A few of my posts have included dreams that I’ve had. Each of those posts concludes with how I don’t put much faith in dreams. But there is one dream that I definitely interpreted to be quite meaningful. I made a life changing decision as a result.
I met Roland for the first time on December 31, 2000. He asked me out that night. We would go downtown to celebrate the coming of the New Year. I missed playing games with my family – a ritual I have enjoyed about New Years.
Roland was quite forward. I had dismissed guys for being too forward – and none had ever been as forward as Roland had. I didn’t understand why I felt so comfortable around him. By the end of our date we had set up a second. I don’t know if I knew then that we would be seeing the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks.
So during our second date, I cried and cried – not for Tom Hanks’ character, but because I thought of my dad. Though he was never stranded on an island with a ball-turned-companion, I just remembered the frustration that dad must have felt in trying to communicate with anybody outside of his hospital bed.
Roland was so gentle with me and seemed to understand. He passed no judgment. I was grateful for that.
That night I had a dream that it was summer and my mom was trying to get all my sibs together for a family portrait. In the dream Roland and I had been dating for six months. He had not yet proposed, but I knew that he would be proposing. I was wondering how to ask mom to allow Roland and the boys to be in our family picture, as I knew that we would be together by the end of the year.
In real life I shot out of bed. I had met Roland only two days before. We had only had our second date – a movie, at that. Why would I be dreaming that we would become an item? I didn’t even know him! I was less than thrilled about having this dream.
The next day I went to work but returned home in less than four hours as I really didn’t feel well. I told my brother that I’d be going back to bed and under any circumstances I was NOT to be disturbed. But less than an hour later he knocked at my door to tell me that Roland was waiting for me.
For reals? Or was I having another odd dream? Roland was there to propose! We had met just three days ago and he wanted to marry me! Get real! So of course my first thought was: “No, no, no, no, no . . . .” actually the reaction was pretty much as it had been when I awoke from the dream.
Was there a connection? Had my dream been a personal revelation? Was this a test? “No – no – I can’t accept a proposal of marriage. I don’t even know this guy. This goes against EVERYTHING I had planned for myself. I wasn’t even going to date a guy I had known less than a year. And now I was getting this message to marry this complete stranger?”
Of course I prayed about my decision – realizing that just because I accepted his proposal did not mean I couldn’t break it off at some point. Three days?? That’s outrageous!!
Since I was knee high my dad had tried to brainwash me into believing that I wanted to elope when I had the opportunity. To be honest, I really had no idea what he meant. It wasn’t until I got much older than I realized the elopement thing was not a bad idea. Only by the time Roland came along, dad was gone and mom didn’t want me to elope. I think my mom saw Roland as the Big Bad Wolf and was afraid for me.
Roland and I had changed our wedding date several times. As I had mentioned in this post, we had wanted to do the right thing and start our life together with a temple marriage.
We had the marriage certificate to present to our bishop for the following week, but he realized that he’d be out of town. And I was tired of it. Tired of changing the date. Tired of trying to appease everyone. In fact, I had said to mom and brother, Corey, “why don’t you arrange a date that fits into both of your schedules and get back to us; You two make the arrangements and tell us when to show up.”
After several tears and a talk with mom, I went into the bishop and asked if he could marry us that night or the next. Our civil marriage took place September 9, 2001. Everybody (including the groom) who came to the wedding received an eight hour notice or less. So it wasn’t an elopement exactly, but it wasn’t planned in the way that you would think a wedding should be.
On September 11, terrorists attacked our nation. If Roland and I hadn’t already been married, I would have had him drive me to Vegas upon my return home from work. For I fully believed that the world had come to an end. I suppose in many aspects it symbolically did.
A month later we did an open house – mostly for the benefit of those who attended mom’s ward and made desires known that they wished I would have had a reception or something. I purchased balloons, baskets and teddy bears for the decor and we’d gone to Sam’s Club for the hors-d'œuvre. I think we spent 100 bucks tops.
So it wasn’t elaborate. It worked. I don’t ever look back on that day and say, “Oh, I wish I would have spent more money on more frivolous things.”
Okay, I’ll admit, I’ve never been overly enthusiastic about weddings. If I have to be involved in a wedding, I have always enjoyed the simpler ones so much better than all that elaborate hoopla. When I finally understood my dad’s wisdom, I had hoped that each of my boys would find girls who would want to elope.
Actually, my first daughter-in-law and I have much in common as far as hoopla goes. Her attitude pretty much matched my own. Her family made the arrangements and she and Tony showed up. Well, not entirely. But I am under the impression that is how she felt. It was important to her mom, and that is why she allowed it. Rochelle’s mom passed away only two months after she and Tony were married.
I don’t know how much Carrie and I have in common. She likes to visit, but Randy somehow always manages to steal her thunder. His behavior resembles that of Captain Kirk or William Shatner where “I am important and therefore all attention should be on me”
It was actually that behavior that Carrie found to be a turn off. She could see right away that Randy is full of himself (which really most people don’t get because they are always awed by his charisma) I don’t recall why she agreed to go out with him, or why she allowed a second date (her description of their first date is less than flattering) but evidently had enough premonition to make a life with him.
Their wedding was expensive. We did not contribute financially as we were on welfare when both Randy and Tony were married to their wives. Perhaps that is part of why I have such a hang-up with the tremendous amount of money spent on weddings. I have enough trouble just staying afloat or trying to put food on the table. Spending two paychecks for one-day event is OUTRAGEOUS.
Jeanie seemed all in favor of elopement initially. But I think Biff wanted the hoopla – and what they had in mind initially seemed tasteful. They would get married in the temple and have a luncheon with the family. They wouldn’t send out announcements to friends until several weeks later to invite them to some kind of reception to pay a congratulations to the couple. At least that was my understanding.
But then it changed. And changed again. They couldn’t marry in the temple as they had planned and so they decided just to marry civilly. They would include family members and have a luncheon afterward. Later when they were granted temple marriage, they would have a reception to include all family and friends.
We received the announcement of their civil marriage and have been planning for that for over a month. Two weeks ago Roland received a text from Biff to please escort him in the temple. They are having their temple marriage on Friday and have changed their civil marriage to something else to accommodate those that are coming on Saturday.
Two weeks is quite a healthy notice. It’s not like Biff rushed into a proposal only three days after having met Jeanie. And they have given us a lot more than just eight hours notice. I can’t help but wonder what kind of example we set for them though.
Still no scheduled reception – at least that I know of. I wonder if they are still planning on having more. I think elopement would have been so much easier. Definitely less expensive. I can still plant the seeds for Jenna. Let her know the pros and the cons. I mean, it would be nice if we could afford something elaborate for her. But gads, all that money for just one day? Why not put the money towards a house or tuition or something that you will have with you with more than just a memory?