A party nine years ago

And after our wedding and honeymoon, we returned to our tiny apartment in Queens

Yesterday morning I watched with curiosity and a touch of concern as Jared scowled and furrowed his eyebrows. His mouth worked as though he was thinking hard and about to say something, but he didn't. Finally, I asked, "What?"

"It's our anniversary today," he answered.

"Oh. Oh. Oh, yeah," I replied.

Nine years ago the former mayor and then deputy mayor of Holland Township married us in my parent's front lawn. One of Jared's sisters played flute. Two of Jared's friends were best men, and my cousin and a friend were my maids. A longtime friend was our photographer.

My father walked me out the front door and down the lawn to the small crowd of guests. Jared waited for me in a pair of black slacks and a western style shirt with red embroidered flowers.

I wore a 1940s era rayon nightgown that I bought in a vintage shop near the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. I was on my lunch break from Barnes & Noble. I had desperately canvased the city looking for a dress and had had numerous tearful episodes over the ordeal.

When went into the fitting room, I slipped on the antique white nightgown, I knew it was the one. Just over $100, it was exactly right. The sleeves just covered the tops of my shoulders, a dash of lash across the neckline, an empire waist, and from there, a straight line down to my toes. The dress was made for me.

I bought the dress, and the gay shop owner carefully folded into a brown paper bag. He assured me that the light odor of mothballs would fade. "Just take out of storage. Just arrived in my shop," he said. The smell near did totally go away.

Our vows were brief as we edited out most of the lines we didn't like. My self-penned vows were "I love you," as I couldn't cough out more without crying.

Jared's iPod was our deejay. Santo and Johnny's Sleepwalk was our song. My father and I danced to And I Love Her by the Beatles. Hours later, our drunk friends and relations lifted me up in chair while Hava Nagila by the wild and fun Serbian brass band, Boban Marković Orkestar, played. Jared was lifted also. I looked down to see my brother and cousin flinching under my weight.

I hardly ate or drank. Neither did Jared. We just danced. Our family and friends ate, drank, and danced for hours, there was no closing time. A couple volunteer firemen came by to check out reports of "smoke". One wore a floor length yellow raincoat with ??? underneath. The other was shirtless except for a short rainjacket and suspenders and pants. 

One day I hope to have another party as fun as the one I attended nine years and one day ago.