My day started early that Saturday morning, but not as early as hers. My tuxedo was already pressed, after all, and during breakfast at the hotel I was able to nervously read a newspaper and make smalltalk with various friends and extended family members who had flown in for the wedding. Joanna, however, had been up with the sun, her parents’ house an epicenter of activity with a dozen girls and women of all ages running around, piling into a modestly sized bathroom to apply makeup, waiting patiently for their turn to have their hair done.
The entire day was a blur. The ceremony was wonderful, with a little more than 100 people packed into a small Polish church in suburban Philadelphia. I distinctly remember four things: (1) how absolutely beautiful my wife looked as the doors opened at the back of the church, (2) the bird that sang throughout Father Mickey Genovese’s homily, (3) hearing so many people saying “congratulations” in the receiving line that I eventually started saying “congratulations” to them myself instead of “thanks for coming” or “great to see you,” and (4) that I managed not to trip and fall or faint.
I came close, though, afterward. July 3, 2004 was the hottest day of the year to date, I believe, and standing out in the hot sun in a black tuxedo, posing for photographs, almost got the better of my consciousness. At one point, I sent one of my buddies back into the limousine-bus for a beverage, thinking I was surely going to pass out. I should have been more specific.
“Dude,” I said, lamenting that the phenomenal tuxedo–a gift from my brother, who works for perhaps the top name in men’s fashion–would likely have emitted steam if I had removed my jacket. “I really need something to drink. I’m going to pass out.”
“Sure thing, Jeff,” he said. And he came back with a glass of champagne.
The reception constituted about five hours of doing our best to spend a little time with everyone. The room was majestic (only a few months before, it had hosted President George W. Bush for some fundraising dinner), the food was great (or so I was told, as we barely had any time to eat), the drinks were flowing (though every time I put one down to shake someone’s hand or pose for a picture, it was whisked away by someone in white gloves), and the company was fantastic. By the end of the night, our faces hurt from smiling so much, and our feet were numb because of the dancing. All in all, it was absolutely phenomenal.
And the five years since have been even better. We might not have the nice cars or the disposable income or the fancy new television, and we may not have had the chance to escape for exotic vacations or sample all the finest restaurants in Philadelphia, but every day is better than the last, and that’s about all you can ask for.
It’s funny. Each day, it seems, I receive wonderfully nice e-mails from so many readers who look at what they know about my busy life and thank me for putting the time in here at America’s Right. The thing is, I couldn’t do any of it without my wife. Balancing work, school, family and the Web site is not always easy, but Joanna is about as supportive as a spouse could ever be. Without her, none of this would happen. Without her, God only knows where I’d be.
So, because today is our five year wedding anniversary, and because the courts I cover for my day job are closed for the holiday weekend, we’re scooping up the munchkin and heading off to spend the day at an area water park. It’s fair to say that not a day goes by where I don’t thank God for blessing us and our family, but it’s also not often that we have a chance to cut loose.
Unless something absolutely crazy happens–I hope not–this is all you will find at America’s Right today. Tomorrow’s content will be fairly simple as well, as Independence Day should be spent away from the computer and with family, a chance to come together and remind ourselves and others of just what it means to be free. Now, more than ever, we need the opportunity for introspection.
In the meantime, however, if you need me, I’ll be in the lazy river. I’m the one that looks like a manatee — a pale, hairy manatee who obviously married up.