Virginia, 1977-2009

7/5/13 - On this day in 1991, Ted and I were married. We did so for practical reasons. Ted's agreement with Bailey, who bought Pappillon Cycles when Ted retired, was about to expire. That meant Ted's medical insurance would also expire. I was furious with my employer, who balked at letting me telecommute, so--in violation of my deeply held beliefs about the evils of cars--I was commuting by car and van pool the 107 miles (each way) to work. I was leaving the house at 3:30 a.m. and didn't get home until 7:30 p.m. I was cuckoo with fatigue and rage. The employer had a pretty darn good medical plan and it wouldn't cost me anything to add Ted to my insurance, but would cost the employer plenty, which felt like a satisfying vengeance. We had to be married to include Ted, however, so that's what we did.

It was one of those steamy Virginia days when the clouds will burst in the afternoon, but until they do, conditions are miserable. The house we were building in Heathsville was finished on the outside and had electricity and indoor plumbing, but it still lacked amenities like drywall, flooring, and air conditioning. Ted's mother drove down from the luxury geriatric concentration camp where she lived in Annapolis. She was a good sport about our primitive habitat.

My wedding hatWe all trooped to the courthouse to buy the marriage license and to make an appointment with the magistrate for a civil service at 3:30 that afternoon.

In those days I was wearing a Panama hat I picked up in Key West and had a yen to decorate it with a bright little bouquet. We went to Callao to the florist's shop, which was owned by a neighbor who was tickled to help out. She added a hatband of white lace to the design. We took the hat home and put it in the refrigerator to keep the flowers fresh.

I went outside to work in the garden. Ted and Madine occupied themselves with the industrial-strength talking of which his family is capable (except for Ted's father, who was of the taciturn persuasion, perhaps in self-defense). Ted's father and I had in common an inability to keep up--or perhaps a lack of interest in doing so--our end of these conversations, which always dealt in jaw-breaking detail with topics that had been covered countless times. It was a private joke between us. It could have been considered rude of us, but the fact is that the talkers never noticed, or if they did, they didn't complain. Every chatterbox needs a listener, I suppose, and both Ted's father and I were pretty good at pretending to listen.