My Wedding’s Quinceañera

15 years ago (tomorrow), on my then 22nd birthday; my fiancé decided it would be the right time to get married. Clearly 3 years into a relationship that had already produced a daughter, was the perfect time to tie the noose… err I mean the knot.

It’s not like either one of us didn’t want to be married. Hell, we were already living as husband and wife that entire time anyway. It’s just… there were bills to be paid and a child to feed… If you really want to know the truth, we were doing our part in saving the planet by not creating superfluous paper. Sounds funny I know but, eh, it’s the least we could do for our children’s future, right?!

But seriously though, the reason’s we both had; although looking back I’m not so sure it was a “we” thing, were our reason’s and ours alone. Nobody, no matter how important they thought their opinion was, had the right to tell us when we should get married. Of course, that didn’t stop them. 37 years later in my life and those same people still haven’t stopped trying to manipulate and control me and my life. SMH!

Anyway, back to the day at hand… July 17th, my 37th birthday/wedding’s Quinceañera . Aww, I feel like I should throw it a huge party while wearing a bright multi-colored billowing dress and be surrounded by a bunch of drunken people, that may or may not be my family, and they will be gyrating and partying like it’s 1999. Because if there is one thing my anniversary/birthday is lacking, is the extravagant publicly humiliating celebration of leaving behind the innocence of childhood and diving head first off the deep end straight into the abyss of womanhood. *SIGH*

I have yet to figure out what it was that ran through my husband’s head the day he decided to forever taint my birthday with a wedding anniversary. I’m pretty certain that it was the countless bottles of booze that he ingested on the regular, but that is just too obvious an answer to be the correct one. So it must be something more diabolical; like say…I don’t know, the satisfaction he gets from knowing that I will never have another day for the rest of my life that is totally just about me! That sounds a lot more like the evil drunk I have spent my entire adult life with.

Or it could be that he was just trying to be what every woman dreams of… Prince Charming! Oh hell… now I feel bad for calling him names and being angry every single year for the last 15 years.  Way to go Jen, you fucking Romance Nazi!!!

Copyright InJensMind DO NOT COPY OR REPRODUCE July 17, 1997 @Shalimar Wedding Chapel Las Vegas, NV

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NaPoWriMo Day: 4 The Wedding Blues

The bride-to-be gets ready
the groom is nowhere to be seen.
He’s off getting drunk
as he always has,
wondering if he is making a mistake.
The bride-to-be’s mother
helps her to get ready.
Pastel colored shadow
swept across sad and confused
distant eyes.
A baby girl all grown up with a baby girl of her own.
No longer needs her mommy
or does she?
The bride-to-be slips on her white wedding dress
it’s cheap, from Ross
no frills, no lace,
just a plain
white colored dress.
Ill-fitted and a mess.
The bride-to-be looks in the mirror
she hates what she sees.
A sad, depressed blob of a woman.
Unrecognizable to the woman’s memories.
Those eyes,
once alive and full of sparkle
now dark, dead
full of pain and disappointment.
She waits,
scanning the parking lot
for the “man of her dreams.”
Finally,
as the sun begins to set
her prince charming shows up
drunk,
nothing new to their daily life together.
He reeks of alcohol and a future filled with empty promises.
Tears flow down the bride-to-be’s cheeks
as she watches her soon to be groom get dressed.
For one moment their eyes lock
and they both know instantly
their future will be fraught with more pain
more tears
more fights.
Maybe she should run away
maybe she should have listened to her parents
maybe she is making the biggest mistake of her young life
for nothing ever ends well that starts out this damaged.

Don’t forget to visit, share, and comment on these following poets pages as well:

Sweepy Jean Explores the (Webby) World
Lyric Fire
AscendingTheHills
142 Books
Sulekha Rawat: Memoirs

To create…
memoirs of a homemaker
One Time Pad
Thoughts Of Beauty In The Stillness Of Dawn…
EllieBloo
Chris Galvin 

V is for Valentine’s Day and Valerian Root

Copyrighted- InJensMind

February 14th, the universal day of love. HA! The day when all the people who are in a relationship expect to be loved more than they have already been all year-long. The day when single people curse the couples for having a love day and often times, curse the people in a relationship for being in a relationship.

It’s a day of pure commercialism, stupidity, and anger. It’s a day that causes people to go to bed angry after fighting with their significant other because they didn’t get the biggest and best gift that even Donald Trump couldn’t afford to give. By the way, Donald Trump is a rich guy and sure looks like a sourpuss, therefore I conclude that money cannot, does not, and never will buy happiness. LOL (Lighten up people, you know my sense of humor by now.)

I have to admit; I too, have occasionally fallen into the trap of Valentine’s Day. I am a romantic and I am sort of an old school kind of gal. I like to be wooed and I enjoy immensely, reading words of adoration from my sweet, even if his English is less than clear. Full boxes of innumerable cards adorn my room from days of yore. (Say that 3 times fast.)

On top of my obvious romantic nature, I am also a pack rat… a weepy-eyed, sentimental, clinger to all things given in the name of love… pack rat. In the 17 years I’ve been with my husband, I have never thrown away a single card. Not a birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, sympathy, congratulations, etc… card from him or to him. I have never thrown away a single card or letter from anyone I have ever known in these last 18-19 years of my life. I also have the occasional never been mailed card or letter. Like for instance, I bought a get well card for my grandmother and before I could send it we moved to Chicago and that weekend we visited her and a few days later she passed away. The card brings tears to my eyes every time I come across it. I am such an emotional sap aren’t I…

When my husband and I were freshly engaged in 1994, he chose the day of lovers to be our wedding day. Not our first Valentine’s Day as a couple in 1995 but, the one afterwards in 1996. Of course, I said yes. Who could say no to a man who wants to make you his bride for life on the most passionate day of the year? My mother warned against it. She told me of the doom and gloom and the death of all things happy and sunshiney if I were to get married on that day. She wished I would reconsider before we got married and ended up divorcing, consequently ruining the day for me forever in the future. Why? Because she had married my father on that day and look what happened to their love. Honestly, who could argue with that? But, did I listen? Hell no I didn’t. Why on Earth would I listen to my mother when I was a grown ass 19-year-old?!

A week or two before Valentine’s Day of 1996 was upon us, I dug in the local phone book and started calling chapels to get married in. I don’t know what possessed me to do that or to think that money was of no object. I was the mother of a 3 month old daughter, my husband was barely working, and we lived with my mother, my brother, and my great-uncle. We were pulling our weight of course with bills but, still. We were a young couple with no bank account or vehicle, needless to say we were broke. But, there I was 20 years old fully expecting the fairytale wedding I had been promised. (click on fairytale to read more about my fairytale love) I finally found a chapel in Las Vegas that wasn’t completely booked and expecting thousands of dollars and I yelled out, “SOLD!!!” I didn’t ask my husband. I didn’t consult anyone in my family, just booked it and awaited the glorious day.

St. Valentine’s Day; February 14th, 1996: I got up bright and early with my husband who was getting ready for work. “AHEM. Do you know what today is?” I asked beaming from ear to ear. “No.” he replied. “No? Umm, well…it’s Valentine’s Day silly.” I replied. “Oh…” he whispered. So I pushed further. “Well, I booked a chapel for us to get married today at –:– pm in _____ chapel.” (Clearly the insanity of it all back then made me forget the details today.) I stated, still smiling big. I must have checked out mentally because I don’t remember what he said to me. All I know is I spent the day dressing up my baby girl and myself and waiting for him to come home and keep his promise.

As the day dragged on I decided to make a cake. A heart-shaped cake, of course. I mixed it, baked it, cut it into a heart, frosted it, and waited. And waited… and waited. It was nearly midnight when my husband to be came home. I stood there in tears and didn’t say a word. He put an unsigned card on the countertop in front of me and walked into the kitchen and proceeded to eat the cake I had made for us. He was drunk! Finally he got the balls to look up at me, while I was still crying, and said quietly, “I’m sorry.” I was traumatized!!! I should have slept the entire day away instead.

It came down to embarrassment, guilt, and a few words that obviously were screwing with his head. At some point in the year and 5 months we had been together, my father had quoted words straight out of the ‘Handbook of Shit a Person Should Never Say!’ He said: “He’s ONLY marrying you to get his papers!” Excuse me, WHAT?!?! That same man who uttered those demonic words, Hell bent to hurt me and my partner, was the same man who a couple of years before was telling me to hurry up and set a date to marry a man who asked me to marry him (and I might add we found out shortly afterwards that he was already married with two children, one born while we were dating.), because time was running short between my father being able to pay for my wedding and paying for my sister’s graduation the following year. He is also the same man who ruined his own first marriage by committing adultery over and over and over and over. Yet, my sweet… my love… my daughter’s father… the man who has taken care of me since January of 1995… was using me to get papers?! Even though the man already had a legal green card 7 years before we met. Talk about an asshole move by someone who is supposed to love you unconditionally. Thanks again daddy dearest!

My husband and I finally did get married though and not on Valentine’s Day. And the father of the bride didn’t pay a damn red-cent of it neither! My husband chose to pick another day that could potentially ruin all of my future happiness if we ever divorced, and that day is my birthday. Sheesh!

So there you have it, my crappy Valentine’s Day story. And ever since then; Valentine’s Day has been just another day for my family. Just another day for my husband and I to end up in an argument caused by just another day of pressure, stress, and lack of money. And it’s just another day for my children and I to express our love for one another; by making cards, cooking, eating together, and doing what we three do every day… spend the day together and love one another unconditionally for all that we are, all that we can be, and all that we will be!

And you my loves? Who will you be loving on this day?

And because it’s also YouTube Tuesday… Here you go,
mis amores! ❤

Elvis Presley – Ku-Ui-Po

Ku-u-i-po I love you more today
More today than yesterday
But I love you less today
Less than I will tomorrow

See the sweet Hawaiian rose
See it blossom see it grow
That’s the story of our love
Ever since we said hello

As the years go passing by
We’ll recall our wedding day
I will be there by your side
You will always hear me say

Ku-u-i-po, you’re my Hawaiian sweetheart

A Marital ‘Moment’

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A Friday ritual. A single photo — no words — capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

“This Moment” is a ritual found on Life inspired by the Wee Man adopted from SouleMama which was introduced to others by Sarah-Jane, of Almost There.

I was asked to participate in this by Anna Sides, of The Other Side of Anna and the other great blogging members of the Facebook group Blogplicity.

If you find yourself touched by a moment and would like to participate, post your picture on a Friday and leave your link in the comments section.

Copyrighted- InJensMind/TerrieB. 12-10-11

Birthday Reflection

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When I sat down and wrote the poem ‘Nobody’s Birthday’ all I could think was how my birthday has sucked since 1997 when my husband decided it would be a “great” idea for us to wed that day.

 

In an emotional fit of jealousy and anger he had finally realized that calling me his wife for 3 years before we were actually married was not the brightest idea… only because I was getting more and more aggravated with it. I figured if I was to be strapped with the title of wife I should at least have the document proving it.

Albert Wenzell- The Marriage Proposal

You see when my husband and I were merely boyfriend and girlfriend he fell in love and proposed, I obviously wasn’t against it because I said yes and of course I loved him too.

 

The date he chose for us to get married was February 14th, 1996, a year and 5 months after we had begun dating. In February of 1995, we found out we were expecting and I guess that might have been the moment when things started falling apart…it was in my screwed up head anyway.

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You see I had this idea of how a relationship and love should be; funny because I didn’t exactly grow up around any stable loving relationships in my life, so where I got that idea from I will never know… maybe it was The Brady Bunch or The Cosby Show.

For years I have held it against him that we never got married on the day we were suppose to and as the world will tell you… Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned and I was scorned. It always made me madmade me furious that he chose not to marry me on that date simply because of a few words my callous father had said about him… “He’s only marrying you to get his papers.” Which was a fabrication that he had created in his own mind, for my husband already had papers 7 years before even knowing me. So not only was that comment a lie and unnecessary it was clearly meant to hurt me and my relationship.

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But, every month that passed that I was not married I was told the most horrendous things by people who claimed to love me because I was an unwed mother.

 

You just have to love family whose ideas and warped sense of love taints perfectly loving relationships. I loved him and he loved me, we were faithful and raising our daughter together as a married couple…what more could a piece of paper give us?!

Those depraved mental games eventually infected my brain, as I began to wonder why we were still not married 3 years after our relationship began. So in a last dire attempt to rescue what was left of our relationship he married me, on my birthday. He was drunk out of his mind and couldn’t repeat the vows; I was angry in every one of our wedding pictures and was trying to hold back impending tears. It was the beginning of me dreading my birthday.

Year after year passed and more than not I would end the day upset and in tears because it seemed like nobody cared that it was my “special” day. No gifts, no cards, occasionally a cake and a happy birthday. The kids would do their best to make up for my sadness by showering me with several homemade cards and as much as I loved them it just never felt like enough. Call me selfish but, I wanted to be appreciated and pampered just for that one day.

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There came a point when not only was it my birthday that went uncelebrated but, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Christmas too. Now instead of hating just my birthday I began hating the entire year; day after day, month after month, year after year. My husband would always say, “It’s just another day.” God, how I hated hearing that!!!

Then this year as my birthday approached; I became melancholy just like I do every year, knowing it wouldn’t be any different. We were still struggling with extra money and as usual I would get the short end of the stick; that’s where my poem came in to play.

Instead something happened…something magical and unexpected. It occurred to me that this year was different from all the other years because I WAS DIFFERENT. I had accomplished many things this year that I didn’t even know I wanted to carry out until they happened. Clearly my mind was holding a secret that my heart hadn’t uncovered until a few days before my birthday. Nobody’s Birthdayis a sad, depressing poem but, it unlocked my ability to see what truly mattered this year…my life; every single day of it not just the one day that comes and goes.

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I am a mom, a writer and a friend and every day of my life I show exceptional love, kindness and understanding towards my friends, family and fellow writers. Some may not have seen that and that’s ok because frankly they hadn’t seen anything I have said or accomplished in quite some time now. I have made leaps and bounds in my personal life as well as my professional life in 5 short months; my hard work was finally paying off and that my dear readers is something I never expected to see this year.

Needless to say, I had a great birthday because instead of expecting others to celebrate me… I celebrated me, something I have never done in my entire 36 years of life. I am proud of myself.

Isn’t it wonderful when you finally appreciate yourself for who you are and what you’ve accomplished? Did you find out something about yourself this year? Are you proud of who you’ve become?