Sixteen years of Mexican matrimony

TODAY IS MY ANNIVERSARY, 16 years of wedded bliss.

I’ve been married three times, which has been interesting. The first lasted just five years but resulted in my only children. There were two. A girl who’s now almost 52, and a boy who died in the hospital after three days.

I then got a vasectomy. I was just 24.

My daughter is named Celeste, and my son was named Ian Lee.

The first was a self-imposed shotgun marriage. The second, which lasted 10 years though we lived together 19 years, was done for practical matters, health insurance mostly. The moral of this is don’t point a shotgun at yourself, and don’t marry for practical matters. Do it for the traditional reasons.

Do it for love and romance.

This last marriage, the ceremony, took place in the interior patio of my sister-in-law’s coffee shop on the main plaza. A judge presided. I had no idea how civil marriages were done in Mexico, so it was all a surprise to me.

You stand there with your witnesses, and the judge goes through the words. You don’t say, I do. You say, I accept, but in Spanish, of course.


Here we are waiting for the judge to show up. She was late. That’s me on the left, of course, my child bride, her sister who seethed with envy the entire evening (note face) and her husband, a man who later shot himself to death by mishap in a “cry for help” after his wife tossed him out in the street.

Mexico is full of endless drama.

We had a great time. About 30 people showed up, and we danced in the patio after the rather dry ceremony with the judge. This fellow provided the music.

This video was not shot during the wedding, but that’s the guy.

Having been married three times, twice to Gringas and once to a Mexicana, I cannot avoid making comparisons. Since the nations’ cultures are drastically different, so are the women. I recommend the latter over the former.

There is no comparison.

While I rather fell into the first two marriages, I was quite deliberate with this one. I even got down on my knee to propose, and I did it between two pyramids built centuries ago by the indigenous folks of our area.


These are the actual pyramids. Women like it when you make a splash.

Whether it was the pyramids, the singer known as El Potro, the magic of the judge or some other unknown factor, this marriage has been a keeper.

Best move of my life.

50 thoughts on “Sixteen years of Mexican matrimony

  1. Took you three tries to finally get it right and marry a Mexican. Took me only two. No regrets.


    1. Patzman: That may indicate you’re a smarter man than I am. But to counter that, you let yours live in Gringolandia for decades, exposing her to the headstrong, difficult, Gringa mindset. Mine has not be sullied in that manner.


  2. Happy anniversary, my friend. May you have many more years of happiness together.

    I rather like that “I accept.” Seems a little stronger than “I do” which too often turns into “I don’t.”

    The pyramids were a nice touch, to be sure, but I think the singer deserves more credit. What a smooth tenor voice.


    1. Thanks, Ray. I sometimes wonder what would have happened had I found the best wife at the get-go instead of the tail end of my days. We’ll never know. Things are what they are, he said, profoundly. And yes, “I accept” has a different tone to it than “I do.” Might indicate that you gotta accept all the grief you’ll be facing in upcoming years. Interestingly (to me at least), while my first two marriages had no shortage of strife, this one has been free of it, at least any that matters. Smooth sailing. I attribute that, in great part, to cultural differences. Mexican women generally are not as in your face as those you’ve got up there. But my wife, at 41 when we met and never married, was really happy to see me, so to speak, but no more so than I was to find her. Being older also makes one mellower too, in most cases, I think. Young people often are too young to get married.

      Yes, the singer was a nice touch. We didn’t know he was going to be there. My brother-in-law (RIP) hired him, and he made a surprise appearance. It was fun.

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    2. PS, Ray: Interesting tidbit about the singer: Unlike virtually all Mexicans, he is not Catholic. He embraces — or did 16 years ago — some very fundamentalist arm of Christianity. If memory serves, he quit singing for a spell because he thought it conflicted with his religion. I could be wrong about this, but I don’t think so. But he’s back singing here now, and has been for quite a while. I see him around town fairly often. He’s a good guy.


      1. The Egg Man made at least one good decision.

        There have been others who have given up “secular” singing because they were told that it somehow conflicted with Christianity. Bob Dylan and Al Green come to mind. As you know, they both eventually realized the fallacy that there is some kind of conflict between talent and Christianity.

        I’m glad your guy came to his senses.


  3. Happy anniversary, Señor Zapata! Today is our 6th anniversary as well. Five weeks after our wedding, we loaded up our Jeep with our two dogs and drove from Atlanta to begin our new life in Mérida. Many more for you two!


  4. The new sister-in-law looks as if she’s got a mouthful of sour pickles. Perhaps she’s mellowed over these past 16 years.


    1. Leisa: The photo does not really convey adequately the dark cloud over her head that entire evening. As for her mellowing over the past 16 years, no, she hasn’t. But it’s directed at other things now. She’s long since moved past the envy of the wedding evening.


    2. Leisa: I don’t know why WordPress sent your second comment to the moderation line. It’s supposed to happen just the first time. It’s an imperfect world we live in. But just so’s you know, I’m not doing it.


  5. Congratulations to both of you from Mazatlan, Mexico. All things happen for a reason, my friend, the wheres and whys of life baffle me sometimes. May the years unfold to bring you the very best.


  6. Happy anniversary to you both, We had ours last month and, as you, I often wonder how it might have been if I had done the “right” choice first. The Latin culture was way more in-tune to my upbringing and values, etc,, than the Gringas before.


  7. Congratulations! Having met the lovely child bride, I can attest to your having made an excellent catch. As did she. As for her Mexican roots, I’ll just use the root of the pun mentioned above: nothing succeeds like address.


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where any hope of gay matrimony shall be abandoned by all who enter here.


  8. Congrats, Felipe! Hopefully, the next time we get over your way our español will be much improved, and we will be better equipped to converse with and get to know your child bride.


    1. Gracias, Troy. Alas, you’re working with a big disadvantage as far as learning Spanish is concerned. An English-speaking couple who speak English to each other all day is a huge problem, difficult to overcome. But since I imagine you want to keep each other, I don’t see any solution other than to stop talking to each other. Well, that doesn’t sound practical either. Oh, well. Hang in there!

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