Thursday, February 9, 2012

Getting married: The groom arrives in Minnesota

I suppose you want to know about the wedding. It was purposely very small and very private and to me it was very perfect. But the story really needs to start two weeks before the wedding, when Leif arrived from Italy and burst into the welcoming arms of me and my family.

On Monday January 9th I got up and made a list of the things I needed to do in the next two days to get ready for Leif's arrival at 10:30pm on Tuesday. I was prepared. I would be ready. Then his sister Ingela called me Monday afternoon and said that Leif was on the plane now." He says you have to pick him up tonight, not tomorrow night. OK?"

There went all my beautifully laid plans. No relaxed schedule where I would have time to take care of myself as well as get things ready for my fiance. Oh no, now I had to rush to take a shower and get down to The Cities early (remember, I haven't driven much in the last year) and find him at the airport 24 hours earlier than I thought. But being the totally flexible and not-easily-rattled woman that I am (really, I am) I managed to get down there more or less calmly and on time.

I waited by the baggage carousel for his flight, nervous and excited to see him again after almost a month apart. People started coming up to the carousel, taking their bags and leaving. I scanned every face. Even the women and children, just in case. What if I didn't recognize him? I know, it's only been a  month, but as the minutes ticked by and I still didn't see him I started to worry that I had missed him somehow.

The bags had stopped dropping down from God knows where and I didn't see his suitcase. I started to worry more. Now I faced the possibility that he wasn't even on the flight he was supposed to be on. And he didn't have a phone. He couldn't even call me to tell me where he was, assuming that the TSA or whatever other agency that had illegally and unnecessarily detained him would even let him call. See where my mind goes? The airline people that were still at work by baggage claim (everything closed at 8 it seemed) said that they couldn't give me any information about a specific passenger, but that his intended flight had landed, which I already knew, damn it. The paging system was closed for the day, so I couldn't have him paged to meet me somewhere. The ticket counters were closed and wouldn't you know it, I couldn't find a single phone number I could call to get more information. I panicked and naturally called my mother, who told me to call my first husband because he always seems to have ideas (something that is usually on the negative side of his personality when she talks about him).

So yes, I called my first husband, who did in fact have several great ideas and the time to research sources and numbers for me while trying to talk me down from the ceiling. A few frazzled and emotional calls later I found out that Leif could possibly but not definitely be on the next flight which was set to arrive in 5 minutes. Could I hold on that long? Sure, that was long enough to imagine my love in a cold grey room with a giant one-way mirror on the wall and steely-eyed agents from some government organization who reports to no one questioning him about his intentions here in our beloved US of A.

I was no longer rational, I know that now. But hey, it was after midnight, I'd been at the airport for over two hours racking up astronomical parking fees and wearing a groove in the floor pacing back and forth beside the baggage claim area. And having lengthy phone calls with my first husband who said nice things like "don't worry, we'll find him. Wouldn't want him to miss the wedding!" Beyond weird. I practically tackled the poor man when he came down the stairs. But that's all right, I kissed him about a million times and I think that made everything better.

And I just realized that although I started this post out with veiled threats to talk about the wedding I haven't even reached that point in the story. Either I'm including way too much information that is totally irrelevant to the story and probably ruins it for most of you, or most of what I put down makes the story just that much better. Because it's my blog I'm going to assume the latter at this point and talk about the actual wedding next time. Think of it as a poorly planned and executed cliff-hanger. It's no surprise to anyone that we do in fact end up married.

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