It was Saturday June 5, 1982. I woke up alone and got ready. Tony was forced to stay at his mother’s house that day while I slept alone in our apartment. I did my own hair, makeup and nails. There wasn’t any team of beautifiers to get me just right. Just me and my assortment of beauty products meant to make me look glamorous. I wasn’t nervous, just went about the business of getting myself dressed. Even when my mother called upset because some relative tried to muscle an invitation at the last minute I emphatically said “No. The restaurant already has the number. She can’t come besides, I don’t like her.” It was my wedding day and no one was going to screw it up for me. The only thing I knew was that I was marrying the right guy whose children I would have and who would be with me through the journey of our life. I had no idea what that meant, what it would involve or how it would evolve. I just knew he was right.
And so it grew from just us to the five of us. We spent weekends at hockey rinks, dance recitals and football fields. Summers at the Jersey shore and winters skiing at Mountain Creek. We battled with teenagers and young adults over what they wanted and what we believed in.
From the typewriter and calculator to the laptop and excel spreadsheets. From LAN lines to cell phones. From the porn shops and sleaze movies of 42nd Street to the safety of tourist attractions and the Disney theater’s The Lion King. We celebrated the millennium without the anticipated crash of Y2K and many other New Year’s with family and friends. The world changed mostly for the good, except….
I cried from a ferry that took me away to Hoboken while watching the towers come down on 9/11. Then cried again on my first visit to the memorial with the reflecting pools reminding me of what was once there. I blame that day for taking away more than just the site of the buildings. I got lost in the reality that the world could be ugly for no good reason. It made me high strung.
I didn’t know that June day 34 years ago what it meant to be married. I just knew we had to be. We encounter so many events many I remember fondly and some I forgot and some I wish I could forget. The only thing that matters now is, I got it right with this guy. My mother liked him and he liked her. After meeting him, the rest of the family forgave me for moving out of my mother’s house pre-marriage (they were very old fashion that way). “Maybe she does have some sense after all”, they whispered. I think I had a lot of sense. And maybe I was just lucky.