The Day That I Got Married

Let me spoil the ending right now. My U.D. wife and I divorced after 10 years. We have one son and raising him is the best thing I did with my life. But let’s forget about the ending.
I met my future wife in German class. I wasn’t very good at German but who could blame me. I met my first girlfriend in German class and, after we broke up, started dating Nancy. Nancy usually sat in front of me. That’s because I would come in after she did and take the seat behind her. I was fascinated by the fact that I could see the outline of her bra strap through her blouse.
She was very smart. Actually I was kind of smart but she had actual academic ambition. When she was a kid, if she was too sick to go to school she would cry her guts out. On the other hand, I would try to sleep with my mouth open so that I would wake up with a sore throat. But everyone including us thought we made a cute couple.
We decided that we could get married that day after graduation in 1973. This made things easy. First, all of the family would be together for the graduation anyway. Second, we wouldn’t have to try to explain to our parents that we were living together before getting married. (The Horror!).
At U.D. you had to take one theology course per year. The first year I was taught by a former seminarian who I thought was also a former Catholic but he is still on campus so maybe I’m wrong. The second and third year I took classes from a Protestant theologian including one course on “God is Dead” theology. Finally, my senior year, I took a course from a Marianist priest and that course was on marriage. We got A’s in that class.
When preparing for the wedding we worked with another priest who would preside over the ceremony. We showed him our vows and he pointed out one problem, we never actually said we were getting married. What the heck were we talking about anyway? It’s not like anyone was going to be able to tell what we were saying.
I remember a few things from the wedding. I was so happy that day that I was literally dancing down the aisle when it was over. A couple of friends of ours were sitting in the back of church, drinking beer. Probably not the only time that’s happened in the chapel of the Immaculate Conception. When we got outside our car had a ticket on it. It was just the campus police wishing us luck but for a second I thought these are cold-hearted guys.
After the wedding, we lived in Dayton for 4 months and then it was a long time before I was back on campus. In 1998 I went to a class reunion. How can I say this? It hurt. It actually physically gave me a nostalgia overload. Maybe the problem was when I was walking through the parking lot below Stuart Hall and I saw one ultra-right wing bumper sticker after another. How could these people be from my class? Well, many were from older classes. But the older classes were from before 1973, before Rowe v. Wade, before the Catholic church stopped being liberal and took up with the same part of the political spectrum that was opposed to women’s rights and civil rights.

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