Yes, 19 on the 19th

This is how we looked 19 years ago today.

Today, April 19th, marks our 19th anniversary. It was my third wedding that occurred 19 years ago this evening, the third and the best.

The first was a train wreck that lasted a tad over five years. The second was not a train wreck, but ultimately, it just did not pan out. There was a five-year hiatus between the first and the second, and then another five-year hiatus between the second and my move to Mexico.

I am fond of five-year breathers.

Excuse the judge’s hand in the photo above. We did not hire a professional photographer, which was an error. We left it in the hands of a friend, who screwed up, so we lack good photos of the evening, which took place in the interior patio of my sister-in-law’s coffee shop in our mountaintop town.

A year ago.

But we do have a few amateurish photos of the event. Not one photo was taken during either of my previous marriage ceremonies. Memories lost. The first wedding happened in the living room of my parents’ upstairs duplex in New Orleans. The second occurred in a Unitarian Church in Houston with no one present but the two of us and the minister.

For fun, here’s a photo we took about a year ago just as the Kung Flu hysteria was cranking up.

We had just passed our 18th anniversary. I don’t wear masks anymore, but she does.

I hope to make it to the 20th anniversary. I’m not as young and spry as I once was. Maybe we’ll do something special. We celebrated our 10th anniversary in Havana, but we’ll not return to that miserable place.

Now let’s pop open the champagne. It’s a great, bubbly, 19-year-old variety.

Getting it right, finally

MY FIRST TWO marriages failed, and maybe it was because of how I proposed to those wives. I don’t recall how I did it the first time though I do remember why. That was over half a century ago. But I do remember how I did it the second time.

We were in a restaurant on Westheimer Boulevard in Houston. I did not get down on one knee. I did not have a ring lurking in a champagne flute. There was no music. The waiters did not sing ‘O Sole Mio. I told her we should get married so she could get on my employer-provided medical insurance. She had no coverage.

She swooned. I was such a romantic guy.

We had been living together at that point for seven years.

Perhaps if ObamaCare had existed, we never would have wed, and I would have been spared lots of pain, grief and expense.

By the third time, I had learned, matured, wised up and sobered up.

I did get down on my knee, and I did have a ring. And where did I do it? Where these two pre-Hispanic pyramids join, right there at their base. You see it early in the video, the V between the two structures. That’s where it happened about 18 years ago.

And medical insurance had nothing to do with it.

I am a Godfather, it seems

bride
A bride waits outside the Basilica for her big moment.

FOR THE FIRST time in my life, I have been roped into the role of Godfather.

This is strange due to my not being a Catholic or a Christian or even a believer as they define it. I’ve dodged this job a number of times since moving south many years ago, but I finally got volunteered by my child bride. I don’t recall if she asked me first or not. She likely did due to being a Mexican wife.

They are quite different from Gringas. Better.

While I am the Godfather, she is the Godmother, and she did all the work. I just showed up yesterday and tried to look devout. I was the only Gringo there, so I stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb.

Our guest of honor, our Godson, is the second child of a nephew. The baby, about eight months old, is named Oliver Lobsang if you can believe it. Lobsang is not his last name. It’s his middle name, and Oliver Lobsang doesn’t even like me. He howls when I enter the room. He’s anti-Gringo.

But now I’m his Godfather. Take that, Oliver Lobsang!

When we showed up at the Basilica downtown at 1 p.m., there was lots of activity, mucho money-making on the part of the priests. A little girl was getting what I assumed was her First Communion. Waiting in the wings outside was a bride-to-be. That’s her in the photo. Fewer quesadillas, honeybun.

The Baptism took place in a side chapel, and there were about eight babies being soaked at the same time. God gets assembly lines.

I assumed a sanctified face, exuding spirituality.

The deed being done, we headed nearby to the traditional party. Tacos were served, as was beer, Sprite, Coca-Cola, salty nuts and a big cake. I only stayed an hour because the music was loud, and those things run on forever.

As I stepped out to the cobblestoned street, I heaved my Holiness aside, and headed to the Honda with a smile on my face. I’m a Godfather. I hope Oliver Lobsang doesn’t expect much from me. I was dragooned, amigo.