It was a perfect fall night. The air was laced with a chill and everywhere bubbles floated around us, like swimming in a champagne glass. He grabbed my hand and I twisted the smooth band around his finger, smiling at the shiny reminder of our new journey. Once in the car, we were cocooned in a swarm of white wedding tulle. With one hand we waved goodbye to family and friends and with the other we gripped a mass of white balloons. We looked at each other, hit the gas and let the creamy orbs soar dotting the inky sky like pearls on black velvet.
It was late as we pulled up to the beautiful Fairview Inn where we were spending the night. My sweet friend Kirsten worked at the inn, and she had worked her magic to get us the Spanish Suite where the queen of Spain had stayed when she was in town for the Majesty of Spain exhibition. We opened the door into a room cast in a golden glow. Buttery walls, a gilded canopy bed laden with layers of feathery down and fine linens, the bathroom clad with marble and stacks of fluffy towels. We collapsed onto the bed fit for Midas himself. With all the excitement of the night, all the dances to dance and necks to hug, we had barely eaten anything except a couple scrumptious bites of chocolate cake with raspberry filling and a few extra licks of buttercream icing. By then it was nearly midnight and we were famished.
We went back out to the car and dug around in the trunk searching for the basket of reception food we were supposed to have, but it wasn’t there. And that’s how we ended up back in the convertible at midnight driving the sleepy streets of downtown in search of late night munchies. A few minutes later we spotted it, not wedding bells but Taco Bell. We winked at each other, laughing because, of course, we would end up at Taco Bell on our wedding night and pulled in the drive-thru. A few minutes later with a Grande Meal, five crunchy tacos for him, five soft for me, a pile of Fire sauce packets and two gigantic fizzy sodas in hand, we made the short drive back, piled onto the gilded canopy bed and gleefully devoured every last bite.
We didn’t know then how fitting that memory would be, a humorous allegory for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, suite fit for a queen or Taco Bell Grande Meal, to love and to cherish all the days of our life.
There are so many things about that night I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget the way he looked in his tux or the smile and the tears when he locked eyes with me down the aisle. I’ll never forget my squeals in the back room after walking down the aisle as husband and wife or the way my cheeks hurt because I couldn’t stop smiling. I’ll never forget our first dance to Frank Sinatra when he sang every word in my ear like a secret promise for our future or the rowdy rendition of Sweet Home Alabama with our college friends. I’ll never forget driving off under a canopy of twinkling stars with toilet paper streamers fluttering behind us and my hand laced with his. And I’ll never forget the ten-dollar box of tacos on the day you and me became us.
Yesterday, today and every day, I choose you, Matthew Hudson Roberts, to love and to cherish all the days of my life.