Previously on Confessions of a Male Bridezilla, the families have been met and the proposal was in place. All that was left for our newly betrothed One was a move across country, a wedding to plan, and a husband to break in...It was gonna be a busy six months...
In retrospect, I probably could have taken two years to plan this wedding. Giving myself a six month time line was perhaps the absolute worst thing I could have done, and yet I pulled it off...Brilliantly, I might add. The first thing we must recognize is that it wasn't always to be a wedding in a mere six months. Pre-move to Arizona, we had contemplated holding the event in our lovely hometown of Peoria, Illinois. I had it all sorts of imagined: a wedding in April at the Botanical Gardens in Glen Oak Park. It would be intimate and beautiful. It is to be noted here that my fantasy was is technicolor, smell-o-vision. I wanted candles and jasmine with white chairs and a pink, maybe champagne-colored walkway. Three representatives for each party in corresponding colors to denote rank in line-up would filter down the aisle and I would make a grand entrance to the orchestral theme of "Both Hands" by Ani Difranco.
Following the wedding we'd have a no-less-than 500 guest reception at the Packard Plaza to be catered by One World Eats and Drinks and flowers done by Leo's Florists. There would be more candles and yet- a still more jasmine scented atmosphere. I would be whirling around on the dance floor to the first dance song of "Lucky" by Jason Mraz and the night would be perhaps the wedding to end all wedding, or so the "Chicago Tribune", "Peoria Journal Star" and "People Magazine" would all call it.
Is that gay enough for you?
Now, lets put in the reality check: Weddings in April are overdone. The Botanical Gardens is a million degrees with 98 percent humidity in December, so we can imagine what it would be like in mid Spring, and the Packard Plaza was about $9000 just for the room on that weekend. Clearly there were obstacles standing in my way.
After some lengthy discussions, Trevor and I decided that a Vegas-style union would be the most fun and economical shindig we could come up with. But that's getting ahead of ourselves. You see, it was only April, and we still had to sell a house before we could do anything. Namely my house which I'd only purchased a mere 2.5 years prior to now. Given the age of the establishment and the location in Peoria, I knew I'd have a bit of a challenge. I really didn't want to go through a realtor. The thought of paying a person upwards of 7% made me ill, not too mention broke. I was willing to take a loss, but not because of realtor commissions. So, on a wing and a prayer, I stuck a "FOR SALE BY OWNER" sign in my front yard and told Jesus to take the wheel.
In six days, my house was sold. I, to this day, will always say that God sold my house. Really, it was Remax. The house two doors up from me had had their house on the market for like two months. Well, a nice bloke by the name of James had seen their yard sign and advertisement at the end of the street. He drove up to check out their business and took a gander at my bricks. Not to boast, but my house was TOTALLY the cutest pile on the avenue. He called me up, saw it an hour later and put in an offer in two days. As he was realtor free and so was I, it was a match made in heaven. On a side note, to be a total bitch, I later sent flowers to the realtor whose picture was plastered all over my street with a note saying, "Thanks for selling my house!"
And with that all wrapped up, I just needed to gather the resources to move across the country. And that was easier than it sounds. The groom already had a brother living in Phoenix who was offering up his pad for us to live in until we were able to find a home of our own. And his mother and twin, were more than willing to take up with a U-Haul and some hotel rewards points so that we could corral our stuff to the 85013.
At this point, I stop to say that it was not emotionally as easy to make the trek as it was physically. For many years in my life, Peoria had been my home. And it may have been awful, but it was still what came naturally. After all, I wasn't just leaving my house. I was also leaving my friends, my co-workers, my family, my animals and my past. I left them all there lying off of I-74 and I wasn't entirely sure that I would ever be able to pick up those pieces again. I drove past the school where I had been a Speech Junkie. I looked to my left and saw the first place I fell in love. I looked right to see my friends driving to a bar without me. As I crossed the 74 bridge, I looked in the rearview mirror and I saw all of the ghosts that had haunted me wave goodbye. Then they turned around and continued as if I had never been there at all. It wasn't the poetry of the situation that hit me so hard, though looking back, it was poetic. It was the finality and more than that, it was that I was ok...I had survived.
Crossing the great midwest, headed to the great southwest, was a whole other adventure that includes road-head, hotel trysts, and a excursion into eating grits...