Mr. H and I swore we would never get married to anyone.
We didn’t buy into everlasting love or soul mates or whatever you want to call it. We thought all of that was complete and total bullshit.
At the time I had a ton of piercings, in every imaginable part of my ears. I remember enjoying the pain each time I went in to get a new hole. I guess I wanted to show that pain on my body.
When Mr. H and I first met, we were both with other people. Mere pups at the ages of 21 and 22, I was trying to win back an ex that I had dumped and he was living with someone he didn’t love.
We certainly weren’t looking for anybody.
At the time we had our hands full with people we thought we should be with. The rest of our energy was spent doing what most kids do around that age. Working shit jobs and partying.
That night my ex-boyfriend’s gay brother, Juan, invited me to come over. A big group was going out—including my ex. I thought this was my chance to get him back.
I strutted into Juan’s apartment, dressed to kill. I wore a hot pink cheerleader skirt with a studded belt, black stilettos, and a black tank that said “rock n’ roll” right across the ta-tas.
Before I could find my ex, I found someone else. Mr. H sitting on the couch, devastatingly handsome and staring at me like he was meant to look at me all along.
Because of his incredible looks and style, and the fact that we were around our gay friends, I assumed that he was gay. I soon discovered that Mr. H was undeniably straight, and that he was also in an unhappy relationship with someone he didn’t belong with.
Despite our significant others being present that night, we had long conversations in various sections of the gay club. On the balcony, standing side by side in the hot Texas summer night. Sitting on the pool table, with dance music blasting so loud that we had to press our mouths to each other’s ears.
I’m really not the kind of girl to purposely steal someone’s man away. And I didn’t that night.
But months later, I learned that the hot pink cheerleader skirt had left its mark. After I confided to Juan that Mr. H was hot, he shared this juicy info, and we were set up on our first date.
And, that’s when Mr. H played the ultimate card. He could dance.
From there, it was all over. Those self-destructive ideas we spouted off that love was unattainable, that we didn’t need/want happiness, that we would never find our match.
After we got together, I took every single earring out of my ears. I didn’t need to be reminded of pain anymore. I was making room for something else.
There is no grand engagement story to tell. We mutually agreed to get hitched and my engagement ring was a piece of hemp string.
Though we tried to elope, family and friends wanted to be a part of the celebration. So, we chose Vegas.
Ask any of our friends and family that came, and they will tell you that our wedding was unforgettable. Because it was a complete disaster.
Have you guys seen the movie, Four Weddings and a Funeral? It was like that, but the Vegas edition. (Don’t worry, nobody died.)
We got married at the Greek Isles Hotel, which was formerly the Debbie Reynolds Hotel. I know this, because I had stayed there for a dance competition back in high school.
Oh yeah, neither of us are Greek. But the place was cheap and it had a decent looking gazebo.
Sadly, the hotel where we got married—like most of old Vegas—is no more.
The Greek Isles Hotel became the Clarion Hotel after that, until they recently imploded it to make room for some new monstrosity with no character. Funny thing was, the elevator shaft remained intact after the explosion. (Here’s a video.)
On our wedding day, it was over a hundred Vegas desert degrees and my family came into my dressing room right before the ceremony, begging me to move it inside. I made my sister check it out for me to make sure it wasn’t too churchy.
When she returned, she said: “It’s not churchy, but it’s…”
“What? What is it?”
“It’s very Greek. There are scenic paintings and columns.”
I laughed and we went for it.
Our minister was from New Jersey and he was three sheets to the wind.
He screwed up our names multiple times, so that we even questioned if we were legally married. The guests sang our names in unison to help him get through the godawful ceremony.
Most of it was difficult to understand, because he was slurring. And, there was a strange, irrelevant story about his schoolteacher daughter at the end that we still do not understand to this day.
On our way out to the crappy limo, an Elvis impersonator pointed at us from his neon stage while he sang. We were dying with laughter.
It was perfect. It was so us.
I always warn people about big weddings. I see couples get so stressed out, worrying about silly flower arrangements and going into debt.
None of that matters. The wedding should be a celebration of love, and that can be done anywhere for next to nothing.
And hey, here we are ten years later.
We got rid of our wedding rings on our fifth anniversary.
We were camping by a lake in Wisconsin, sitting around a fire, drinking beer. Mr. H and I began discussing our wedding rings, which were as chintzy as they come.
Did that piece of jewelry symbolize our love somehow? We decided it didn’t and chucked our wedding rings into the bushes.
I can’t begin to tell you about the experiences we’ve shared, the crazy things we’ve been through and the awesome times we’ve had.
I do know that our love fuels my fiction. Every romance, every heartache, every fear, every wish comes from our story. It’s the only way I can express so many years of beautiful moments.
Those of you who have read my books may have noticed a recurring theme…how love can save us.
I suppose the core meaning of love is different for everyone, but I believe that love is the one thing in the world that has this kind of power.
Mr. H and I knew this from the start.
So, we decided to take a chance and save each other.