We were engaged. I had a sparkly ring, which is not something I ever thought I wanted but once it was on my finger, I was very happy to have it, for is not a diamond a status symbol of sort for a woman? It says, "Someone values me enough to 1. spend money on me and 2. commit to me." At least, that is what it said to my 22 year old self. When Primo and I decided to get married, he wanted to buy me a ring but I had realized that I do not like wearing rings and would much rather have a nice kitchen trash can, which he finally got me with much reluctance and only after the SimpleHuman trash can I wanted went on sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
We did agree that we would both rather take the $5,000 a nice ring would have cost (I am guessing that is what they cost) and spend it on a grand trip to France.
As it turns out, we spent it getting our driveway re-done this summer, which is almost as glamorous as a voyage to Paris.
Calvin and I were engaged. We had the Meeting of the Parents. Calvin's mom and dad came from Austin to meet my mom and dad at their house in San Antonio. There were hors d' - there were appetizers. There was polite smiling. I am guessing there were thoughts of, "They are too darn young to be getting married." They were correct.
We set a date. July 26. My mom reserved the church. She and I argued over the reception venue. I, who was not investing my own money into this proposition, wanted to have it at a fancy restaurant. She and my dad, who were funding this (and who I now know had almost no money to pay for this), said that the officers' club on base would be fine.
I got a dress. I shopped alone.
Who shops alone for a wedding dress?
Someone who 1. isn't ready to get married and 2. ends up with a dress that looks awful on her.
There may be some women who look good in a pure white puffy muffin dress, but I am not one of them. At the time, I was blonde. White washes blondes out. Now, white is no problem as I am a former blonde who is covering my gray with Clairol #24 Clove, but then, I looked like death warmed over.
And the puffy skirt? I looked like I had walked out of a meringue factory.
Why did I get such an awful dress? Because I was clueless and because it was a floor sample on sale for $250. Penny wise, pound foolish.
When I married Primo, I wore a sleeveless red and white dress with a V neck and a high waist. It looked fabulous and I have worn it several times since. I had a bit more sense when I shopped for that wedding. I still shopped alone, although this time it was because I had just moved to a city where I had no friends, not because I wasn't excited about getting married. Wait. I wasn't that excited about my wedding to Primo because of all The Drama, but I was very excited at the idea of being married to him. I would have happily skipped the wedding and wish I had insisted on eloping, but I guess I'll save that for my next marriage.
My mom asked me what color I wanted for the bridesmaids' dresses. My mom was more excited about the wedding than I was. My parents loved Calvin and rightly so. He's a great guy. He just wasn't the guy for me in the end.
When my mom asked me about the bridesmaids, I shrugged and said, "I don't care."
That should have been a clue.
Maybe it was.
Three weeks after we got engaged, I went to New Jersey for a three-week training program for work. It was there, in the company of the many young, handsome, outgoing men in the class with me that I realized I could not get married yet.