Strange as it may seem, I donâ€™t remember going to the chapel for my wedding! As with most brides, that day came and went in a happy haze of wonder and excitement. Photos help jog the memory, thankfully. Or not. That hair!? I spent three hours at a salon to end up with a style that looked no different than ten minutes in hot rollers. And whatâ€™s with that lace headpiece for the veil? It looked like three fat flower petals draped over my forehead! What was I thinking?!! I donâ€™t remember!
And oh, was I young! Not yet twenty-one. Some girlfriends had dreamed of college and careers. Others had dreamed of big beautiful weddings and fabulous bridal gowns. Me, I hadnâ€™t dreamed of getting married, as in the wedding itself. My dream skipped over the ceremony to the Happily Ever After.
Truth be told, I wouldâ€™ve been just as happy to forego the tradition in favor of living with Mr. Right in a mountain commune with flowers in my hair, no shoes on my feet, and a baby perched on my hip. However, my future husband did not view this alternative lifestyle with my same starry-eyed romanticism. Therefore, I found myself caught up in the preparations of a modest wedding, especially by todayâ€™s standards.
Unfortunately, we didnâ€™t get to have â€œour songâ€ sung in church because of one inappropriate word — â€œLoving you is so damn easy.â€ (Gasp!) Until I looked back through our wedding album, I had forgotten about having our guests read aloud from a program several times throughout the ceremony. Instead of just witnessing it, they got to be a part of it, including saying their own vows of support and prayers for our new life together. (Many thought we needed all the prayers we could get.)
I donâ€™t remember throwing the bridal bouquet, either. But we have 8-mm movies of the tossâ€¦straight up and straight down, practically on top of my head. My maid of honor, eager to save me from disaster, is seen in a floor-length gown launching herself into the air like a football player intercepting a pass.
Oh, I do have one memory that lingered long after the wedding. It was (still is?) common to write all over the bridal coupleâ€™s car with shoe polish. Prison bars were painted on the windows of my husbandâ€™s new Mustang Mach I. A number of slightly-off-color, male-humor-type remarks were written on the metallic blue paint. Maybe the shoe polish was industrial strength. Maybe the scorching summer sun was the culprit. But no amount of waxing could remove the shadowy outline of those bars and barbs scrawled on our car.
One week after our wedding, we were visiting with another newly-married couple whoâ€™d had their first fight of their marriage. The new wife complained, â€œIf I cook, he should take out the garbage, and vice versa. Marriage is a fifty-fifty dealâ€”right? We each give fifty percent.â€
My husband quietly shook his head. â€œItâ€™s not fifty-fifty. You both have to give one hundred percent.â€ He looked at me and smiled. My heart swelled. I nodded in agreement.
I may not remember going to the chapel on the day of my wedding. I may not even remember the exact words in the vows spoken at the altar. But I will always remember that moment one week later. In the simplest look, the simplest nod, we both knew that we would give one hundred percent of ourselves to this marriage, to each other. This summer we are celebrating thirty-two years of marriage.
Author of Paranormal Suspense and winner of the 25 Days of Romance Contest
By Gillian Doyle
As I am writing this blog, Iâ€™m listening to the wonderful voice of Jina Bacarr reading my written words on our OCC/RWA Podcast, still amazed and grateful for all that has happened since I sat down to write that blog for the Twenty-five Days of Romance.
First, the day the blog posted, I had my hair cut short and restyled. When my dear sweet husband came home from work, he had the biggest smile on his face. For a guy who loves long hair, I thought this was a great compliment of my short sassy cut. I kept catching him watching me with that big olâ€™ silly grin.
I finally said, â€œYou really like my hair, huh?â€
His grin grew bigger. â€œActually, I keep thinking of that blog. Brought back a lot of memories.â€
Gee, had I only known that my writing, not my haircut, could get such a reaction, I couldâ€™ve saved myself a wad of dough!!
Then my daughter emailed from another state, saying sheâ€™d never heard this story before and was wondering if it was true or just one of my great fiction pieces! I assured her it was true. Then I asked Don for his side. He told me heâ€™d dropped by the mail room to see me, not always to help Rubye.
I guess she knew that.
A few weeks later, between planes in the Seattle airport on Tuesday, March 7, I heard the surprising news over my cellphone from Co-President Mindy Neff that my blog had won! Call me a romantic, but I canâ€™t help thinking Rubye is up there somewhere, still working her fairy godmother magic. With her so much on my mind lately, I went in search of that packet of letters and photos stored in my antique humpback â€œTreasure Chest.â€ Nestled inside her daughterâ€™s letter was a forgotten newspaper clipping of her passing with her photo. As I read Don came into my office and looked over my shoulder.
I found names of her five children, including her daughter Virginia Sears, who lives in Spokane now. Wouldnâ€™t it be nice if she and her siblings could find their way to our OCC website, to know how their mother lives on in my family…and now with all of you?
Thanks to this real-life fairy tale, I have been motivated to enter the Orange Rose contest. It has been eight years since my last sale, and the contest is now open to writers who have not published in the last five years. (DEADLINE for entry is APRIL 8, for any of you who might be interested! (http://occrwa.com/contest.htm )
I was also asked for a PR photo, which prompted me to get on the ball and have a new one taken. I contacted our Orange Blossom co-editor Michele Cwiertny for advice on PR photos, and, serendipitously, she had just finished the April cover article on this exact topic. I was granted a sneak peak, and let me tell you right here and now that itâ€™s terrific! Great pointers! (Hint: Think THEME!) Then her wonderful husband Eric offered to help me out by taking some pix. Eric is a graphic artist by trade, and a photographer by hobby. Thanks to him, my new favorite word is â€œAaammmaaaazing!â€ He is a magician with photo shop. â€˜Nuff said. Or maybe itâ€™s just Rubye hovering over his shoulder?
Thanks to Marianne Donleyâ€™s recommendation, Iâ€™m taking a Web Building Class that is going to help me put those photos into a brand new website for GillianDoyle.com when Iâ€™m finished. If any of you are interested in this excellent class, http://www.ed2go.com/sce/index.html.
Although I have sent my note of appreciation to Silhouette Executive Editor Mary-Theresa Hussey for taking the time to judge our Twenty-five Days of Romance Blog contest and for choosing â€œFairy Tales Do Come Trueâ€, I canâ€™t write the finale without expressing my thankfulness once more. Mary-Theresa, you are a gem among gems!
Finally, a special added thank-you to the publicity/marketing genius of Louise Ahern, our Orange Blossom Co-Editor, who brought up the idea of the Twenty-Five Days of Romance blogs and contest. Louise has brought a ton of fabulous ideas to the table for OCC to offer Opportunity, Creativity and Community to our members. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to write for the Slice of Orange blog. I hope more OCC members will grab this chance to stir your creative juices!
Is this the Finale? I donâ€™t know. It seems more like just the beginning!
What about you? Do you have a Fairy-Tale-Come-True story in you? If not, be your very own fairy godmother — wave your magic wand and make your writing dreams come true!
Author of Paranormal Suspense
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