Thursday, August 25, 2005

We Do

Part 1 - We Meet
Part 2 - She's So Lovely
Part 3 - See Me
Part 4 - Here Today
Part 5 - Gone Tomorrow

A little over a month later, with the blessings of her family, Beth sent her things ahead and flew out to start our life together. A year to the day later, we said our vows in front of our closest friends and family in a small chapel at Waleia Hawaii.

We pulled out the checkbook for this one, but we had our wedding at the Grand Waleia, and the reception at the Four Seasons, a pair of neighboring five star hotels that were simply elegant. I had never stayed at any hotel better than a Super 8, so I had no idea what was in store.

There is something magic about Hawaii that cannot be explained. There is a mood that grips you the minute you land, as if you had descended into dreamland. On the road to Hana, rain comes and goes like a camera flash and you hardly seek shelter because it feels so good. We drove around the back roads where tourists don't normally go, where the locals --No Local, No Mahalo-- have junk cars in their front yards overgrown with wild flowers and vegetation, exhibiting the genius of nature's keen artistic side, rendering us mute with awe. We saw wild weasels and pet a goat that was tied beside the road, such a friendly little guy that I wanted to take him home. In a small village we saw what looked like a large megaphone mounted on a metal tower, which turned out to be a tsunami alarm, which drove home for us that we were on a small rock in the middle of a vast and violent ocean.

On our first night there was a message at the hotel from a friend of mine that couldn't make the wedding, but who had spent many vacations in Hawaii. He tried many times to express that Hawaii was a jewel on the ocean band, but what human really knows a thing until experienced first hand?

"Welcome to Hawaii," the message went, "now you know."

Paul, my friend who introduced me to Beth, regardless of his intentions, accepted our invitation to attend. The reception featured a two hour open bar, and my luscious friends, locked arm-in-arm with my side of the family, used it to it's fullest advantage. My brother John had been feeling nervous, dreading his responsibility as best man to give a toast. When his time came he delivered his flawless anecdote, but walked away before actually calling for the toast, which made us all laugh. He came back with his head hanging and finally had us raise our glasses.

Many took turns saying a little something, including my mother, who so sweetly couldn't say much without breaking down and crying. Paul stood up and gave a toast.

"Hi, my name is Paul," he started, "and I introduced Beth and Scott."

Then Eric, read evil nemesis, interjected in When Harry Met Sally style, "And if she was the least bit attracted to him, we wouldn't be here today." Just to let you know, Paul is still my friend today. Eric is too. But there isn't too much love between the two of them.

Our wedding coincided with the weekend of the Pro Bowl, a game that never held an interest for me. By this time, the Super Bowl has came and went, so this game means less than nothing. Although the game is not played on Maui, many of the football players like to stay at the Four Seasons. Since we were kids, my brother John and I loved football. John chose for his favorite the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I the Dallas Cowboys. My dad told me that he saw Troy Aikman jogging on the ocean path, and I had seen John Elway and Mike Shanahan by the pool. I was hoping to see Troy around, although I didn't plan to say anything to him; I feel that these guys get it all the time and I like to think I'm not a mindless lemming.

As luck would have it, Troy was sitting at the bar that was servicing our wedding reception. Paul and my brother, my best man, saw him there and gave him a hard time for not making the Pro Bowl that year. I could have killed them both and would have been acquitted. Neither thought to come get me, and I never saw him during my stay.

So that is the story of how I met and married my wife. There are so many details that I have either forgotten or left out, as the male mind has periodically to clean house to make room for sports statistics. So what's the moral? For all the posturing I've done for the opposite sex, it was being myself that really mattered. I wasn't trying to impress anyone, home alone on a Friday night, when against all probability my future wife knocked on my door. What if Paul were more characteristically possessive and kept her away that night, or if the rain had kept them away, or a parking place hadn't become suddenly available? I've always felt like an angel watches over me, call it luck or divine assistance, but a sense of destiny has been a tangible, almost palpable presence in my life. I'm not a man of faith, but sometimes, as with most people, when I really want something badly enough, I'll pray for a little help. I was walking along the oceanside by Fort Mason on a sunny morning, during the time I was corresponding with Beth via email, wishing that somehow I could be with her, but not feeling any real hope of it happening. I said to myself, on an open frequency, "God, if you send her to me, I'll take care of her for the rest of my life." I'm not one for sappy sentiment, nor have I ever seen a UFO or Bigfoot; I don't hear voices, have imaginary friends, or see things that aren't really there. I know how it sounds, and I wouldn't believe me either, but in that moment I looked out into the bay, and there hovered a tiny circular rainbow above the water's surface, refracted in the fine, nearly dissipated morning fog, so close it seemed that I could almost touch it. It seemed to me like the halo of an angel.


magnetbabe said...

That was beautiful Scott.
BTW- If my friends talked to Daunte Culpepper at my wedding and didn't bring me over to say hi, they would no longer be my friends.

Scott said...

I know, isn't it just outrageous!?

Beth said...

It really was beautiful. Such a tribute to Beth!

Mr. T said...

A beautiful end to this leg of your epic saga. Thanks for sharing Scott!

jenbeauty said...

What a beautiful ending. I loved your last paragraph and I can feel your love for your wife. Have you let her read this? Talk about brownie points *wink* lol!

My dad went to Hawaii on his 60th birthday and dreams of going back. I hope to be able to go with him.

Thanks so much for sharing this bit of your life.

Scott said...

Thanks all for the comments. My wife has read a couple and I'll presenting the last of them shortly. I think it is a nice reminder to her that I really do love her, even with two kids pining for our attention, such that we can only collapse at the end of the day.

Mrs.T said...

Loved it! I hope your wife loves it too!

mr. schprock said...

Nice story and impressive life, Scott. Congratulations.

Miranda said...

One of the only blog posts that's ever left me teary.

*grin* And thanks for the part about the goat. I'd have wanted to bring it home too.

Joely Sue Burkhart said...

This was a great story, Scott!

Jason said...

Great story. Sometimes I wish I lived in Hawaii. Two of my groomsmen were former friends who were at odds by the time of our wedding -- one had broken up with the other's sister a few months after they had a baby together. They actually patched things up for a while by my getting them together on the West coast.

Scott said...

Mrs T - If she doesn't like it, there's no hope!

Mr. Schprock - Thanks, now I have to figure out something else to write about.

Miranda and Joely - Thanks!

Jason - Talk about a tense situation with your friends. Sometimes Beth and I wonder why we didn't move to Hawaii instead of coming east where the weather is so extreme.