Of Blue Jeans and Buttons
Love cures people - both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.
Dr. Karl Menninger
I'm a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. Always have been. Born and raised in a small town back East, I loved riding four-wheelers and snowmobiles and hiking in the woods. Other than special occasions like school pictures or a wedding you'd rarely find me in a dress. It just wasn't my thing.
But, like most girls, I dreamed about a fairytale wedding with my future husband wearing that long white dress down the church aisle. Now I was about to live it.
I was engaged to an incredible man who truly showed me a Cinderella life. I went from fast food and macaroni-and-cheese dinners to dining in five-star restaurants. I grew accustomed to fine wines and having my chair pulled out for me. Ward made me feel like a princess.
But there was another reason I wanted to be that princess for him on our wedding day. Ward and I chose to remain pure until our wedding night. Both in our late 30's this was quite a testimony to many of our friends.
With the wedding approaching, I was hesitant to go dress shopping, as I knew I would feel out of place in the bridal shops with all the fancy silk and lace. Will they laugh at me? Will I look awkward?
My fear fell aside when I stepped into the first dress. Lined with pearls and satin, it fit just right. I looked into the mirror and couldn't believe how wonderful and special I felt. Why, I'm beautiful! I envisioned our wedding and couldn't wait to walk down the aisle to Ward. I couldn't wait to show him I was his princess.
Indeed our wedding day turned out to be a fairy tale. After the beautiful ceremony, we held our reception at a harbor where we ventured down the boardwalk with the photographer for black and white shots on the Ferris wheel.
It was a whirlwind day. Deliriously exhausted, Ward and I said goodbye to our friends and family for a sunset cruise along the coastline. As we sat in the limo on the way to our bed and breakfast, we anxiously awaited our wedding night.
But there were other plans in store for us.
Soon the excitement of the day's events came to a screeching halt. Reality bit hard. Sudden nauseousness attacked; my chest felt tight and I was having trouble breathing.
"I'm carsick! No! This can't be happening!" I cried.
In the midst of everything, I forgot that I shouldn't ride backward in a car; and now it was too late. I felt awful. My husband suggested I put my head between my legs. I leaned down, folded in half like a chair. The weight of a long bridal train crammed my head and squeezed my bodice even tighter.
"I can't breathe. I think I'm going to be sick! Ward, please unzip my dress?" This was not how I envisioned our first night together. He graciously unzipped my dress, but it didn't help.
"You're going to have to undo my bra too." My head, veil and all, was hanging out the car window.
"Shall I pull over?" the driver politely offered.
"No! Just get to the hotel … quickly."
When we arrived, the limo driver opened the door to … me, dress practically hanging off.
After Ward graciously placed his jacket over my shoulders, I grabbed his hand to attempt to exit the limo. Suddenly everything went white and my legs gave out. Holding my dress with one hand, I clung to Ward's neck from behind with the other while he literally dragged me through the lobby. Pin drops could be heard as hotel guests stopped what they were doing to witness the "passed out bride."
Sprawled on the bed in our room, I still felt nauseous.
"Could you please get me some Mylanta?" I asked Ward. "I'm so sorry."
"No worries," he said. "I'll be right back."
I soon fell asleep and awoke feeling better. With Ward not back, I looked down to assess my condition. I still wanted this night to be romantic. Determinedly, I decided to put my dress back on.
It had taken three bridesmaids to get the back buttoned earlier that day. How can I do this alone? Realizing the dress was not going back on, I slipped it off and put on Ward's tuxedo jacket. I positioned myself on the bed in a sexy pose, waiting for his return.
And promptly fell asleep.
When I awoke, Ward was sitting on the bed next to me, Mylanta in hand. I sat up and downed a mouthful. Lying across his lap, I began to cry. He held me, comforted me.
"I'm so sorry. I wanted to be beautiful for you." Tears rolled down my face as I told him how much I wanted our first night together to be special.
As we sat talking, I glanced up and saw myself in the mirror. There I was-in a wrinkled tuxedo jacket, veil cock-eyed, hair a mess, and black mascara smearing my face.
All the while, picking bobby pins out of my hair, Ward was telling me how I was his beautiful princess.
Reprint by permission, Chicken Soup for the Bride's Soul
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