Secret Wedding

Today is our 14th wedding anniversary. 14 years ago today, Cadillac and I married in a super secret ceremony in the home of a Tacoma justice of the peace. The witnesses were two people from his Army squad: a guy whose name I can’t remember, and his Sergeant, who gave us the book, The Five Love Languages.

It sounds dramatic to say it was a secret wedding. We wanted to get married in San Diego, with a properly witnessed, family-and-friend attended wedding. Cadillac could not leave due to his Army commitments; everyone got the same time off, and his wouldn’t happen until the next summer. As a practical matter, if we were married, we would get the military benefits, like housing allowance and health care, that we needed.

So we told our parents and we got married.

The proper wedding, white dress and all, was held the next year in July.

Originally, we were going to celebrate the July anniversary, but that always felt a bit off. So we celebrate the October 3.

There are some photos from this secret wedding day, but they didn’t turn out. They are half black, like the shutter had a crack, which it probably did in the old camera.

I was a bit afraid this portended some OMEN of dark nature, but it didn’t. The other wedding pics turned out great.

It turns out, we have THREE anniversaries. The one in October, the one in July, and one in March that occurred three years later, when we got the marriage sacrament in church.

Anyway, despite the fact that we basically ignored all advice columnists and mothers on how to pursue serious relationships (fast, on the heels of another relationship, etc) it’s turned out well.

I try not to talk much about my husband in terms of what he does for me. It sounds like bragging. I mean, he annoys me sometimes, and I annoy him, but for the most part, he’s not like most husbands I’ve heard of. So ’cause it’s a special day, let me talk about what he does for a second.

This is how he takes care of me: He makes my coffee every day, though he never has time to drink it himself– I just have to press the button. If he has time, he makes my eggs, and always makes them on the weekend, in bed, if I want. When I’m sick, I’m a huge baby– I know that the stereotype is that men are the babies, but it’s the other way around– so he orders me to bed and brings me soup. He stays up late doing laundry, and he remembers to separate my delicates. He drives the kids to as many things as he can, and when they were babies, he was the one who got up with them. He gets up with them these days, if they get sick in the middle of the night. He gets up with ME if I get sick in the middle of the night. (Right now you might be asking yourself what he gets out of this deal. So the best thing you can do is buy one million [holds pinky up to mouth like Dr. Evil] copies of my books so he doesn’t have to work so hard! Do it for him, not for me.)

So far, we’ve survived:

  • Three kids
  • The Army
  • The National Guard
  • Buying a house, selling the house
  • Cadillac getting hit by a car and subsequent neck repair
  • Job layoffs
  • Move from Washington
  • Moving to and from Hawaii, starting over
  • Publishing a book– more important, the writing of said book, because if he hadn’t been there to tell me, “Don’t quit! You’re so close. Besides, you’re not good at anything else!” then I would have given up.

What we like most is spending time together. Also, we are broke. Today, he took the day off, and we went on a hike to a place neither of us had been. 40 minutes of uphill. No switchbacks, no leveling out. Just up and up. I thought I was going to die and made sure he could tell the helicopter where to pick up my body. But I did not die, because his arm was around me, shoving me up that mountain. (It was a peak across from Mt. Fortuna; if we took a fork we would have gone over to Mt. Fortuna)

And then we went to Sea World, where we got to ride the sky ride for the first time together (no kids), and watched some dolphins playing with various balls, including a big exercise balls. They’d hit the balls out of the enclosure and people threw them back in. One dolphin hit the ball out of the water right at me while I was messing with my phone (trying to take photos), and I ducked, knowing Cadillac was going to catch it, and the best thing I could do was get out of the way.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

4 thoughts on “Secret Wedding

  1. ok, you convinced me. I don’t have the funds to by one million copies of your book but I will buy at least 1 copy of every book you get published. Happy anniversary and I’m glad you are still alive after the hike.

  2. Happy Anniversary! What a nice husband you have. I am fortunate to have a husband who also makes my coffee in the morning. If he didn’t, we’d be on welfare because of my former Starbucks habit. I really think it’s those little things that make our spouses awesome. Thanks for sharing a glimpse int your 14 years with us.

  3. Yay for secret weddings. We had one. We didn’t even tell our parents until after it was over. We didn’t do the second wedding either.
    Secret weddings rock.

  4. My husband is like your husband. He’s amazing, considerate, thoughtful, and he takes care of me. I didn’t realize how spoiled I could get until I met him and he put it into his mind to spoil me.

    I will love him forever because when he looks at me, he believes that I am worthy of all this. I believe he is, too, and I reciprocate in my own way.

    It’s amazing to have a relationship like this and I am so glad that you have one, too.

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