Laverne and Shirley is this major cultural reference point for me. I think I spent half my childhood lying on the scratchy shag watching it. And in the episode when Shirley announces to Laverne that she’s getting married, she comes creeping into the bedroom they share and wakes her up by singing that old doo-wop song, emphasizing, I recall, “gonna get maaah-ahh-ahh-ried.” And it takes Laverne a rendition or three to realize, and of course, and of course, copious [laugh track], but then she does and she hugs Shirley, and Shirley exits the show for married life and we’re left with Laverne and Lenny and Squiggy and Rhonda for another season or two.
And for the past few days, this is how I think to tell people I’m marrying Marshall. So far, I’ve resisted that urge. Instead of singing about the chapel of love, I say I’m getting hitched, because I love the way that sounds. But really, I’m getting married. I’m going to be a wife, and Marshall’s going to be my husband. Further, as he poked fun at me on Saturday morning when he realized it, I’m gonna be a “Mrs.” “Mrs.” stands for “Missus,” and look at that word, spelled out. It’s right up these with “moist” on the grossness scale. It makes me want to run for my doctorate and zip from “Mrs.” to “Dr.” faster than you can say, “You bet I do.”
Nor are we going to the chapel.
Nor will I have bridesmaids.
And no tossing of bouquets, garters, or anything else that forces guests into group-activities and makes predictions about people’s marital statuses.
And no dj who dictates our reception’s activities. I don’t want to put lovevd ones who’ve traveled from near and far at the risk of The Macarena or a forced and utterly confounding “Piano Man” singalong at the end of the night. (See: My sister’s wedding, last year. And granted, we were tipsy enough and just-plain-happy enough to get a kick out of the fact that the dj forced remaining guests into a circle to sing a tune that’s waaay up there in the top-ten of Most Depressing, Ever. But it’s not for me.)
Finally, I’m not spending hundreds of dollars on a gown. I’m not wearing a gown; I’m not Cinderella.
Family, yes. Friends, yes. We will have a pithy ceremony outdoors…somewhere. I kind of want to wear one of those pretty mantilla-things in my hair. That might not be what they’re called. There will be dancing. There will be good food, and copious wine and beer. Then we will travel.
We know all this even though we haven’t yet started to plan anything. Marshall asked me to marry him Friday afternoon, in a car, in a rainstorm. I’d picked him up after he’d gotten caught with his bike in the downpour on the way home from work. I’d just taken our dog to play outside and she and I left muddy prints all over the floor. When I’d left the house to get Marshall, she’d begun whining. When he asked, I didn’t yet have my foot off the clutch. It was perfect. I just want to think about that for a while—how I want every day to be like that. We’ll get to caterers later.
Also? I write this from Pittsburgh, where my father is watching Cash Cab in the other room. Why don’t they have Cash Subway, or Cash? It Looks Like You’re Hoofing It for folks can’t afford to take taxis everywhere all the time—and to get some of that dinero into slightly more deserving hands? Hands of people who could use it…to, say, plan an affordable wedding? Just an idea.