Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Why I asked for a divorce on my honeymoon

When my husband proposed to me, he did absolutely everything right. He took me to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. He rented the most luxurious suite at the Biltmore Inn for the weekend. He arranged a picnic lunch by the bass pond with the most wonderful view of the conservatory and gardens. And he was so nervous I thought he'd pass out.
He proposed on my birthday, a Saturday. We decided to marry one year later, again on my birthday, but a Sunday. It took every day of that entire year to plan our wedding and honeymoon. We had a gorgeous wedding at a local historical mansion, complete with horse drawn carriage and a flutist and harpist playing Pachebel's Canon.
Our honeymoon was to be the trip of a lifetime. We were to fly out of Dulles Airport into Heathrow. The plan was to spend one week in England, one week in Scotland, and one week as a cushion in case we wanted to stay longer or go to France. I was looking more forward to the trip than the wedding. The wedding was really more for our families. Don't misunderstand, it was beautiful and flawless, but the trip, that was for us, and only us.
Two weeks in Europe! A dream come true. I had been before, but I was fresh out of high school and didn't make it out of London because that's where the parties were. My shiny new husband had never been farther than Florida. He chickened out on me two days before the wedding. Not the getting married part, the flying to Europe part. To say I was disappointed would be the understatement of the century. To say I handled my disappointment with grace and humor would be an outright lie. I ranted. I raved. I said horrible things that I was later sorry for. Frankly, after the way I went on, I'm surprised he didn't back out of the wedding, too. But I still, ten years later, feel that I was justified. I put a lot of time and effort into planning the trip. I was very much looking forward to going. And he took it away from me because of his fear to fly. I was angry and resentful, but in the interest of our wedding, I put it aside for later inspection.
Our honeymoon actually turned out to be quite wonderful. It wasn't the trip I had planned but there was something freeing about not having an itinerary or a schedule. We hopped into a rental car on Monday afternoon and headed north. We ended up in Niagara Falls, of all places. How trite, but thoroughly enjoyable. From there, we went through Canada to Bar Harbor, Maine. Then we took the catamaran to Nova Scotia, and eventually made our way home. We had no plans, no reservations, no destination. And we had a great time.
Upon our return home, still feeling a bit stung that I didn't get my way, and feeling just a wee bit entitled, I took the money we had left over and bought myself a little bling.

I've worn this ring on my right hand everyday since our honeymoon. It reminds me that it doesn't always have to be about me, that if I give other ideas a chance, they just might be as good as, or (gasp!) better, than mine. It also reminds me that it's ok to be nice to myself. I think that a lot of us put ourselves last most of the time. And I'm glad I put myself first long enough to buy a beautiful reminder of a lovely time.


Anonymous said...

Neat story! My wife and I went to Canada (Ontario) for a week for our Honeymoon, and then the next summer, went on a three week (Second Honeymoon) to Wyoming and Montana; it was wonderful! 40 years flies by in a hurry when you are having life!

Twisting Ivy said...

I completely understand your disappointment!

But I think, in the end... the insight you gained was beautiful.

Ree said...

oooooh, shiny! pretty!

I didn't have a honeymoon either time.... I'm still waiting ;-)

Sizzle said...

That would have been really disappointing to me too...but at least it ended up with a happy ending.

Candy said...

Nice rock!

Jen @ The Cubicle's Backporch said...

I think my boyfriend has the possibility to do something like that to me. (back out due to fear of flying) When I've asked him if he'd be okay flying, he says yes- with medication. But if it came down to it, he might really freak out.

I'm glad things worked out... but did you ever make it to Europe?

Oria said...

You write very well.