My eyelids are twitching.
My body feels like it weighs 100 lbs more than usual.
My brain is barely making enough neural connections for me to remember where I live.
I have been up since 2:30 am.
I'm officially over it.
I have been waking up in the middle night lately for a variety of reasons. The dogs get up and click there little toenails across the hardwood. The cats climb up on my chest and try to suffocate me. I have to pee.
Regardless of the reason for waking up the consequence is always the same. NO GOING BACK TO SLEEP.
How can a human being be so tired and yet unable to sleep? I want to cry. Or throw something. Or both.
Four more hours and I can fall asleep at the wheel, hopefully be thrown clear, and then spend several months in a coma. That should be enough time to partially recover from all the sleep I have been missing.
On to more uplifting things. Some of you requested more dish on the big day. The juicy details. How do two seemingly intelligent responsible adults end up randomly getting hitched on the beach with no one present but an officiant and a handful of beach goers?
Well, I'll tell you.
Saturday September 6, 2008
Ben and I are LOSING OUR MINDS we are so excited about vacation. I haven't been on a vacation in YEARS, and Ben has never been to the beach (aside from the beaches of Vietnam where he was born and the beach he floated to when he was one year old trying to get to America with the rest of the Boat People....but that's another blog).
Dad agrees to help me schlep the dogs to the kennel. On the way back from the kennel, I randomly ask, "Dad, what would you think if I just came back married?"
I sincerely was just asking out of curiosity, as many people had said it would be a good idea just to elope. Dad, being broken down from many years of my shenanigans, naturally replies that he doesn't care what I do as long as I am happy.
That afternoon, Ben somehow manages to talk me into leaving a day early and staying in a hotel for the night. Although this tests my overly planned and micro managed brain, I agree. I am intrigued by his spontaneity...hmmm....
We stay in Asheville for the night.
Sunday September 7, 2008
After finally getting to Hilton Head, Ben and I find a little sports bar serving up wings, beer, and football. Just killing time before we can check into our condo. That is when it hit me.
I am on vacation.
I am vacation with the person I have the most fun with in the whole world.
This is going to be awesome.
Little did I know...
After settling into our condo, we walked down to the beach. I have never been more in love with Benjamin Ha Thanh Lam, than I was at that moment, watching him see the ocean for the first time in his recollected life. When you grow up making the family trips to beach, you become jaded. Witnessing someone experiencing that realization of how small we truly are in comparison to the vastness of the ocean is...very cool.
The love dial had officially been cranked a few notches.
Monday September 8, 2007
Laying out on the beach, I look over at Ben. So handsome. So content to just be there with me. Feet in the sand. Waves crashing. Sun scorching. Snapping pics with a disposable camera. Just the two of us.
"Let's get married."
I said it like trying on a dress. Just to see how it fits. Just to see if it's my style.
It fits pretty well.
I wake up from a nap to find Ben giggling. This is not unusual. Ben is easily amused. But I can tell he's got something up his sleeve.
"Come here, I need to talk to you. I've been checking some things out online...."
He proceeds to tell me about how he googled "eloping in Hilton Head" and stumbled upon this Gail Felton who will do weddings on the beach on short notice. Sounds fishy to me. He has called her though and gotten the skinny on how you go about eloping with someone in the great state of South Carolina. Hilton Head probate court is only open on certain days, so you have to drive over to Beaufort County Probate Court, apply for a marriage license, wait twenty four hours, have them send the paper work back to Hilton Head, blah blah blah.
The last thing I want in a wedding is for it to feel like standing in line at the DMV.
I agree to discuss it over dinner at the Salty Dog though.
And we do.
We discussed everything. Serious things. Were we ready? What about our problems? What about bills? What about our families? What about future kids? What about...what about...what about....
And at the end of the meal, we knew that we had overturned every stone. Hell, we'd being doing that for a year.
This was right.
This was the time.
Let's do it.
Tuesday September 9, 2008
Driving to Beaufort County Probate Court completely sunburned.
Mean security guard.
Holy crap, we've applied for a marriage license.
That night we stopped in a gift shop to look around. I saw a little white summer dress with a large green flower print.
Perfect Elopement Dress.
Put it in the bag.
Wednesday September 10, 2008
I have to give Ben credit. He did just about everything. He went and got the marriage license paperwork, found a florist who could do a bouquet in a pinch (with my favorite flowers: orange roses), confirmed that we wanted to be married just after sunrise the following day with the officiant.
We ran out and had a blast finding the rest of our "wedding attire". A white button up shirt from American Eagle for Ben to wear with his jeans and flip flops. White "wedding flip flops" and a white headband for me.
An hour later, voila!
We're ready for a wedding. Let's hit the beach.
Thursday September 11, 2008
6:00 Am - We're up getting ready for the big event.
I don't know how Ben truly felt, although he says he was nervous.
I was nervous too.
Not in a "What the hell are we thinking?" way, but in a "My life is about to change forever" kind of way.
As we were pulling into the parking for Folly Field Beach, it started to rain. Iniate panic mode. Then Gail pulled up in her gray Honda Accord. Noooooooo! Not on my beach wedding day!
Rain stopped as soon as I stepped out of the car.
We nervously laughed as Gail walked us through the paperwork. I held onto my bouquet for dear life. Then we took off for the beach.
There were maybe twenty or so people out. Walking dogs. Jogging. Taking in the morning beach air.
We found a nice secluded spot, right in the surf.
The ceremony in total probably lasted five minutes. But believe me when I say it was amazing. We didn't have a chance to review what Gail was going to say (good thing we weren't Hindu or something...the Apostle Paul and his love scripture made an appearance in there), but we meant all the things she so poetically recited in that South Carolina drawl.
We were hitched!!!
This was followed by me yelling at a group of women standing by, "I JUST GOT MARRIED!" They and every stranger who passed by seemed just as excited as we were, applauding, offering to take pictures. It was touching.
We took pictures for a good 45 minutes. Then we hit Stacks Pancake House for our little reception...just the two of us. We made our wedding toast with real toast. Hardy har har.
We kept our little union a secret until Friday night when we returned home. What follows is another story in itself. But those are the details. I don't know if knowing the WHOLE story cheapens it in your minds or makes it more special or doesn't even hit your radar screen. But that's how it happened.
A wedding without pretense.
I couldn't be happier.
I wouldn't have done it any other way.