Rodent: (Lots of words we don’t remember.)
Me: “But I thought we didn’t want to get married.”
Rodent: (More words we don’t remember.)
Me: “I had no idea you wanted to get married. Did you just think of it now or something?”
Rodent: “Oh no, I told my kids a couple months ago, and they were quite pleased.”
Me: “But you didn’t tell me! Why didn’t you tell me?!”
Rodent: “I guess I just forgot.”
Me: “Forgot?? You FORGOT to tell me?! How could you forget—“
Rodent: (Breaking in) “I wanted to ask you in person.”
Rodent: “But you haven’t answered the question.”
Me: (Swept away with joy and tears) “YES, OF COURSE!!”
After much discussion, we decided to get married in England before I had to return to the USA. I would need approval from the British government in order to marry in the UK—-unless we got married in an Anglican Church in England.
So we met with the vicar of the largest, oldest, most beautiful Anglican Church in town. Among other things, he told us we’d need to attend services once a month, so for the next few months we went to Evensong and very much enjoyed his sermons and the choir.
The vicar had also told us to go to our parish church and hear our banns read three weeks before the wedding.
Arriving at the parish church a few minutes early, we saw that no one had shown up yet. Since there seemed to be no church parking spaces, Rodent dropped me off at the door and went to find a parking place. I watched him drive off—and crash into the church’s brick wall—but he instantly rallied, backing up and driving off.
Minutes later he returned, but still no one had shown up. We waited for a half hour and then went to get groceries. Rodent happened to glance at the supermarket clock…..and saw that it was newly Daylight Savings time. We had turned up at the church an hour early! We rushed back and seated ourselves just in time, holding hands and smiling at each other as our banns were read.
Days later we moved into, and frantically readied, our newly-bought home for our children and grandchildren coming from L.A. and the East Midlands of England.
Meanwhile, I searched for proper wedding clothes since my usual garb is jeans, and Rodent found the suit he’d worn to his father’s funeral. I bought an antique wedding ring online which turned out to be too big, and Rodent found his father’s wedding ring which fit perfectly.
We were ready….and nervous….and it had begun to snow rather seriously. The entire family piled into two taxis, giddy that The Day had come. I was immensely relieved when we got to the church five minutes before the 2:30 ceremony.
The church was magnificent and silent, with large red and white bouquets on the altar.
The vicar smiled, greeted us, and said: “We didn’t think you were coming. The ceremony was to begin at 2.”
Horrified, I said: “OH, MY GOD!!!”
I glanced around, horrified again, and said: “OH NO, I JUST SAID ‘GOD’ IN CHURCH!!”
The vicar seemed amused but didn’t waste a second. He signalled to the organist to begin the processional, and gently started me walking down the aisle on my son’s arm.
We joined the waiting Rodent and his son at the altar and began singing a hymn, but for some reason there was a little red-shirted body between me and Rodent—-my grandson who’d decided to sing with us, after which he stepped back to take photographs. His blue-shirted twin brother had already begun to video the event.
As the ceremony continued, the vicar quietly said to Rodent and me that he’d picked up the wrong copy of the Bible, so he went to his office for the right one. The twins’ mother came up and asked where the vicar had gone, and I dug around in my pocket for our wedding rings, passing them along to Rodent to give to his son.
The vicar returned and read from the Song of Solomon. Then Rodent and I exchanged rings and said our vows. We were aware only of one another, as if no one else existed.
In closing, the vicar said he’d been told that happy couples laugh and read and talk together, and he felt that we were one such happy couple.
Thus the fallen-away Quaker and the lapsed Calvinist son of a Scottish minister were wed.