99 Wins & the 1 We Lost
It’s mom and dad’s 30th wedding anniversary today. It’s a warm afternoon outside the chapel where they first said I do’s when their hair were less gray and their faces less wrinkly. It would be really nice if I could say that they look as in love as they were before, but I know they aren’t. I wasn’t there that day, their wedding day, I was born three years later, but I could tell from the photos that they were very much in love. The kind of love that believes thirty years wouldn’t be that hard of a journey. Today though, as I saw my mom get ready, putting on the same white gown that’s turned a little yellow from storage, which we had altered to have a nice contemporary cut, I saw that her eyes were tired. Not tired from no sleep, even though she just slept for five hours as she has for the past year or so, but tired from years of making things work. She was excited and she was happy, for sure. And she loved my dad, no doubt, but she didn’t have the kind of love I expected in her eyes. What she did have was a nice blend of dark brown and beige eye shadow in her eyelids, which I told the make up artist to put on her. Mom looked up and saw herself. She then looked at me and told me, “Still beautiful, huh? Wrinkly, but still beautiful.” I smiled and though I spent my years annoyed by my mom’s over confidence, she did look beautiful. And though she didn’t have the kind of love I expected in her eyes, she did have a bride’s glow.
I walked down the aisle of the intimate chapel decorated like it had been thirty years ago. The walls were pale yellow now, but the bowl shaped ceiling was still as grand as a tiny chapel could possibly have it be. I saw my aunts and uncles seated on both rows, with some grown up men and women dressed up a little silly. We had attempted to recreate their wedding day from the décor, to the entourage. Unfortunately, thirty years is a long time. A lot of the original guests have outgrown their wedding duties, like Mike outgrew his ring bearer bow and Lisa didn’t look as cute with that flower crown. Others though weren’t able to attend – some moved to far off places, some passed away, some just didn’t bother. But for those who joined us, it was nice of them to be game. Everyone even posed for wedding photos after the ceremony, copying the original photographs already faded and with edges tattered.
We all went outside, with the sky already the perfect orange-y pink from the sun setting, for reception. We had tables and chairs with pretty twinkly lights set up in the garden with the wedding singer already singing mom and dad’s wedding dance song. I took a few photos with the guests, partook in a little chitchat with relatives I still do not know, which you know I dread, and found a seat at the other side of the park. It was far enough that the noise from the celebration was a mere buzz. The lights, though, casted a soft glow, that made the park look more romantic that it was considering it was really a cemetery. As I sat there, I was thinking of you and where you were. The ceremony was over and there was still no sign of you. I told myself that when you got here, if you got here, we’d have such a big fight only appropriate for fight number 100. Not that I was keeping count of all our fights, wins and losses, all these years but yeah, we’ve had about ninety-nine of them by now and each one of them, one of us has won. And since we believe what’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is mine, even if we haven’t tied the knot (or ever will, if you don’t get here in the next ten minutes), when one wins, we both win. So yeah, we’ve won 99 times now. And I'm about to win us the 100th one.