Friday, January 30, 2009

The First Twenty Five

Yesterday, the 29th of January was our 25th anniversary. David and I were married on the 29th and as is usually the case, we weren’t together. Why we were in separate places is not the issue. But it seems, that for whatever reason, it just happens. Actually, we think of the 29th as the anniversary of the day Aunt Sophie repacked the plastic tablecloths and returned them to Kmart. Let me explain a bit. We had a last minute wedding. No, it was not a shotgun wedding it was merely last minute. David asked me to marry him on New Years’ Eve. We had been together for five years, and a couple of weeks before New Years, when he was on his way to Hawaii, for the “A Day in the Life of Hawaii” book, I had thrown all his stuff into the street and told him – after five years of on and off—that we were through. So anyway, he got back from Hawaii, and decided we needed to be together forever and on December 31sth, asked me to marry him.

We looked at a calendar and realized that the Super Bowl needed to be considered, but we also realized that if we waited for more than three weeks, we would talk one another out of it. And the date we were left with was the 29th of January. W called our friends and my mom tracked down the Rabbi who had been my Rabbi when we were kids. He agreed (that since I had acquired a Jewish divorce or a Get) he would fly up from Florida to perform the ceremony. We determined that we would get married in my parents’ bedroom since my dad was ill and had not been out of bed for weeks. But that was not to be. What started as a small and incredibly intimate ceremony, developed into a real event. Mom took all the furniture out of her house and stored it on a moving van in the driveway. In its stead were round tables and chairs for at least 50. My aunt Sophie went to Kmart and bought table cloths to cover them, but alas, after she had cut and shaped them, she hated the way they looked so she took them back. Yes, they were cut to fit our tables but she convinced the Kmart sales staffers that they were simply inadequate. – Hence the description of out Anniversary as the Aunt Sophie table cloth return.

Unbeknownst to us, my mother had invited the entire family—mine and David’s. So what started out as maybe five people, became at least fifty. It was a wonderful memorable day—but not what we expected. The tables were covered with real cloth table covers—my Aunt Peppy provided and brought them at the last minute. All my family miraculously appeared from several geographic locations. The Rabbi was flown in from Florida. The friends traveled from Washington, New York and California, and most important my Dad got out of bed for the first time in many weeks.

It was truly a unforgettable day. One which we cherish, but never seem to celebrate together. We have always considered our real anniversary the day we met. March 26th—the Carter-Begin-Sadat Camp David Peace Accords signing. David thought he was getting fixed up with someone else, his camera had no film, and he was in a bad mood and non verbal. But on March 26th we will have been together 30 years. It sounds like such a long time. I suggested to David that we might think about renewing our vows and he suggested to me that we might commit suicide. Either way, it has been a remarkable run. And one that I hope will continue for maybe another 25. We’re just sayin’.... Iris (and David!)

And at a wedding attended by two dozen photographers, the only picture we have came from Joannie Gramatte...and the print hasn't faded yet, either.


Ted said...


Ted & Marilyn Azriel
Marietta, GA

Anonymous said...

Love the story. Happy Anniversary.

Anonymous said...

Crazy kids!!

Happy Anni.


Anonymous said...

Who are those children in Joani's photo?
Joe Cowart

Darpa said...

Hey guys... Whoa! I finally get to see the photo I took all those years ago. It *was* a great party too. I have another one of you, David, at the thank-god-Obama-got-in inaugural -- will send on. Did you see yourself on TDJ this month?

Cheers and Congratulations, Joan ("aspiring amateur") Gramatte

Paul Gero said...

Congratulations you guys! Happy 25th!

Paul, Nicki and Kate

Anonymous said...

My favorite wedding of all time! You forgot the Groucho glasses. Mazel Tov.