On October 16, 1993, Dreamlover by Mariah Carey was the number one pop song in the country; President Clinton delivered his weekly radio address asking the nation to support the North American Free Trade Agreement, otherwise known as NAFTA; and, just after eleven o'clock that morning, I became a married man.
That third thing is the one I remember the most. On that day, twenty years ago, the luscious and beautiful Jane Ellen and I said, "I do." Or maybe it was "I will." In any case, it was the greatest day of my life. The births of my children were great days, too, but I can't say those days were greater than my wedding day. (Sorry, kids.)
I think it's because I was involved at the beginning of the pregnancy, but was more or less an observer in the birth process itself. With the wedding, I was a full participant.
For example, I remember it was raining on the day we got married. I have no recollection of the weather on the days my children were born. In fact, I don't remember, offhand, on what day of the week either child was born, but I remember we got married on a Saturday.
It was fortunate for me that we'd had a rehearsal the night before the wedding. It was during that rehearsal that I got incredibly emotional as I saw, for the first time, my bride-to-be walking down the aisle.
I settled down as we did a run-through of the ceremony, and on the wedding day itself, I was less emotional and more joyful. I had never been so incredibly happy and full of love for all mankind, and Jane was the reason.
In retrospect, I probably ignored my friends and relatives more than I should have on that day because I was too busy mooning over my new wife.
I remember that the "short" sermon the priest had promised to give seemed to drag on and on and on. I remember that people who had RSVP'd and said they would be there blew off the ceremony, while others who didn't RSVP showed up anyway.
I also remember thinking that people would wonder where Jane found that troll she was exchanging vows with and couldn't she do better than him? The truth is that she probably could have done better. But it's also true that if I had not married Jane Ellen, I would not be married today.
To paraphrase Back to the Future, it was our "density" to be together. As happy as I was twenty years ago, I am happier each and every day that we're together. I expect to be more jovial, jocular and jolly "as long as we both shall live."
Happy Anniversary, Boo.