June 6, 2006

It's Ancient History, But History Nonetheless

That big lesbo eb recently posted pictures of her hetero-wedding. Before she posted them, I encouraged her (as if she needed it) by saying I'd show mine if she'd show hers.

Yes I, too, was once married and have hetero-wedding pictures of my own. Oh sure, it's ancient history. But it's my history, and an important chapter at that.

I can't tell you how many friends, upon meeting my ex-husband, have said, "What were you thinking!?" I mainly heard that during his mullet-and-pierced-ear phase which began well after we divorced and ended only recently. Despite that rather unfortunate era, he was, and still is, a good man.

The date was June 26, 1982. Our son is now older than we were when these photos were taken. The bride was nineteen, the groom twenty on the 'if I'd known then what I figured out later I'd have known better' occasion of our wedding. We were married for seven years and divorced because I am a lesbian. That poor man didn't know what hit him. Yes, the circumstantial guilt can be thick and gooey even after all these years. It would have been so much simpler had he been an asshole.

We got married in the Methodist church I attended while growing up, the same church where my mother had married my step-father some seven years prior. Neither of us was particularly spiritual, yet a church wedding seemed appropriate. As did a white dress. Sure. Perfectly appropriate.

Per tradition, my father gave me away at the altar. The 5'-6" groom looks rather munchkin-like standing there next to my 6'-5" father, doesn't he? I am eternally grateful our son inherited the height gene from my side of the family.

Our wedding party was small.

My maid of honor, Molly, was my best friend and confidant all through high school and for years beyond. We keep in touch now only sporadically. If I had a forehead as large as hers, I'd keep it covered with bangs. But that's just me.

The best man, Dean, had lived with the groom's family while growing up. I never really did get the story behind that. Last I heard he was living in Thailand. That was at least a decade ago.

My mother was quite relieved her parents could not attend the wedding. They lived in the Deep South and she knew her father would react badly to our best man being black. The photos shared with them were censored. I loved my grandfather dearly, yet it's a very good thing he died without knowing I am gay.

So that was then. My ex finally remarried about three years ago. We talk now primarily to coordinate financial issues surrounding our son. Once The Boy graduates college next spring, it's likely we'll talk even less. That chapter in my life will be wrapped up neatly and tied with a bow, the memories and photos of our youthful selves remaining to remind us of who we were then before we became who we are now.



KMae said...

Beautiful Pictures!
Boy, you & eb made beautiful brides! Great pictures, & I loved reading about it. When I look back at my young (male) loves (never married any of them...)it seems like another lifetime. I mean, I DID love them... It's just that I would have probably loved their SISTERS better.

WenWhit said...

See? Even in full het glory, she's oh-so-smoochable.

Te amo, Querida. I am grateful for the experiences that contributed to the amazing person you are today.


the only daughter said...

Lovely photos, lovelier memories.

tiff said...

Aw, so cute!!

But, 19? Too young! How we could have thought that we knew what we were doing is beyond me, but I know I thought I did back then.

WordsRock said...

tiff... too young? ya really think so? indeed.

~m~ said...

I have sat here for at least an hour trying to post a comment. Each time I start I get lost in a sea of emotion. I admit I am by nature, a crier.

One can never know when one publishes sippets of their life for strangers to read how much import it can carry. Most times we never know when we have touched someone or affirmed someone or just by a story or a thought helped someone else feel less alone.

I have 2 sets of photos similar to these. I was much older when I tried it the first time and older still when I tried it a second. I hope when the dust of my life finally settles I will be able to reflect and share with as much grace, peace and joyful honesty as you have.

"..the memories and photos of our youthful selves remaining to remind us of who we were then before we became who we are now."

thank you so much

weese said...

look at you, you little hottie.
alas, I was never married - so no photos to share.
my wife however was...and also at 19. so young - you crazy kids.

Sam said...

As lovely as the photos are, couldn't you have at least gotten a bigger cross? I mean, that one just doesn't scream "Jesus" enough for me.

Elizabeth said...

Boy howdy and throw me in a pile o'puddin', you were a young thang!

And just think, yer really a prevaricatin' homo under all that Jesus-wear.

At least the groom wasn't wearing the glasses that ate Pittsburgh.

Are you suggesting that I don't really need any encouragement to post embarrassing picture of myself?

Park said...

Hey there. Oh how life changes! Thanks for the email responce awhile back Suzanne. I too married very young. Guess what, still in it. Going on 17 years now and I'm only in my mid thirties. If it weren't for the fact that I am a lesbian we'd just be the perfect couple you know! Anyhow... I thought it was interesting to see how much The Boy does look like his dad, but man, he sure took a lot of good traits from you as well. What a cute young thing you were. Thanks for posting the pictures to show the world lots of us accidently married a man. Lions and Tigers and MEN oh my!

WordsRock said...

~m~ ... thank you.

weese... your woman married at 19 too? Wendy did also. I'm in good company!

sam... lmao.

eb... I don't think your photos were embarrassing. However I do think you are self-possessed enough to post even the most embarrassing pic of yourself. It's part of your charm.

park... yes, The Boy has many of his father's traits. He's a nice mix of us both. :)


Eyes said...

I think you looked great in the bottom photo. You were a beautiful bride. I am sure your son enjoys the photo of both of his parents together! And I am sure he enjoys photos of both you and Wendy.

I am so happy that you found yourself, and live a life that is true for you! That is sooooo important -- and think of all the people that don't have the guts to do it and live in a closet. So sad.

Liz said...

That last picture of you is really beautiful. You look more mature than 19 (speaking as a mother of a 17 year old who would freak out if she gets married in 2 years!). I got married at 22 and am still married, 21 years later, so sometimes it works out getting married young. But, I'm not a lesbian, so that could be why!

TDharma said...

great photos and story! Have you read the book, "From Wedded Wife to Lesbian Life?" Ck it out - written by a couple of friends of mine.

When I left my husband 16 years ago -- I deliberately left the wedding album behind. Now I kind of regret it, as it would be fun to look back at what was (and laugh and say 'thank you sweet Jesus for my delivernce).

Yes, once the boy is mostly on his way, your connection with his dad will grown dimmer...a chapter closed. Wenwhit's comment says it all, and she is just too damn sweet.

outsidemymind said...

Thank you for sharing...it gives me great hope that my own life will work out eventually..