As Bill walked me down the aisle following our July 13th wedding ceremony, I breathed a happy sigh. The minister’s remarks, the vows, the music—everything had gone according to plan. And now, after pictures and a reception, we would be off on our wonderful new life as husband and wife.
I was not ready for the surprise. It happened soon after the reception. Tired, but happy, we retreated to separate areas of the church to change into our going away outfits. It probably took me a good forty-five minutes to peal out of the wedding dress, re-arrange the suitcase and complete all of those last minute touch-ups of hair and make-up. Surely, I thought, Bill would be waiting in the vestibule shaking his head and his watch. No so!
When I rounded the corner-- there stood my groom holding a ball and chain in his hands. Laughter erupted from everyone (even my mother) but, at around 8:30 in the evening, I could see no humor in our predicament. It seems my bride’s matron and some of the groomsmen were in cahoots. Judy laughed as she related how the guys tackled Bill in his dressing room and locked the ball and chain in place. Now, even though Bill’s best man would drive us to our car hide-away, what would we do next?
“Not to worry,” Bill said as he tried to kiss away a frown from my forehead. “You can drive me to the office for a file. We will have this off in no time.”
As I threw the bride’s bouquet from the top step of the church and accepted well wishes from friends and family I was still not convinced that we had a solution. And matters didn’t improve much when Judy came running up to our get-away car with a sheet of paper.
“Here you go,” she said. “This is a list of 15 possible combinations. One of them will open the lock. Have fun!”
I don’t remember what I said to this “former” friend. At least, this is the way I felt about Judy during those long two or three minutes before she smiled, recanted, and slipped Bill the proper lock sequence. I watched with baited breath as he slowly turned the dial and the heavy metal fell from his ankle. We would have a honeymoon after all!
Today, many years later, we still have a picture to remind us of the experience and to help us remember: a smile and a good attitude will keep a marriage from being a ball and chain experience. Happy anniversary, darling!