The Cowboy gets hitched

The first anniversary of our engagement had come and gone. The cowboy was still dragging his heels. Oh, he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. But for some insane reason, I could not get him to that little white chapel.

Have you ever seen on old banty hen after a grasshopper? That’s how I felt…..almost there….darn…..almost there…..darn….

Apparently the cowboy has extreme patience. And the need to make things even.

See, he didn’t get to surprise me with asking me to marry him. He had made the fatal mistake of showing my little sister the ring. Who in turn told me to tear his place apart looking for something that would make me very happy.

It took me three seconds to find that ring. Try it on. Jump up and down. Thank God. Put it back in the box and back in the cabinet.


I placed the ring box in the cabinet backwards.

Of course the cowboy would notice.

So for the next six months he carried that ring around to drive me insane. Every trip we took, he had that ring in his pocket. Every time we went out to eat, he had that ring in his pocket. Every rodeo we went to, he had that ring in his pocket. On a re-enactment of our first date, he had that ring in his pocket. When we’d return, he’d put that ring back in the cabinet. Not backwards.

Just to torture me.

I thought that ended the night he asked me to marry him in a trailer park in Oklahoma. (Oh yeah. that’s another story.)

Nope. It drug on for a little while longer. I would guess that even if you asked him today about it,  he would probably glare at me a bit for ruining the surprise.

So a little over a year later, he did surprise me with a special birthday gift.

Two tickets to Vegas. For a week.

So we packed out bags, I bought a dress, booked a wedding chapel and off we flew.

I’d never flown before. Let’s just say that I freaked out the entire way there.

It was around seven p.m. when we landed at the Las Vegas airport. I was tired from thinking I was going to die and wasn’t married yet. The cowboy was tired from trying to keep me calmed down.

We were out of our element to say the least. In cowboy boots, hats and pearl snap shirts.

After being lost and all turned around in the airport for a while, the cowboy decided we should find our airline and just head home.

After the cabbie didn’t give us our change — taking a good fifteen dollar tip, the cowboy decided we should go back to the airport and go home.

After three hours of trying to find a place to eat, the cowboy decided we should just go home.

After seeing three transvestites and a mime, the cowboy decided we should go home.

I told him there was no way I was ever getting back on a plane without his last name attached to mine. He took one look at me and settled for room service and a trip to get the marriage certificate.

We got a cab to head off in search of our marriage certificate.

Not only did the cab driver have a shaved head, it was tattooed as well. All of him was tattooed.
He locked the doors.
He drove through every stop sign.
He explained that at that time of night it wasn’t safe to stop.

The cowboy wanted to go to the airport and go home.

The cabbie then escorted us into the dark building. Introduced us to the clerk. Helped us fill out the papers. And escorted us back to our cab.

Then he deposited us safely at our hotel and told us that we should stick to the strip after dark for the rest of our stay.

I’m guessing we looked pretty young and innocent.  And I now have only good thoughts about fully tattooed cab drivers.

The next morning, Justin’s parents flew in. I spent the day getting ready to get married at one o’clock on June 18. I soaked in the whirlpool. Did my nails. Fixed my hair. Had the best hair day of my entire life. Ate room service.

Put my dress on. Looked for the slip that went under it. Dumped everything out of my luggage. Freaked out.

The cowboy came to pick me up to go to the chapel. We had to be there in twenty minutes. He informed me he could see through my dress. I burst into tears.

The cowboy calmed me down enough to explain to me that I could wear my cut-off jean shorts and tank top for all he cared. He wasn’t marrying my clothes, he was marrying me. Going through my pile of clothes on the bed, he found a new denim dress that was appropriate. After all, I was marrying a cowboy. Might as well wear denim and pearls.

We made it to the chapel in just the nick of time.

Justin’s dad walked me down the aisle.

I started bawling. I mean gulping air crying. Gasping. Loud racking sounds. The whole time I’m thinking, “What is wrong with you? Why are you doing this? Stop crying right now. Stop it.”

If you watch the tape, you can’t hear the sweet old preacher for my crying and carrying on.

The cowboy looked terrified. I don’t think my crying helped any. He messed up the vows.

I mumbled mine in between sobs.

He kissed me. I quit crying. I still have no idea what that was about.

We went out to eat and enjoyed the rest of our stay in Vegas. All this build up to the big climatic event and well, it’s done. Let’s go have some buffet.

The cowboy wanted to go home about four times a day for the rest of the week. I discovered Ben and Jerry’s ice cream on the first floor of our hotel. The cowboy continued to go to bed at 9 p.m. every night while I went downstairs and doubled our money.

When we flew home, our seats were across the aisle. We held hands across that aisle the entire flight.

It may not sound like the ideal wedding, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I still have that wedding dress I never wore in the back of my closet right next to the denim dress I did wear. That slip is still missing.  I have Ben and Jerry’s in the freezer right now. Tears still spring to my eyes thinking about that little white chapel and our wedding. I wish I could go back and spend two more minutes with Justin’s dad walking me down the aisle. I would have walked a little slower if I’d known he wouldn’t be here today.

If you look above the visor in the Cowboy’s truck, you’ll find our wedding picture. I don’t think he knows I found it there. I made sure that I put it back exactly how it was. He’s wearing the first cowboy hat he had custom-made for him and a suit jacket that is way to small across the shoulders now. My nose is bright red, but my hair looks great. And we look really, really young.

To quote Justin’s mom and an old tattooed cabbie,  we were “just babies.”


One Response to “The Cowboy gets hitched”

  1. Renee Seaton October 6, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    Oh girl!! Your story is wonderful and the way you tell it I can actually feel the love in the words. I am so glad to read that you are well and have such a great family. I am enjoying reading your blog. The most beautiful part I’ve read so far has been about walking a little slower due to Justin’s dad no longer being here. Be still my heart…….

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