ahead. I love you.

——

My dearest Michael —

I’ve heard that the things you love most about your partner are the things will drive you crazy in later years. So, in front of all these witnesses, I thought I’d say a few of the many things I love about you, so these wonderful people can remind me of them later in life.

Michael — I love that you are happy from the moment you wake up in the morning til the moment you go to sleep. I love that you make me laugh. A lot. With you. At you. At myself.

I love how you watch 58 YouTube videos before you take on any task that’s new to you.

I love that when I start to get angry about something you pull me into a hug and push my face into your chest, so that you can’t hear my protesting, and you won’t let me go til I’m laughing.

I love how, when we disagree about the small stuff, you quickly come over to my side — not necessarily because I’m right, but because it really is small stuff. And then I realize how much of that stuff doesn’t matter.

But I also love all the small stuff that you do that makes such a difference. Like when I come home to find you’ve unloaded the dishwasher, folded my laundry, or cleaned the kitchen. Or done all of the above.

So for these things, and all the other things I love about you,

Today, surrounded by people who love us

I, Rebecca, choose you, Michael,

to be no one other than yourself.

Loving what I know of you,

trusting what things I will discover,  

I marry you with no hesitation or doubt.  

 

I love you not only for who you are,

but for who I am when I’m with you.

I promise to choose you every day, to love you in word and deed,

To laugh with you, cry with you, grow with you, and create with you,

even as time and life change us both.

I promise to love you, support you, respect you, and above all else, make sure I’m not just yelling at you because I’m hungry.

I will care for you, stand beside you, and share with you all of life’s adversities and all of its joys from this day forward, and all the days of my life.

(thanks to George Urciuoli for this pic!)

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Who Is Gloria Morgan?

Our wedding web site allowed guests to contact us with questions about our upcoming nuptials. Early this year, we received this question from Gloria Morgan: 

Which of the accommodations have the highest thread count? Renaissance Marriott, Hampton Inn & Suites Asheville Biltmore Village, or Best Western Smoky Mountain Inn?

“Who’s Gloria Morgan?” Michael asked me. 

“I have no idea.” We chalked it up to spam.

Over the next few months, though, Ms. Morgan continued emailing us with inane questions.

  • For the Laurel Ridge Country Club: Shirt/shoes optional or mandatory?
  • Hi Rebecca and Mitchell! Hope this email is finding you well! Will Laurel Ridge Country Club be supplying two ply toilet paper or should we bring our own?
  • Hey guys! Sorry to bother you with so many questions! Is the Laurel Ridge Country club Segway accessible? I checked with Dawn but she wasn’t totally sure. Thanks! -GM
  • What is the anticipated pollen count for Waynesville on June 16, 2018?

I stopped reading them after a while. Just deleted them as soon as I saw her name. But then I realized a spammer targets one person and moves on. Or, usually, a whole group of people. But this person kept up with this for months.

Then I started putting other pieces together:

  • Our wedding web site included our home address, as we were having a barbecue there the day after the wedding.
  • The web site also had the time and day of the wedding.

I began to wonder if this person was going to rob us while we were at our own wedding. But I didn’t tell Michael this. He was stressed enough about getting house projects finished before our guests arrived.

Thankfully, I was on such a high on our wedding day that I didn’t think to much about it, though if, upon our return home on our wedding night, our house had been ransacked, I can assure you it’s the first thing I would have told the police.

On one table at our wedding, there was a basket that said, “Leave your wishes for the Mr. and Mrs.” The day after our wedding, Michael and I went through them and found one written by none other than Gloria Morgan.

Now it finally kicked in. Someone was playing a joke on us. Someone who had attended our wedding. So instead of a universe of spammers, we now had a mere 110 people as suspects.

But again life prevented us from thinking about it much more. Over the next three weeks we had a “mini-moon” in Savannah, a road trip up to Lake George and Schroon Lake, and  then yesterday’s big event: the New York Party–for all the folks in my home state who couldn’t make it to the wedding. And for those that did, but wanted to have good food, good company, and good wedding cake all over again in a much more casual environment. 

IMG_3451

At Canoe Island Lodge on Lake George. Ignore the pitchfork coming out of my head.

So last night, after everyone left, Michael and I sat down with my parents and my Aunt Janet to open gifts and read all the cards. We had just five left to read when Gloria Morgan struck again. “F*** Gloria Morgan!” I said. In her card, she had enclosed two 20% off coupons from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. The first had expired back in 2015. The second had expired in January. (Though everyone knows you can use those coupons long after they expire.)

“Who’s Gloria Morgan?” Dad asked.

We explained the messages, the note at our wedding. Michael and I both searched our emails to quote the questions she’d asked us. (We could only find half of them — we’d deleted the others.) 

“So it has to be someone who’s good with technology,” my mother said. “Which leaves me out,” said my father. “Me, too,” said Aunt Janet and my mother, in unison, laughing.

“It has to be someone who was at both parties,” Michael said.

“Or maybe they weren’t at this party — they could have sent the card with someone else,” I said.

“I might have seen Jeffrey put two cards in the basket,” said my mother. “Bethany can be a prankster.” And so it was that we sent a text to my brother Jeffrey and his wife Bethany. They claimed to have no idea what we were talking about. Though Bethany was at a bachelorette party, and admitted she may have been too drunk to understand what was going on.

“Gloria Morgan. GM,” pondered my mother. “MG! Meg Gallo!” proposed Aunt Janet. Or maybe Meg’s boyfriend Jimmy. He was just quiet enough and just funny enough and just unknown enough to maybe have been the guilty party. Michael texted Meg.

Michael: Thanks, Gloria Morgan.

Meg: Who the f is Gloria Morgan?!?!

Michael: We think it’s you.

Silence.

Meg was working in her ice cream store on a gorgeous 75 degree evening, so probably didn’t have time for our nonsense. So I called her boyfriend Jimmy. “Are you Gloria Morgan?” I said. He sounded a little confused. He has my number in his phone, so knew it was me calling. He feigned innocence.

Two hours later, we get a text from Meg: “I don’t know what you are talking about. . . I sling ice cream and don’t have time for shenanigans.”

“It’s obviously someone who keeps stuff around in their house for a long time,” I said, referring to the three-year-old Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupon. My parents certainly qualified on that count, but I hadn’t been in the homes of most of the other people in attendance in quite some time.

We tried Aunt Sharon and Uncle Dominic, starting our calls with, “Is it you, Gloria Morgan?” Both claimed innocence, “but let us know when you find out.” They called back mere minutes later with their suspects. “Your mother or Aunt Janet.”

“Nope, they’re both right here. And not savvy enough with computers to do it,” I said.

“I wish I had thought of this,” said Aunt Janet. At least one of us is definitely stealing this idea.

We tried contacting a few other suspects, but with no luck.

“You’re going to have to write a blog post about it,” my mother said. So voila. Will the real Gloria Morgan please stand up? And if she would like to remain a mystery, here’s what I want to say to her:

Dear Glo (as she signed one of her missives),

I would like to congratulate you on:

  • Your creativity.
  • Your consistency.
  • Your ability to print in a way that I swear was my sister Meg’s handwriting.
  • Your ability to scare the crap out of me.
  • Your ability to make a lot of people laugh over this story.

And thanks for not robbing us on our wedding day. 

With love,

Mr. and Mrs. Weston

p.s. Michael proofread my note to you and would like add: Stop sending us f’ing messages.