(if this looks familiar, it’s because I post a version of it every year)
It was 25 years ago today that Douglas Stormer married MontiLee Points in Las Vegas, Nevada.
We had saved up our money for over a year, planned two and a half days on the train, three days in Vegas and one week in Santa Rosa, CA. We had our license, our chapel, my mom.
My dress never arrived, but this is Vegas and you can get anything. We rented our spiffy outfits from San Francisco Sally’s, a wedding rental joint on LVB. For one day (and $175.00), I got to be a princess.
There were flowers waiting for us from Doug’s brother Jere. It was like his family was there with us, too.
When we arrived, we were ushered into the back area to prepare – my dress, my shoes, my veil, my mom. It was like my prom all over again – new underwear, new stockings, a garter that matched the dress that neglected to follow us from Detroit but would work okay with this one. My mom helped me get zipped and primped, pinned the veil in place, and cried a little. That got me started and we were bawling before we made it to the chapel doors.
goodness was it always this warm in here …
that arrangement looks like we just won the Belmont Stakes …
if every man would wear a tux every day, dating would become obsolete …
the earth is spinning without me …
getting down the aisle without tripping on the dress. The event was being videotaped, so whatever stupid move I pulled would be recorded forever and ever, played back for family and friends and blackmailers for eternity.
Doug whispered to me, “Don’t cry – we’re happy,” and we were. We are. As the manly men on the TV say after big wins in sports, “our eyes were moist.”
Afterwards there were pictures, and the photographer complained (half-heartedly) non-stop about my train. Us girls and our trains were going to be the death of him, he said.
The chapel sent the negatives of our photos a year later, claiming that there was a storage issue and we could either keep them or toss them. I’m glad we kept the proofs because they only managed to send us the negatives of 7 of our photos – the other 5 are of the couple married behind us.
I hope they are as happy as we are.
This union isn’t perfect, but it wasn’t meant to be, because perfection is complacency, and I appreciate something more when I have to work for it. I may not always like the work, but the rewards like a smile or a laugh or a soft sigh more than make up for the callouses.
9 jobs, 8 cars, 7 landlords, 6 long-distance train rides, 5 cats, 4 cars, 4 homes, 3 surgeries.
We take it day by day and appreciate everything we’re given, because not everyone is as fortunate. Love is loss and sorrow and saying hello to a face that has shown you tears and smiles and anger and joy and fear, and being certain the day you’d have to say that final goodbye would break you into a million pieces.
We had plans in 2021 to travel to Vegas as close as the train cold get us to renew our vows at the Mon Bel Ami, the chapel where the Silver Bell once stood. It was going to be a huge thing. COVID-19 and anti-vaxxers and general stupidity killed that idea, so we’re looking ahead to 2022. Tonight, we’ll be celebrating our Silver Anniversary with carry-out from one of our favorite restaurants, sangrias, calls from family, and each other.
It’s not a bad way to spend a quiet evening. The pandemic took away a lot of 1sts, 10ths, 25ths, and 50ths. This is a blessing.
Twenty-five years, and counting…