Friday, December 5, 2014

Two Glasses

I've been cleaning out my old storage unit for what seems like forever.  When Cat and I got divorced she moved out, taking only a few things with her and leaving the rest for me.  I didn't realize quite how much she'd left until I downsized to a smaller place and couldn't fit half of it in my new apartment.  Everything I didn't need went into a storage unit and was mostly forgotten for the last two years.

Last summer I decided to go through the unit and finally get rid of most of it.  I sorted it all first to make sure I didn't toss anything that might be important but it was a pretty even split: 1/3 keep, 1/3 throw away, 1/3 donate to the local charity.  A lot of it was baby stuff that wasn't worth keeping, old sheets, pillows, etc.  There were tons of photos that I took out of frames and put in a box.

This week I got around to the old wedding box.  Cat took a few things with her, her wedding dress, most of the photo albums, and some souvenirs but there was a lot of stuff left over.  Probably the most annoying to me was a huge set of fancy china.  Neither me nor Cat are the type of people to ever use china, so that wedding gift was lugged around for twelve years without ever getting used.  I donated it to the Salvation Army this week.  I also got rid of the fancy champagne flutes that were a wedding gift, also still in their original boxes.

Almost everything in the wedding box was thrown away or donated this week, all except two ordinary looking wine glasses.  Those two are special.

When Cat and I got married it was absolutely not a traditional wedding, neither of our families were religious in the slightest.  We were young and broke, got most of the space and decorations donated, and had friends in local bands play.

Basically it was a really big party with two minutes of us exchanging the vows we'd written, officiated by the friend that had introduced us years earlier.  Like most things her life, Cat made up her vows off the cuff in front of all our friends and family.  I read the vow that I'd taken weeks to write, it was kind of a poem.  I fancied myself something of a poet back then (don't judge), it was funny, cute, and romantic.  For our first anniversary I printed and framed that vow for her with a little hand drawn heart at the bottom, I guess I was always something of a romantic.

For the rest of the wedding everyone just drank and danced, having a grand old time.  About the only thing we splurged on was the open wine bar, so it was quite entertaining to see all our friends and family getting sloshed together.

Toward the end of the evening, Cat and I snuck around taking two of everything.  Two of each decoration, two of each of the settings, two of the center pieces, two of everything we could find.  It wasn't a big deal because we'd paid for most of it, but then we got to the wine glasses and ran into a problem.

A local bistro provided all the wine, servers, and loaned us the glasses for the wedding.  Cat had worked there and knew the bosses quite well so got a good deal with them.  After the wedding we asked if we could take two glasses and we were refused.  We asked if we could buy two and we were refused.  Apparently, they had a policy about keeping control of anything that had the company logo on it and each of the glasses had one.

After that, the bistro people were watching us like hawks.  We actually had to have Cat's mom steal two for us.

Those glasses are the only two things I kept out of the wedding box.  Cat has most of the other cool souvenirs, so it's not like they're all gone, but everything else got donated this week.

I was washing those glasses today and wondering why they were so important.  It's not because they are a "wedding" souvenir, I decided, it's because they're a souvenir from that moment in time.  We were these two small town kids at the beginning of the grandest adventure of our lives, getting ready to take on the world together, full of naive optimism and hope.  There was that energy, as though we knew we were on the cusp of the rest of our lives.

Two months later I was in boot camp, four months after that we were transferred thousands of miles away to the south.

There were good times and bad times after that, just like anyone else, but there's something special about the period around the wedding.  It was that knife edge between adolescence and adulthood, between naive romance and reality.  We were in love, the world was our oyster.  It was the anticipation as the roller coaster is clicking it's way to the top before the fall.  It's kind of magical in a way.

So, those two stolen glasses will always have a place in my cupboard.  Maybe when we're in our old folk's home I'll send one to Cat and we can have a laugh about them together, remembering that time.


  1. What a beautiful post. I'm glad you are still writing and sharing with us, even if less frequently. I hope you're well.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it. The writing bug has been coming back slowly but surely, I'm taking that as a good sign.