Monday, June 26, 2006

The disaster that was June 26, 1982.

The original date that the wedding was to take place was June 5th. That date is inscribed in our wedding bands. It was delayed because I needed a certificate from the U.S. Consulate stating that I was not married. That certificate was delayed even after we were declared man and wife by the civil registrar. The "official" date of our legal union as far as the government of Bolivia is concerned is Feburary 28, 1983.

When my soon to be wife went with her sister to pick up the wedding cake the shop keeper demanded a deposit on the plastic dove ornament which she said belonged to her and was not part of the price of the cake. The two had no money so my sister-in-law left her watch and wedding band as a deposit which upset my wife to the point of tears.

My future brother-in-law announced that he was not going to attend because he had no good shoes. Shoes were found after more tears from my wife.

My other sister-in-law was supposed to help my wife with her make-up and dress but split with her boyfriend and didn't return until that was all done.

The civil registrar did not show up and had to be hunted down at another marriage she was performing. Guests were kept waiting and mom-in-law was perturbed. More tears.

Finally everything was in place except for the best man who failed to show up.

We were declared man and wife in the living room of the house my wife's family rented from her uncle.

We had decided that some sort of church ceremony was appropriate. A friend of ours who was a Mormon Bishop told us he would "bless" our marriage. Only Catholic Priests can officially marry people in Bolivia.

We had the church reserved but at the last minute the bishop in charge of that chapel told us that we could not play any music. He based this on the old school Mormon's can't dance philosophy that went out a hundred years before Footloose was released in theatres.

There were more people at the reception who we DIDN'T know than there were who we DID.

Since the best man had failed to show with the refreshments he was supposed to have brought my now semiofficial mom-in-law became angry because the guests had nothing to drink.

Who went across the street to get sodas?

The bride and the groom.

When we cut the cake nobody wanted to go get the plates that were in the kitchen.

Who went and got them?

The bride.

Of course none of my family was there. My mother was opposed to the marriage. Not that any of them would have been able to attend a wedding in Bolivia. I always thought that once we got to the States we would have some kind of open house for family and friends. That never happened.

So it was finally time for us to split the reception. My wife's best friend and her husband had a car and they said "let's go" and they took us through the streets of La Paz in their Volkswagen beetle. That was the first time I met Oscar and now we are like brothers.

We had no money for a honeymoon.

Today marks twenty four years.

It's not the wedding and the honeymoon kids. It's the MARRIAGE.

The house where were married has since collapsed as it was built on an unstable hill.

When I went to Bolivia last year to buy the house my in-laws now reside in I had ONE request from my wife. That was to bring back her wedding dress. They gave me the dress and I tossed it in my luggage A WEEK before I was to come back. I got home and proudly pulled it out of my suitcase expecting a look of joy to come to my wife's face as she remembered the joyous day those many years ago.

It was the wrong dress.

They gave me my sister-in-law's wedding dress by mistake.


I don't know what to say about all of that.

Triumph over adversity.
definately. we both laugh about it now.
Zona darling that was inspiring. i love it when two people can triumph over such things and come out ahead of all the rest. your love gives me hope.
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