When Cliff first visited my home, no one dared to ask:
“When will you get married? ” It looked as though it was MY task.
When I told Cliff “Yes” …..I meant it, but HE didn’t say when.
In two weeks more, Mom asked “When? ” I said: “I’ll ask. Ask me then.”
So in early August I cuddled up with Cliff one starlit night,
and asked outright: “Hey Lover Boy, when can we unite ……
in marriage for REAL? No more ‘playing (weekend) house’ “,
to which HE said “You pick the date, My Sweet; I’ll not grouse.”
Leave it to Cliff to sneak in the name of a bird!
But I got my answer, and now it was up to me! How weird.
Now I’d have to decide whether to do it quickly, or to plan …..
a formal affair with some sort of ceremony, followed by a band.
I thought about it for a week, and talked to my mom.
She said: “Get him to a judge. Can you still fit into the dress from your prom? ”
I laughed at that but it made enough sense to me,
except for the dress part; it was ten years old. Golly gee.
By late August we’d gone to Darien’s city hall to get ….
a marriage license. We lined up a judge, almost while the ink was still wet.
Cliff and I reserved a room in a hotel for a 100-people affair.
I mean a dining and dancing room. We’d also get married there.
I’d visited Sheila’s Brooklyn home three times before the wedding.
I met some more New York ‘Gold relatives’, so they’d see what she was getting.
I met her grandpa who started the accounting office she now ran.
And one weekend Sol, Claire, and Fred came to Darien ……., in their minivan.
[Sheila speaks, again]:
A nice new dress for me, strapless, and a dark gray suit for ‘my Dear’.
We invited 150 friends and relatives, from both far and near.
One hundred and ten RSVP’d: “We’ll be there for sure.”
The next two months seemed to go by in a blur.
One night we toasted each other, and pledged one another our troth.
We wrote our own vows, Cliff’s based (loosely) on the Boy Scout Oath.
November weather was kind to us in 1991, on the weekend we got wed,
and I believe all the guests enjoyed it. They surely got well fed.
Most of the guests were my relatives and friends, and friends of Mom and Dad.
Cliff’s Texas aunt and uncle and two cousins came ….., for which I was very glad.
Oh, Cliff had a FEW friends there too, and the editor of his first book.
We had three paid photographers, and plenty of great shots they took.
It was my idea to write my vows and Sheila decided to follow suit.
The Boy Scout Oath was embedded in my brain, which Sheila thought was “cute”.
But I did not suggest I wear my old Scout uniform, or carry a newspaper bag.
AND we did NOT start the afternoon off by saluting anybody’s flag.
[Clifford’s wedding vows]:
Dear Sheila, on my Honor I will do my best ….
to do whatever you reasonably do request;
to obey the rules we set for you and me,
and to always be as helpful as I can be;
to be physically strong, mentally awake,
and well-behaved, for both our sakes.
[Sheila’s wedding vows]:
Dear Clifford, on this our wedding day,
before our friends and relatives, I do say,
I love you more than I dare express,
more than all others, I do confess.
I’ll do my best to be your cheerleader,
and when you write a book, I shall read her.
(around February 2015)
[story to be continued in: “(BOOK #11) : Sheila And Clifford: The Honeymoon …… (and Violet & Ike, again!) ”