By midnight, almost three quarters of folks were gone. Once anyone approached me after ten PM, I knew they were just going to say goodbye. I started to develop symptoms of Post Goodbye Stress Disorder. I was hyper-sensitive to people approaching me. I started to scheme that if maybe I didnt let anyone near me, they couldnt say goodbye and wouldnt, therefore, leave. But, it didnt work.
Then Kelly and her wife said they were leaving. You really know the party is over when the photographers leave. I wanted to tell them to wait, because I wanted them to take some pictures of everyone toasting smores over the tiki torches. I had spent so much time saying goodbye to everyone, that I hadnt gotten to the smores yet, but it was late and Kelly had already put in a 12 hour day. Plus, I hadnt even taken the time to let them know that I wanted smores pictures.
The DJ wound down and, once the diehards left around 12:30, I started to wander around cleaning up. Lauren had long since passed out. I ate a smores by myself. Then another. It started to drizzle. The shiny wedding feelings were wearing off. I drank a beer and started another, but couldnt finish it. It seemed like I spent half the night saying hello and the other half of the night saying goodbye and now it was over. The second guesses and small regrets started seeping in. I gathered up all the lanterns and packed them away.
Then, after being told two or three times to stop cleaning, I decided to follow directions. I got my head together and took a breath. I took a quick inventory of what I needed in order to make this transition from bride to wife, from anticipation to nostalgia, from party time to bed time. I gathered some candles from the tables and a couple of pork muffins. I got the laptop. I went upstairs to our bedroom, turned off the lights, lit the candles and snuggled up to my wife, who had so thoroughly enjoyed her joy and was now snoring with a wet head and a clean t-shirt and skivvies. I updated my relationship status and my last name on Facebook and said good night to the blog. I blew out all the candles but one and went to bed.
3 months ago