My Vow Renewal

8a00355bb9f868a1b8172ff2bc7f7179I’m the type of girl who can’t sit through a Nicholas Sparks movie because my constant eye rolling at the smoochie face characters gives me a headache and any jewelry commercial is hive inducing. This could be because based on a lot of my girlfriends’ experiences a huge diamond is like getting a down payment on your husband being a jerk.

Don’t pooh-pooh this. I’ve done research. In the 80’s almost every single girl in my sorority who got one of those cumbersome pear-shaped diamond engagement rings that were the size of a marshmallow Peep all ended up with a husbands who were serial philanders. Now, I realize some of you may still be stuck on how a diamond can be cumbersome. So let me give you a brief primer on pear-shaped diamonds from back in the day.

These rocks were more like mini spears. You know kind of like a finger sword you see in martial art movies. My sorority sisters spent hours whining (read gloating) about their rings maiming things and how heavy 3 carats felt on their hand. I, being ringless, and a little bit of jerk, (well not so much of a jerk, but a young woman tired of putting up with anyone who thought complaining about a huge diamond was even remotely okay) suggested they donate it to charity so that ungainly, pointy thing could do some good.

You can imagine how well received that suggestion was and in a surprise to no one I didn’t get invited to any of those girls weddings. Yay me because sitting through an almost two-hour ceremony because one full hour was devoted to getting 33 bridesmaids down the aisle while Pachelbel’s Canon played on a continuous loop was no joyous romp.

My aversion to mushy (up to and including long weddings and pear-shaped diamonds) is why I’m totally not getting the whole vow renewal trend. I was able to ignore it for a while, but recently I’ve been invited to two vow renewals. I understand wanting to celebrate surviving a couple of decades of marriage. What flummoxes me is having another wedding. Not to denigrate the deep, searing passion my husband and I still feel for each other (give me a second I have to wait for my laughter to stop) but I don’t think we could say our wedding vows to each other with a straight face.

It’s not that we both don’t believe in for better or worse or in sickness and in health, but after so many years together our marriage has evolved past making a pledge. It’s like Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back when he says, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Well, we’ve done it. Even more importantly my husband would rather voluntarily surrender his Costco card (What is it with guys and their bromance with Costco?) than experience our wedding 2.0.

Just to mess with him, because annoying my spouse is one of my favorite past times, I recently told him I wanted to renew our vows. His bewildered response was, “Like right now?”

“No, not right now you idiot.” I answered back with exasperation. “I want to do the whole hoopla wedding thing. You know with a minister and the big reception.”

“Don’t you need a new husband for all that? I’m pretty sure you do because this old husband is saying no.”

Then he stared at me for a couple of seconds and I don’t think it’s because he was basking in the glow of my beauty. After giving me, what I call the “Wow how crazy is my wife?” once over he snaps his fingers and yells, “I’ve got it! You want to do this because of that shop next to Chipotle. That’s it isn’t it?”

No that wasn’t it. But I’m going to give the guy props for superior conjecture. The shop next to Chipotle he’s talking about is a super fancy bridal store. I can’t help myself every time I get a burrito I stop and stare at the gorgeous, ethereal gowns in the window. More than once I’ve muttered, “Where were these dresses when I got married?”

But no, I don’t want to wear a wedding dress. I know that ship has long sailed and I would in no way want to subject my body to the tortuous level of Spanx it would require to successfully pull on and/or up one of those magnificent creations over my body. Although a big, puffy, Cinderella ball gown would hide everything from the upper rib cage down. Hmm, maybe . . .

No, no, I have to stop fantasizing about wearing a wedding dress. I’m scaring myself a little bit about how seriously I’m thinking about this. Reality check time – I’d need a ball gown with a skirt so full I’d look like Mother Ginger from the Nutcracker. And that disturbing visual was just the slap in the face I needed. I’m back to normal now and not quite done aggravating my husband.

“Why don’t you want to do a vow renewal? I think it would be sexy,” I purr.

“You know what’s sexy?” He un purrs back.

“What?” I ask knowing full well his answer is in no way going to anything remotely lovey-dovey.

“A woman who doesn’t want to renew her vows. Also sexy is all the money we would save by not having a vow renewal.”

“Have you ever considered that your definition of sexy is little off?” I scold like a schoolteacher miffed that her class is talking during the morning announcements.

“Oh, I beg to differ. Remember how sexy it was when we paid off that high interest credit card?”

Well, he had me there. That was sexy in a thrilling, liberating way.

Knowing he’s got me hooked, he continues with “and how about paying cash for a car. Come one, that was very sexy.”

Well, now I’m having fun. I liked this game. So, I decide to play along and eagerly blurt, “Yeah, and using Kohl’s cash, that’s like super sexy.”

I knew I had killed the mood as soon as the word Kohl’s came out of my mouth. Note to everyone – Kohl’s cash – so not sexy.

My husband laughed and said, “I tell you what. Let’s finance our vow renewal with your Kohl’s cash stash.”

“Even better how about if we just don’t do it at all.” I sighed.

He smiled and in an almost romantic way said, “I do.”

“You do what?”

“I do, like you know, the wedding ‘I do’.”

Oh, I respond grinning, “Then I most definitely ‘I do’ too.”

And that, I’m almost positive, is the closest the two of us will ever get to renewing our wedding vows. But you know what? That’s good enough for me.

 

 

6 thoughts on “My Vow Renewal

  1. Grief Happens says:

    I almost spit out my smoothie several times laughing at this. SO funny. I’d rather stroke my creepy neighbor’s toe hair than have to sit through a vow renewal. I DON’T get this trend at all.

  2. EastCoastGal says:

    You are spot on Snarky. The only reason and I mean the absolutely ONLY reason for a vow renewal ceremony is if the couple ran off and eloped or got married at the courthouse. I will never understand how weddings became the $20,000+ production they’ve turned into. Is it really necessary to have a 5 course sit down meal wedding reception? Is it really necessary to spend $3,000+ on a gown you’re going to wear one time?? Why anyone would want to go through all that stress again is beyond me.

  3. Jane says:

    Another reason to renew one’s vows would be …. if they’ve somehow become broken. But should one publicize it?

    Otherwise, just throw an anniversary party.

    Great column today!

  4. Kelly says:

    You’re talking about Nolte’s Bridal, aren’t you? Because my mother never got to have the wedding she wanted (her mother-in-law planned the wedding she wanted), she drug me to Nolte’s back in 1996. Yes, this tomboy (people still call me sir when I wear I baseball cap), 38x38x38 body shape was a Nolte bride. Hey, at least I didn’t have to pay for it! By the way, we are still married and have NO INTEREST in renewing our vows. Once was enough for me.

  5. New England Girl says:

    We are one of those couples who eloped. We were engaged and had to be a married couple to get full company relocation benefits so we said what the heck, we’ll do the court house thing. We tried to plan a formal wedding after the fact, but it was such drama and such a pain we decided against it. Now 3 years later we are home owners, expecting our first child, and NOT in debt paying for an extravagant wedding. We still miss the idea of having a wedding so we do want to do some vow renewal at some point, maybe at the 10 year mark, but I still don’t want to plan a wedding! I’m thinking we’ll do something untraditional and fun, like getting our vows renewed on an Alaskan cruise. I would trade that poofy wedding dress for some cold, salty air any day! Plus we’d get to do an epic trip that we and our kids would actually enjoy. Win!

  6. liz says:

    I’ve been married almost 30 years and have attended 2 vow renewals, both of people my age. One of the couples went through the most horrible divorce you can imagine, with custody battles involving other friends as witnesses and forensic accountants being called in to recover assets the husband was hiding. The other one was after an affair on the husband’s part and after years of painful therapy and work on the wife’s part, the husband has decided he wants out and has initiated divorce proceedings and the kids won’t speak to him. While I’ve known plenty of people who got divorced, the two worst cases were after vow renewals, so I have no desire to have one!

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