It was a rainy, dreary Tuesday, April 8, 2008. “Let’s get married,” Don said.
“Yes, let’s!” Sharon agreed and suddenly, the sun was shining through the rain.
We searched our closets for something red to wear, because it was, indeed, a Red Letter Day, a great way, we decided, to celebrate our twenty years of togetherness.
Off to the courthouse we went, in search of a license. Alas, no senior discount, despite Don’s charm. “Full price,” demanded the clerk, whose sunny smile hadn’t yet reached her face.
Next, Don called son, Steven, in Kentucky, to ask for my hand, to which son replied, “It’s about time.” He offered to spring for a reception at Hardees. Don, my hero, insisted on an upgrade to Burger King.
Daughter, Shannon, upon receiving the glad tidings, wanted to leave work immediately and help with the plans. I think she was afraid we’d change our minds. But we were steadfast in our determination to tie the knot.
In between a doctor appointment, Mary Kay deliveries and a fast run through the grocery store, we spread the shock and awe among our friends, instructing them to show up at 7:30, wearing red. We decided the guests would dine on our favorite foods – cheesecake (mine), peanut butter sandwiches (Don’s), and sparkling cider.
Steven sent spring flowers, which arrived just in time. Shannon decorated the table with another lovely bouquet. Don gallantly presented red roses to the bride. Our still-amazed friends arrived early, arms full of food and gifts. I think someone leaked the word that we planned to feed them cheesecake and peanut butter sandwiches.
At 7:30, we all gathered in our living room, with Don resplendent in his bear claw bedroom slippers, our friends wearing red and sporting broad smiles. Shannon held the phone up so Steven could listen, because he had demanded proof of this earth-shattering event. We were all still in denial at that time about texting and Skype.
Marriage Commissioner Gilley, looking dapper in a red tie, did a beautiful reading about marriage which brought tears. He said, “Do you…?”
We said, “I do.”
He said, “I now pronounce…” We kissed. Everybody cried and hugged everybody else.
Then we laughed and ate until all the food was gone, including all the peanut butter sandwiches.
Sharon Canfield Dorsey is an award-winning poet and author of two children’s books, Revolt of the Teacups and Herman the Hermit Crab and the Mystery of the Big, Black Shiny Thing; anda book of poetry, Tapestry. Her poems are also included in an anthology, Captured Moments. You can read about her travel adventures with her husband, Don, in her memoir, Daughter of the Mountains.