I took a stroll down memory lane recently.
When I was tidying up my closet, I came across my Cheers book I made for One Fine Day Weddings. The book is specifically the Cheers I received prior to changing the name to Carefree Weddings and I'm a little sad I didn't do one for CW too.
But at least I have this one.
It isn't a thick book - it can be hard to get people to leave you a review, even when you ask. But I have 21 weddings memorialized in that book and I remember every single one of them.
And yes, to toot my own horn, reading those Cheers did a little something for my ego. Some were just a couple of sentences. One took up an entire page.
It made my heart happy to know that I was what those couples needed. And a little sad too, considering how many reviews mentioned how difficult it was to find an officiant as flexible as me.
I remember Heather and Sara - my first (and only) same sex ceremony, done before it was finally legal here in Texas. And that they let me bring my boys to their informal celebration because I told them I wanted to show them an example of love between two women looked like in person.
I always raised my kids to know love is love. When we played Life and it was time to get married, we always asked if they wanted to marry a boy or a girl this time. And sometimes I would marry a girl and sometimes Dean would marry a boy and we never made a big deal of it.
And I've always had friends in the LGBTQ+ community so they were raised around that. But it was an honor to let them see it in person.
That wedding is one of my favorites.
And I loved reading Kelly's review (it was the page long one) because she spoke about how most officiants just wanted her to choose one of their ceremonies and move on. But that meeting me was like meeting her soulmate - "just not one she could legally marry".
After her wedding, Kelly started assisting me with weddings. She assisted me with MOST of my weddings. And we became friends. Great friends. It was her house that I stayed at before my last divorce.
And she traveled all the way to Maine to be at our wedding.
I showed Rob the book because I am so proud of my time and work as an officiant and Day of Coordinator. As he was looking at the book, he asked if I ever wondered how many of them are still married.
And the answer is, I know for a fact several are because we became friends.
I know Morgan and Marcel are still married and they have 3 beautiful boys.
I know Kelsi and Jeremy are still married and they also have 3 beautiful children - 2 boys and a girl!
I know Magan and Darrell are still married and they have 2 beautiful boys.
I know Lauren and Josh are still married and they have a handsome son.
I know Misty and Ron are still married - and we just spent the weekend with them. And Kelly and Nathan are still together.
Hell, I think every one of those marriages lasted longer than my last one.
I'm not suggesting I had anything to do with that. I just like knowing that I can be at least peripherally involved in a marriage that lasts more than 10 years.
I read review after review of couples thanking me for being a part of their day...whether it was writing and performing the ceremony or making sure every detail of their wedding was executed to perfection to match their vision. Sometimes both.
I know in my heart of hearts weddings are what I should be doing now. But I was never able to make it more than a part-time gig - and I really tried.
But it's also difficult giving up weekends when that's the only time you see your better half. It's one of the reasons I gave it up initially. That and working 40+ hours a week AND doing weddings on the weekend was taking a physical toll on me.
If I'm being honest - and you know I always am - that's one concern I have about organizing.
I'd love to own my own wedding venue. I'm still mad I couldn't get that venue in Round Rock back in 2015 but I had just bought a house and couldn't figure out how to make it work.
And it was a perfect property. Easy to get to location off a busy street but set far enough back and surrounded by trees so that once you've turned in, you felt like you were transported out of the city.
The building was a mid-century vibe and had apparently been used for weddings though I had never heard of it so they should have spent some money on advertising. There was a large outdoor ceremony site, appeared to have plenty of space inside, and multiple photo op areas around.
It needed some light landscaping because apparently it had been abandoned for a while. But nothing overwhelming. I even knew how I would decorate it.
You know when you go to an antique store and you see the old wedding photos? I would buy up all of those and have a gallery wall. Then I would have another wall for people that were actually married there.
I had a plan. I looked into getting a SBA loan, woman owned business, etc but they all needed me to put at least $50k of my own money in and I didn't have it.
But owning my own venue would have allowed me to be involved in weddings without necessarily giving up my weekends. And I know it would have been a lot of work but I would have fucking nailed it.
And the best part is, there are not a lot of wedding venues around that fit that specific MCM aesthetic. And while I know MCM isn't necessarily for everyone, I also know that not everyone wants to get married in a barn (not that there's anything wrong with that, I've done many a beautiful wedding in a barn or barn adjacent setting).
But the beauty of the MCM vibe is clean lines. You can make it your own!
Gah. Starting to depress myself.
Anyway the moral of this story should really be if you don't already have an Atta Girl (or boy... how about me?) file of some sort, you need to start one. I usually have an email folder at every job I have so when someone tells me I did a good job or something I just move that email right on over (after forwarding to my boss because we have to toot our own horn sometimes).
It's a great reminder when you have a rough day and it doesn't hurt when asking for a raise either.
My stitches are still in and can I just say WOW. I had no idea it was that big. I think it is 10 stitches total. And it's all bruised and gross looking.
The good news is I received the call today that they did get all of the cancer on this one so no further treatment will be necessary.
And I don't *really* care about about the scar but I was not prepared for the size of it. I've had skin cancer spots removed before - there's one on my chest and you can barely see it. There will be no mistaking this scar.
And I don't love that.
It is what it is. It's the price I pay for having been such a sun worshipper back in the day. Which would be a lot more palatable for me if I had ever once thought I had a good tan.
But now I'm concerned about the one on my back because it is dangerously close to my tattoo and I would be sad if it got messed up.
Also I literally just got off the phone cancelling another doctor appointment to find out why I have this random abdominal pain sometimes - I assume it is probably another cyst. Because my share of the invoice is nearly $500 and I cannot afford to pay that for something that doesn't even hurt right now.
And I would like to say thank you for the generosity some of you have shown us since my last post. It is very much appreciated. Things are not dire, we can afford to pay our bills, it's just the luxuries that make life worth living that we can't afford.
And medical expenses.