Sorry I have been missing in action. I was off getting married! Keith and I both had an amazing day despite some hiccups!
Our wedding experience started with Keith making four trips to the airport to pick up my family who arrived in NYC between 1:30 Monday afternoon and 1:30 Tuesday morning. Among the first to arrive was my niece Carsyn. She clicked immediately her new cousin.
Tuesday evening our families gathered for dinner at Swine, which was the first restaurant Keith and I ate at together in NYC. I was more than a touch nervous about our two families coming together but everyone hit it off. His mom even tried to kidnap my little sister Abbey. Unfortunately, the dark restaurant was not conducive for picture taking.
New Years Eve has been rumored to be a popular wedding day (everyone must need the tax break) and the City Clerk’s Office doesn’t take reservations. When arriving at the City Clerk’s Office, you get in line to receive a number and then wait “patiently” for your number to be called. I was determined to get through the line as quickly as possible. I didn’t want to make our families wait in line forever or hear them complain. Plus we only had the photographer for 4 hours. I estimated the time at the City Clerk’s Officer would take a maximum of 2 hours if we were one of the first in line leaving 2 hours of photos after the ceremony. Knowing all this, I directed everyone to be at the City Clerk’s Office at 8:30 a.m. The City Clerk’s Office didn’t open until 8:45 a.m. but no one needed to know that minor detail. Anyone who knows me knows I HATE it when people are late. Actually, I HATE it when people are not early.
The morning of the wedding started bright and early. My 3 sisters, niece, brother-in-law and I all stayed in a 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom apartment in Manhattan. We chaotically maneuvered around each other while getting ready. I only had to yell at my brother-in-law once to stay in the kitchen while I ran out with only hose on. Prior to this week, Abbey had practiced several hair styles on me but none met my standards. Without any other options, I chose to let her wing it and try a different unpracticed style. I am sure she was more nervous about doing my hair than I was about getting married. My hair turned out simply perfect!
Abbey and I were the first to be ready. We ran out the door as a I received a call for the flower delivery. As I was informing the driver I was on the way down to pickup the flowers, I realized he was at 90th street and not 9th street. No! I didn’t have time to wait. The poor driver undeservingly received the wrath of Clara. As I told the driver to forget it, I could see the lost look on Abbey’s face. She knew I was livid but had no idea how to comfort me.
After the others were ready, I began the sprint (thank gosh for comfortable cowboy boots) towards the subway station leaving my family including my pregnant sister in the dust. We arrived at the subway station as the train pulled in. We quickly passed the metro card back to one another after going through the turnstile until only Abbey was left and the card had run out of funds. After a little coaxing, Abbey rebelled and jumped the turnstile. Trains don’t wait for you to refill your card and we had no time to spare. We then found ourselves on the wrong route and I had to remind myself to breathe.
I arrived at the City Clerk’s Office at 8:35. My step-dad was holding a spot in line but there was no groom in sight. In my head I tried to evaluate whether I should text/call him or if that would just slow him down. Eventually I made the decision to text … no response. I called … his voicemail answered. I called again …. his voicemail answered again.
By this point I had reached the front of the line. Without the groom’s ID I could not receive a number. I had no choice but to let couples go ahead of me. I told myself he may be on the subway and not answering because he does not have service during the 15 minute ride. Twenty minutes later, I no longer had an excuse for him not picking up. I called him again … his voicemail answered AGAIN.
I stood standing and staring at the door hoping and praying the next guy who walked through would be him. I held it together until Keith’s family walked in the room without him. At that moment I was fully aware the tears running down my face would cause my mascara to run. Not that it would matter what my makeup looked like if I didn’t get married. I apologized to everyone around for having to wait. I feared my family would be critiquing Keith’s character. I feared Keith’s family was going to see a very bad side of me they did not like.
FINALLY! Keith was calling at 9:15 a.m. He informed me he would be there in 15 minutes. I knew by the sound of his voice he had just woken up and I must admit my response to this fact was not nice. My response was hateful enough my sister Margaret started crying and my cousin Malika and mother immediately turned to comfort mode.
Knowing Keith was safe and on his way the tension began to ease. The photographer looked at me and said, “When he gets here get it out and then let it go. Otherwise you will see it in every photograph.” This was the best advice and at that moment I let almost all of my anger go. I am thankful that during the morning of worrying and waiting, my family and his were 100% supportive. Never once did I hear negative or discouraging comments. I am also thankful for my sister Liz who kept Carsyn and Amelia busy playing games.
Keith finally arrived around 10:00 a.m. with the saddest look on his face. I let all my remaining anger go the minute I saw the pain in his face. He would not look at my face. I was momentarily worried that I had let it go but he was not going to forgive himself. Luckily it didn’t take long for us to both realize no mistake should come in-between our happiness.
We received our number, signed our marriage license and the ceremony was performed by 11:00 a.m!
In case you are curious I never did yell at Keith for his tardiness but he will definitely not live it down.