(If you have read this post about how the vow-writing went down at our recent wedding, you can skip these two paragraphs.) Chad suggested writing our vows for each other . . . which I found out later began as a joke, but I leaped on as something cool and quirky and personable and fun. So we did. I wrote the vows he said to me, and he wrote the vows I said to him – each of us never seeing these words until we were standing up at our wedding.
If you haven’t yet, go read the other blog about the vows my husband wrote for me to say to him. It’s a cool blog, and it makes me cry every time I read it. Go ahead . . . I’ll wait. Here’s the link again if you want.
Imzadi – Or How My Wedding Vows Made Me Cry
Are we all back together now? Spectacular. So this is post #2 about my recent wedding experience. There are a couple more planned – one about ghosts, and one about the wedding itself. This one is about the vows I wrote for Chad.
I started writing these vows fairly soon after he had come up with the idea of us writing these for each other. I had had one of my fantastic meltdowns . . . I really can’t remember what over . . . but I was sitting in a miserable little heap in the dining room, and this wonderful man I was going to marry was trying to provide me with a glimmer of hope. The words he said to me moved me, and I sat down that night and wrote the first version of what later became these vows. I can be pretty wordy, so this was originally longer – but all the base concepts are still here.
Looking at both our vows now, I am tickled that each of us mentioned headbutting for affection, and we both threw in a Phoebe/Mike from Friends joke. Mine referenced this conversation we had via text two years ago. I remember this word for word because I posted it on Facebook:
Chad: What’s your Vudu login and password?
Me: (Gives information)
Few minutes later . . .
Chad: What’s your YouTube login and password?
Me: Are you stealing my identity? Cuz you can have it. I’ve always wanted to start over. My new name shall be Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock.
Chad: Then I shall be Prince Hans Banana-Hammock!
Me: I love you, Prince Hans Banana-Hammock.
I followed this Facebook post with the statement:
It’s official. I have the perfect man.
The headbutt reference comes from our cat, Kashyyyk (bonus points if you know what I named him after BEFORE doing a Google search), who was my cat before he was our cat. Kashyyyk is a Pixie-Bob, and he headbutts to show affection. He’s a big cat, and sometimes he can headbutt HARD. You can’t let him in the bedroom at night because he’ll headbutt you at all hours to remind you that he loves you.
3:00 am – WHAM. WHAM WHAM WHAM . . . WHAM. *slight pause* INTENSE PURRING.
Me – *super groggy* I love you too, Kashyyyk.
So when Chad moved in, Kashyyyk adopted him as his human. It happens. Animals pick their humans, and one of my cats picked Chad. They are inseparable, and evening tv time is adorable in my household.
Kashyyyk will still love on and headbutt me, but Chad gets 75% of the Pixie Bob affection in the household.
So anyway, I don’t know which one of us started it, but Chad and I headbutt each other as a gesture of affection. We also zombie alpaca attack each other. That requires a teensy bit more explanation.
There’s this cool company I found at a local con called Tasty Peach Studios. They’re sold out of them at the moment, but at the time I saw them, they had these awesomely adorable stuffed zombie alpacas. I was telling a friend about them, and she squealed, “OH what a cute idea!!! They’re all cute and fluffy, and then they’ll gnaw your face off!!” She nailed it. This is exactly why they are hilarious and cute and geeky and fabulous.
The next day, I told my then-new-boyfriend about these zombie alpacas, and he thought they were hilarious/cute/geeky/fabulous as well. Again, I don’t know who started this first, but one of us attacked the other with teeth to the neck, making chomping gestures and aggressive “AAW-NOOMM-NOM-NNNOOMM-NOM” noises, preceding said assault with the cry of “ZOMBIE ALPACA ATTACK!!!!”
We’re in a relationship. We do dumb things. It’s what happens in a relationship.
The game later became to sneak up on one another and administer a zombie alpaca attack on the unsuspecting victim. Chad zombie alpacaed me once when I was in a dead sleep. He thought I was faking. I was not. Scared the living daylights out of me. Funny as hell, but I threatened him with death if he did it again. He still insists he thought I was awake.
I put a reference in the vows to my favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode . . . a tv show Chad drug me into kicking and screaming. I love Joss Whedon, but I’d tried to watch the show more than once and couldn’t get through that first season. I complained bitterly when Chad suggested binge watching Buffy, but by the second season, I was hooked. If you haven’t watched Buffy, I can’t explain the episode I love, and if you have watched Buffy, you already know what episode I’m talking about.
Another thing Chad convinced me to watch that I wound up enjoying was Mel Brooks’ The Producers. When the song “Springtime for Hitler in Germany” began (there’s no way to explain unless you’ve seen this musical), I literally jumped out of my seat, screeching, “THAT’S JOHN BARROWMAN!!!!”
Big Doctor Who fan. Big Arrow fan. Big John Barrowman fan.
And the stupid song got stuck in my head for weeks following the film.
I also reference Star Wars in this vow. For one, because I am a true Star Wars fan (hint . . . did you Google Kashyyyk?), and two, because before I even met this man I was super-impressed with him. We chatted by email and text for almost two weeks after we connected on a dating site because I was really sick and I didn’t want our first conversation to be permeated with horrible coughing fits and me sounding like I’d smoked since I was three. This text is from memory, because I’ve changed phones since then and sadly lost those first conversations we had. It was something along the lines of:
Chad: Yeah, well . . . at least it wasn’t as horrible as Episode One.
Me: Um, actually I liked Episode One. *hides behind desk*
Chad: Really? That’s interesting. What did you like about it?
Me: *peers out from behind desk* Oh. Well, I loved Padme – I thought she was a strong, interesting character. I loved Ewan McGregor as a young Obi Wan, I thought he nailed Sir Alec Guinness. I genuinely liked the story, and I thought the plot moved along at a nice pace. I also really really liked Darth Maul.
I sent the text, and then followed it up with . . .
Me: But some aspects were terrible. Like the whole Midi-chlorians thing. It was unnecessary.
Chad: All good things to like about the movie. And I actually liked the Midi-chlorians explanation. It fit in nicely with the idea of intelligent design.
I remember this stopping me dead in my tracks. I had finished my masters in Media Psychology, and written tons of papers on sci-fi in general, and more than one paper on Star Wars. This was not a concept I had ever read about or thought of. And it was a wicked cool one. I was even more smitten, and I hadn’t even met the man in person yet. I had to mention this in our vows. And then he turned around in mine and put my favorite Star Wars character – Mara Jade – in our wedding vows, by quoting what she said to Luke on their wedding day.
Let’s see . . . what else do I need to explain? OH! My favorite painting.
This painting I discovered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on a college trip to New York City when I was 19. The painting is life sized. I rounded the corner of the museum and BAM! There it was, looking like I could step right on the path and join these two people running from the rain.
I love emotion, and I was amazed at the emotion captured in this beautiful painting. I later got a copy of this painting, and it’s hung on my wall for years. In my previous blog (seriously, why haven’t you read it yet?), I talk about how I tried to use the Law of Attraction to bring my perfect mate into my life. During those times, I would look at this painting, and wish and wish I had someone who looked at me the way this man looks at this girl.
And then I had it.
You damn well better believe I was writing that in the vows.
I saw this painting on the same trip I got the idea for a Christmas Wedding. This college trip to New York City was the week after Christmas, and we visited lots and lots of things – most of them still decorated from the holidays. We went to Trinity Church, and I remember walking around with my classmates, inhaling the beauty and serenity of this old, classic building. Not one to hover with the group, I wandered off and found myself at the front of the church, up by the pulpit. I was standing straight in the middle with the pews stretching out behind me, facing the front of the church. There were two Christmas trees – one with white birds and one with red. I marveled at the simplicity of these decorations and how pretty the trees were. Now, thinking back on it, I wonder if they weren’t in the last stages of un-decorating from Christmas, and the birds were the last thing they took off. Nevertheless, the birds on the trees were very very pretty, and I turned to look behind me at the church, and realized I was standing where a bride would if she were getting married. I thought – “Oh, wow! Wouldn’t a Christmas wedding be oh so beautiful??!”
I was right. It was super-beautiful.
Congratulations. Look around. You finally got your Christmas wedding. A 21 year long wait – was it worth it? Was I worth the wait?
So initially it seemed like a cool idea to write our vows for one another. Now as I’m reading this, I’m wondering with your twisted sense of humor if that was the best idea. Oh well – I’m committed to this in more ways than one, so here I go.
I, Prince Han Banana Hammock . . . do hereby pledge the following things . . . .
- Marteen, you know your favorite painting that’s hanging in our living room? “The Storm.” I promise that through the years, I will still – every once in awhile – look at you the way that the man in that painting looks at his love.
- I promise to administer head-butts and zombie-alpaca attacks as a gesture of my affection on a regular basis.
- I vow to always try to stay calm when you go off the deep end. . . because you know you occasionally do – and I will do that thing I do to help you remember the world isn’t a horrible place full of horrible people. That you are not one of those horrible people. And if that doesn’t work, I vow to put on that Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode where everyone sings.
- I promise to analyze movies and television shows and music and popular culture and people and current events and life in general with you. When we were getting to know each other, I impressed you with a really cool theory about Star Wars you had never ever thought of. Only the truly geeky understand the phrase, “You had me at Midi-chlorians.”
- I declare I will always look after our fuzzy family. They certainly make life exciting and interesting, and I do love them all. They easily accepted me into their home because they adore you, and they saw how much you adore me.
- But most of all, Marteen – I promise to be your husband, your partner, your lover, and your friend. I once told you not to trust in me, or even to trust in you – but to trust in us. Together we have strength, passion, laughter, affection, and a bond that you recognized from the moment you locked eyes with me next to a huge fish tank in a Nashville mall.
I love you. I will now sing a rousing rendition of “Springtime For Hitler and Germany.”
Kidding. Totally kidding. I will headbutt you, though.
*headbutts the bride*
I love you. Your turn.
Wow. Thank you for sharing this incredibly moving story… proud to say I got the Kashyyyk reference from the get-go, and personally I think that’s an outstandingly appropriate name for your kitteh. I might have mentioned something similar on your previous post, but it is genuinely heartwarming and uplifting to read such about a beautiful victory of love in real life.
Many thanks for the kind words. 🙂