Going to the Chapel… Part I


Posted on June 9th, by James McAllen in Uncategorized. 1 Comment

Did I mention that I was getting married?

Yep, I decided that the time was right to take the plunge…
Jump the Broom…
Walk down the aisle…

I had been thinking about marrying Valarie for a while, but I hadn’t mentioned it to her, or anyone else. One morning, we were laying around in bed and I decided to ask the question.

“Hey, you want my name?”
“Yeah.” She replied.

And that was it. We didn’t really discuss it much further.
Then I wrote and article for a recovery website that mentioned the phrase “jump the broom”. Enough people read the article, and it started to take on a life of its own. That’s when I realized that I might actually have to follow through on this. Evidently, saying that you want to get married isn’t the same thing as actually getting married.

Who knew?

We started having serious discussions back during the dark months of the winter.
For instance,

“Where do you want to get married?”
“How about the Elvis chapel?”

That response was met with a pillow across the back of my unsuspecting head.

Being that Valarie is a devout catholic, she wanted to get married in a church. Being that she is divorced, the church has a problem with that. Unless you get an annulment, then they have no problem.

“How much is an annulment?”
“About three grand.”

Greedy Catholics… Next!

After much back and forth, we decided that the best thing to do was head over to City Hall with a few friends and family, and then have a bigger shindig later in the year.

Then there was the matter of rings.
First of all, I don’t really wear jewelry.
Secondly, I’m cheap.
Thirdly, I hate engagement rings. With a passion.
We decided that she could get any wedding band she wanted, but there was no way she was getting two rings.
No way.
I won that round.

I was ready to get married right away, but she had just started a new job and she couldn’t take any time off in the first few months. I suggested May, but school was still in session and of course, she wanted her sons to be there.

We decided that it would be best if we got married on a Friday in June, and then held off the honeymoon until September. That left her to plan whatever it is that women plan, while I took care of the honeymoon.

I was going to start off by renting a house in the Hollywood hills, then we were going to drive down to San Diego, maybe spend a few days in Mexico before heading over to Maui. At some point I must have realized that neither one of us had the necessary three weeks vacation.
Or the fact that I’m, ya know, poor.

So I scaled back the vacation plans.

Meanwhile, we still hadn’t picked out rings.

Eventually, we picked out the day; June 26th, 2015.
Now we had a plan.

We started to look at a few rings online, and evidently she was looking at dresses and other such womanly things.

Of course, I hadn’t thought about a suit or anything like that.
When she mentioned that the boys needed suits, I got a little nervous.

“Do I need a suit too?”
That response was just a cold stare.

So we headed over to Men’s Wearhouse, where the boys and I picked out some great suits. We tried them on and had them measured. Then it came time to pick out shirts and ties. The boys went first and picked out some lovely combinations. When it was my turn, I held fast in my resolve.

“I don’t wear ties.”

I won that round.

I started telling some friends and one of them asked (in the best possible manner) –
“Are you sure you want to do this? Are you sure you know what you’re getting into?”
I said, “Dude, the only people who know what they are getting into are divorced people, but yes I’m sure. I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.”
I could tell by his face that he knew I was ready.

Then it was time to get rings. Her new boss knows a wholesaler on 47th street in the city. My knees grew weak at the utterance of the words “47th street”. I had visions of some beady-eyed guy selling me a piece of glass for 10 grand and then laughing in my face. I was filled with fear as we headed into the city to see Wayne Haberman, diamond merchant.

My fears were relieved the minute we walked into his office. It was like buying a ring from Woody Allen. He was as absent-minded as they come. He was looking for his glasses when he was wearing them. He was dropping diamonds all over the desk. My OCD was kicking into high gear as he was spilling ring samples onto the floor.

I loved him.

We spoke for about two hours. We talked about rings and diamonds and went off onto other tangents and came back to rings and diamonds, then went off into a totally different direction.

About 90 minutes in, we still hadn’t picked anything. Then I asked him the fateful question.

“Engagement rings are a scam, aren’t they?”
He smiled and nodded.
“Yeah. People get them because society says you have to get them.”
I looked at Valarie and smiled with satisfaction.
“Ok, let’s pick out rings now.”
Valarie picked out a lovely eternity ring. I forget what she got on it, princess cut, round cut, who the hell knows. All I know is that she was happy. I picked out a very nice, white gold band. I can’t wait to wear it.

She won that round.

As we were getting ready to leave, I asked how much the rings would cost if I bought them at Tiffany. He laughed at said a price three times what we were paying. He must have seen the color drain from my face.
“You’re paying for the name, and a box. Besides, who needs Tiffany when you’ve got Haberman?”

The best part is, now when it comes to diamonds – I’ve got a guy.

The next day, we went to a local restaurant to make plans for a lunch after the ceremony. We walked into one place and as soon as I walked in, I knew I wasn’t having it there. We left.

We went to another very nice place in Bay Ridge. Valarie said she knew the guy. He greeted us happily when we told him we were getting married and said You’re a lucky man, in the most lecherous fashion imaginable.

We sat down to discuss the lunch and I could feel myself growing weak. First he made it feel like were were putting him out, then he made it feel like he was doing us a favor. He asked about fish, and he asked about steak, and when he was done, he said –
“It will be about $57 a person.”

I started to get flush.
“Is that tax and gratuity included?”
“No. That doesn’t include the bar either. Did you want to run a bar tab?”
I was deaf at this point. I was trying to fake a heart attack, but to no avail. I was trapped in a predicament and I had no idea how to get out. The two of them continued to talk. I had visions of my marriage being over before it started. He started to fill out the reservation form and asked for a phone number. When Val gave him hers, he said he didn’t want to write her number down in case some of the boys might want to call her up.
He was laughing when he said it. I must have missed the funny part.

I probably should have gotten up and left at this point, but I was paralyzed by now. We said goodbye and headed out into the street. Before I could speak, Valarie cut me off.
“No way I’m having it there.”

That right there folks, is why I’m marrying her. She gets it and she gets me.
She called him first thing in the morning to cancel.

As we were walking home, we were talking about something that now escapes my memory, but she said “I’ll get it for you as a wedding gift.”
My head spun like the chick in the exorcist.
“Say What?”
Evidently, husbands and wives get each other gifts.
Who knew?

“You mean to tell me that rings, a new last name and health insurance ain’t enough? I’m expected to get a gift?”
I could tell by the pouting lip that I wasn’t winning this round either.

Is there a Getting Married for Dummies book?

To be continued…





One thought on “Going to the Chapel… Part I

  1. You should write more of this ….it was beautiful, funny and honest absolutely loved reading it…..Waiting patiently for Marriage.,,,.good luck and the best to the two of you. I believe the universe knew what it was doing when you two met!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *