I llove when a column can write itself. Truth be told, there are many columns that I would love to write but cannot. And then there are the columns that I have written, that people have taken personally, even when the column was not about them. What do you do then? Well, after your apologies have fallen upon deaf ears, you accept the fact that people are nuts and you move on.
But this week’s topic was too good not to write about. For the record, Husband #1 did not want me to write it, but when do I ever listen to him? (For those related to Husband #1, don’t worry, it isn’t about you.. If anything, you will be more upset about what it IS about….mwa ha ha (that is my evil laugh)).
Almost 22 years ago, Husband #1 and I embarked on our marital adventure. He was unemployed, and I had begun my career as a social worker. Translation? The bucks were rolling in! Before the wedding, I went to Fortunoff and bought two wedding bands, one for me and one for him.
The wedding was beautiful. Of course we had our issues — doesn’t everyone? No, really — doesn’t everyone? What is funny is that the issues we had before we got married are pretty much the same ones we have had since we were married. I guess that would be a public service announcement to anyone who is reading this who is currently dating someone. (Buyer beware. Whatever is driving you crazy now, well, it only gets worse.)
In any event, I realized, years later, that Husband #1 never paid for the wedding band that he not-so-gently slipped on my finger under the chuppah. (He thought it was supposed to fit on that finger and for the skinnier brides, it might fit, but not on this big bride. I was just happy that the dress fit.) Apparently, the rabbi asks the groom if he paid for the simple band, and the groom usually says yes. The details of our ceremony are a little hazy. Not because we were drunk, unless you count being drunk with happiness. (That line made even me a little nauseous…sorry.)
Every wedding we went to, Husband #1 knew that I would make a comment about how we weren’t really married because he never paid me for the band. And then, after one particularly beautiful wedding, I decided to ask my rabbi about this issue. “Hmm,” he responded, scratching his beard thoughtfully. “This might be a problem.”
A problem? You mean I might not really be married? After building a reputation of being a horrible wife and calling my spouse Husband #1 for all of these years, he might, gasp, not really be my Husband at all? And what about my beautiful boys? Are #s 1, 2, and 3 illegitimate? Is everything a lie? Am I really single? (These are the questions that Husband #1’s relatives are probably getting excited about. Maybe that shrew really isn’t related to us through marriage anymore. Could it be? Could it really be??)
Everyone just calm down.
Last week, my rabbi texted Husband #1 and told him to go out and buy me a plain wedding band, and the wedding was on for Sunday. Huh??? Yup, you read correctly. Thoughts of writing this column were happily floating through my brain, and as if he was reading my mind, Husband #1 said, “You are not writing about this!”
Sorry Husband #1. After all this time, after all of my complaining, Husband #1 was now going to become Husband #2! What happened to my marrying for live-in help? What happened to my dreams of flying first class around the world? (That has never actually been a dream of mine…I just want everyone to be happy and healthy and you can’t buy that, unfortunately.)
Because I am me, and I am a little nuts, I wore my wedding dress to the “ceremony.” Granted, I was about 25 pounds lighter at my actual wedding, but somehow, the gown fit. Well, fit is generous. It closed. We will just say that it closed, and fortunately, it didn’t rip open while we were at the rabbi’s house, because that would have been scary for everyone.
And now we are married, still. Don’t need to go into the details of why we had to do this, or what we had to do. But, if you are really interested, son #1 made a vimeo so his brothers could get in on the fun they missed. And we made sure that according to Jewish law, my boys are still legitimate, and the reason why someone wouldn’t be able to marry them remains the same — that their mommy is totally nuts.
Wonder who Husband #3 will be???
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck is available for marriage counseling. Enough said.