Nineteen years!!!

All I can remember is the heat. I was marrying a woman with a house. Okay, it was a two bedroom bungalow, but it was bigger than my shared apartment. I stayed in the house the night before. Jean stayed with her mom. I remember waking up in that house on June 26 for the first time and realizing that my life was changing forever. I’m not even sure if I realized how lucky I was to be marrying my soul mate. And don’t laugh at the dresses! It was the early nineties. Give us a break.

We decided to get married in the church I was raised in. There were no sentimental churches in Jean’s life and mine was a picturesque Episcopal church in downtown Glen Ellyn, Illinois. We checked it out on a cold night in February. Everything looked fine. It was going to be perfect. Never thought to ask if it had air conditioning. Which it did not!

I really have very few memories of the ceremony. There was music. There was a sermon of some kind. There were vows. Till death do us part. There was a procession. There were pictures. You see, it was about ninety degrees that day. Luckily, we decided to get married in the late morning. Neither of us comes from a raucous party family, so a brunch reception was cheaper and meant we could get to the hotel by O’Hare Airport by dinner, followed by a honeymoon in the Virgin Islands.

Did I tell you it was hot? I’ve always been a sweater. Not the kind you wear; the kind you perspire. Even when I was young and thin and fit, I was a sweater. Put me in a tight tuxedo collar on a hot day and forget about it. Especially when all I’m thinking is Don’t sweat! You might as well turn on the waterworks.

It was like the scene with Albert Brooks in Broadcast News. Jean carried a tissue in case she got weepy. Half way through the ceremony, she was pushing it my way. I was afraid to turn around. I was afraid my flop sweating would make people think I was having a heart attack. I wasn’t. I was just sweating. It was hot!

But we made it. We made it through the ceremony and the reception. At the reception, all the men got on their knees and serenaded Jean with “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” It was six years after Top Gun, but who cares. She loved it. We made it through the honeymoon. We flew home on the evening of the 4th of July and watched fireworks from the sky. Then, we made it through the next 19 years. It’s been a blur throughout. It certainly doesn’t seem like 19 years ago.

My advice? Support each others’ interests. Become a cheerleader for your spouse . Don’t sweat the small stuff. Make sure that going home at the end of the day is always a good thing. Laugh as much as possible. Move to Pittsburgh. That’s all I’ve got.

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About carpetbagger

Tom and Jean are just a couple of Chicago transplants in Lawrenceville, a neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Posted on June 26, 2012, in Misc, Pittsburgh and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. You forgot to add the part about how to get a dazzling creature like Jean to marry you.

    Well done, my friend, and congratulations!

  2. When I read your post title from my blog, I figured you had to be talking about the Pirates. :-) Congrats to both of you.

    All great advice (particularly moving to Pittsburgh!). I really need to work on not sweating the small stuff in so many aspects of my life. Love is a journey, not a destination, I must remind myself.

    Was Franco Harris your best man?! It kind of looked like him (before I clicked on the pic for the larger version).

    • Franco Harris. That’s funny. Actually he was more in the Latino Jimmy Smits department.

      Something about the photographer’s flash put a shadow on the wall behind us, making it look like all the guys have mullets. It’s cracking people up on Facebook.

  3. Tom, that’s a perfect rendition of your wedding day. I didn’t know you suffered so much.
    And, your advice is good, too. I know you and Jean are soul mates. Love, mom

  4. Pretty sure that’s before I knew ye…. Congrats my friend, and yes…… you outkicked your coverage in the mate department….. we ALL did! Best to Jean!

  5. Congrats! It was so great meeting you both Saturday. Your wife is amazing. I’m not surprised though, any walking and border collie lover is great in my book.

  6. Yay T and J! :) I love you both and I’m glad to have you in my life (aka: glad God transpired to move you to Pittsburgh).

  7. Congratulations!!! I love that so many couples stress and spend on making the wedding day the ‘best day of their lives’ and your recall is devoted to mostly ‘flop sweat’, haha! yet in the end that doesn’t matter (because you have the greatest lady around)! I’m so happy for your 19 years and I loved reading your advice…. especially the ‘going home is a good thing’ part.

    according to some website – 19 year anniversary is the ‘bronze’ anniversary so I vote you get Jean a statue of you posed as the thinker. (life sized of course)

  8. Love your post, Tom. I remember the day, remember the music, remember how happy and proud both your grandmothers were. (Do not remember your puddles of sweat!)

  9. Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

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