Flowers as Omens

This morning I was reminded of a post from a couple years back about my stepdaughter E. To say that she, or any of the kiddos, are the same people as they were when I wrote that, would be a lie.  They have changed in ways great and small, but I remain proud of them, and I continue to love them and who they are becoming.

Anyway, E spent the night, a very welcome visit that warmed my heart, which hearkened me back to my previous post about my little sunflower.  In that post, I mention sunflowers as an omen in my life, and they never were more than in the summer of 2016.

I didn’t intend to have sunflowers in my wedding bouquet, you see.  I didn’t intend for that to be the boutonnières. Yet, when we met with the florist and I looked through his ideas, these flowers stood out to me.  He gushed over them for a September wedding, so I went with it.  Afterall, they were one of my favorite flowers, they would look lovely in my color palette, and they made me think of Mark: we grew some together a few years prior, one that managed to grow even taller than him.

Then, we had a car accident, a T-bone with the kiddos which shook me something fierce.  No one was hurt, thank God, except Cathy, my minivan.  This car accident was on Memorial Day.  By my birthday, June 13th, we were homeless, as we had been kicked out of our apartment.  (If I knew then what I know now, this never would have happened and I would have had a lovely little lawsuit.  But I digress…) We moved our stuff to storage and put ourselves up in a crappy motel.  This is exactly 3 months before our wedding, and I have just started having gastroparesis flareups, and they’re talking layoffs at Mark’s work, so life is just FANTASTIC.

But then…

Then I get the cash back from the totaled car and it’s enough to get something a little better.  I go to a lot in Niagara Falls to check out a minivan they have, and hanging from the rearview mirror is a leather bracelet with a sunflower charm on it.  I look at it and think “cute.”  I buy the van, and that lovely lady Natasha rode with me really well, for a while.  I drove her into the motel parking lot after trolling around in the side-smashed van and felt very pleased and proud.  Then, I started looking for apartments.

Too many wanted a credit check.  Too many were too expensive for their locale and space.  Eventually, someone told me of a “for rent” sign they saw, and we called the number.  Mark was working, so I went to look at the apartment myself.  The first thing I noticed was the photo of a sunflower field that was hanging over the sink, 

The landlord and I hit it off, and he also really liked my mom, who tagged along, so we made a deal on the spot.  And when we finally moved in, that photo still sat over the sink, left behind by the previous tenants.  It remains there today.

When we got married, I was surrounded by sunflowers.  They were in the decorations, the bouquets, even on the cake.  I had come to think of them as a good omen, particularly towards mine and Mark’s life together. 

A couple of years ago, we took E to that sunflower field, and I thought of how lucky I was to have my husband and the kiddos and all this love in my life.  I thought of the time I went there with Bernie and Carey…I still think of that day as the true start of me and Careys friendship, when she went from being “Asshat’s girlfriend” to “MY friend.”  My mother buys me things with sunflowers on them, because she knows they bring me good vibes.  And oh, how I wish I had the space to grow some again!

Anyway, I just think that they are a good omen in my life, aside from the fact they bring sunshine with them wherever they go.  I adore driving past a sunflower field.  I love when Mark gets me a bouquet of them.  I can even say I have spent over an hour looking at different varieties on the internet. 

It’s just a good flower, y’know?


Wedding Bell Blues

Over the weekend I went to probably the most chill wedding I’ve ever been to.  The bride and groom wore tie-dye t-shirts and there was pizza and wings and the weather was perfect.   Since getting married myself I have been to a few weddings, and at each of them there has been a moment of “damn, I should have done that.”  At this wedding the entire vibe gave me that feeling.  See, people tell me all the time that they had a blast at my wedding.  Here’s a secret:  I did not.

I felt rushed from the get go, which manifested itself in me puking all over the bridal room about thirty seconds before showtime, narrowly and blessedly avoiding my dress, but making quite the cleanup for the staff at Joseph’s Country Manor.   Also, in this rush I did not fix my hair or lipstick, so I don’t look as nice in the photos as I would have hoped.  This is complaint number one about the pictures.

When I got to the altar I almost fell ass backwards into the mud, which was comical, but not ideal.  When we got to the vows I was blown away by the beautiful things Mark said.  I have no idea what I said, because my vows were in my Maid of Honors purse back in the hall.  Someone gave me a tissue.  I stuck the tissue in my bra.  The tissue is in all the photos of me walking back down the aisle.  Thanks, everybody, especially the photographer who should be noticing that kind of thing.

I am told the food was delicious.  It looked and smelled delicious.  I couldn’t eat it, what with the aforementioned vomiting and extremely tight dress.   Mark and I danced, then dad and I danced, during which his pants fell off.  For real, my father did not get a belt with his tux and started losing his pants in the middle of Stevie Nicks singing “Landslide.”  So that beautiful father-daughter dance picture does not exist.  Instead, we have me and my father laughing riotously.  Which is probably better because I was certain that our dance was going to make me cry, and instead I was laughing.  Then we danced with the kids, who requested that we have a family dance but weren’t as interested when the time came, and THEN my mother made me dance to the long version of “Ain’t No Mountain” with her, which was a complete surprise for me.  I love my mother, but I did not want to dance anymore.  Also, there’s a two-minute version of that song,

The rest is a complete blur.

I don’t know if it was lack of food coupled with alcohol or just that my brain finally screamed “enough!”  I feel like a shit friend because I don’t remember either Jen or Jaime’s toasts.  I mean, I know Jaime made me cry but I don’t know why.   There are people that were at the wedding that I wanted to talk to and somehow never got the chance.  I was battling nausea the whole time, and all I wanted was to get to the hotel where there was a jacuzzi waiting to soothe my aching feet.

Eventually the evening ended.  Mark and I got to the hotel, where I was disappointed to find that I had accidentally made the wrong reservation, and we did not, in fact, have a jacuzzi.  I took off my dress and stood in front of the mirror, tearing apart my well-crafted hairdo and lamenting how quickly the whole thing went.  Then Mark and I went and got Mighty Taco, came back and watched The Daily Show, and went to sleep.

In the morning we were driving home early even though we had been given a late checkout because 9 of Marks relatives were staying in our apartment.  He pointed out to me that even though the night was hazy, we had the pictures to look forward to.

Cut to a month later.

I get the pictures.  It starts out nice enough-lovely photos of me and my friends getting ready, cute ones of the girls, nice family photo…then we’re at the venue and it’s Mark and the boys and Kevin and they look so handsome.  Followed by the ceremony, which is fine excluding my hair and makeup and the tissue thing.  Then our dances.  Cake.  Couples at tables.  Then, candid’s.  I was clear I wanted a lot of candid’s, and I got them.  Like 42 of them.  All of my sisters’ friends, and my distant cousins.

You would think no one else was at the wedding.

I think the photographer was under the impression these TEENAGERS were my friends.  Alas no, my friends are out on the back-patio smoking and drinking and do not tend to get out on the dance floor all that much.  So, I have almost no photos of my friends at my wedding, and very few of my close family.

All in all, I was disappointed.  I was afraid to tell my mother this because she worked so hard and spent all this money, but she understood that I wasn’t disappointed in the wedding itself (for real, it was gorgeous and I have no complaint there) I’m just disappointed in my experience of it.

Mark and Bernie promised that for our 20th anniversary they will throw an awesome party that makes up for my wedding day experience.   So I’ve got 17 years to plan, and I intend to make sure that if nothing else, it is relaxed and fun.  I don’t want to have to rush it.

Also, a good photographer.  I just cannot stress that enough.


Me:  What the hell does he expect me to do? Mark:  Just stand there and smile, damnit.