Thursday, August 04, 2005

Summer Re-Run: Interview with a Panthergirl

Original posting date: 2/28/05. Part of the Regurgitation series, so my apologies to those who have seen this post already.

My blogbud Frally has come up with five questions she'd like me to answer, so here goes:

Q: What's the special ingredient for a great wedding? (If anyone's going to know, it's you my dear)

Although I had three unsuccessful marriages, the weddings were great. My first husband and I decided to get married on the 1 year anniversary of our first date (which was also the night he moved in with me). We made plans to go to Hawaii and have a private ceremony there. We kept it a secret from everyone but our parents, but they weren't invited either. The first few days were spent getting our license and finding a location (Waimea Falls Park on the North Shore of Oahu at dawn), a justice of the peace, a photographer and a witness (the woman who worked in the park volunteered). We hired a Rolls Royce and driver to take us from Waikiki to Waimea. I wore a little white cotton mini dress and an orchid in my hair.

My second wedding was the best of the three. We decided to get married in October and have a costume wedding (you know how much I love Halloween). My future ex-husband was a Broadway stagehand who came from a very blue collar town in New Jersey, so all of his friends and family were either stagehands, cops or firemen. It just so happened that one friend's girlfriend worked at a costume store and she provided the most amazing outfits for most of the guests. We went as Rhett and Scarlett, the best man was the Phantom of the Opera. There were cops in Renaissance costumes replete with tights and plumes. The wedding and reception took place at a restaurant that overlooked the Hudson River so we arrived by speedboat to the great amusement of our guests. Our "aisle" was a long rickety pier, and we did our slow processional to the blaring strains of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Wedding March. Very campy. The ceremony was performed by a Nakota medicine woman. It was a great wedding. The marriage, however, lasted a little more than a year. (the happy ending is that he and I have remained close friends, and he has maintained a loving relationship with my daughter.)

The third was a smaller event at Tony's home because his mother was dying of ovarian cancer. We were married by a minister from the Ethical Culture Society. Tony's mom was a real trooper and danced with her husband while my then-five-year-old daughter tried to pull the hem of her skirt down to cover her catheter tubing. She passed away 3 months later, the day before another one of her son's got married. Our pictures are among the last that were taken of her.

Fun facts: The same photographer worked my 2nd and 3rd weddings. It's quite hilarious to look through his portfolio and see me getting married twice. Wedding #2 was featured in Bride's Magazine. That photographer went on to shoot celebrity weddings including Whitney Houston's.

Q: Is there anything you can tell us about New York that we possibly wouldn't know?

A: If you are in New York, you are expected to walk according to traffic patterns (keep to the right) on crowded sidewalks and public stairways, like going into or out of the subway. It's always easy to tell the tourists because they are constantly bucking "traffic".

Q) What is your most embarrassing moment?

MOST? Ah, that's a tough call. But there's a funny one that comes to mind. On the trip to Hawaii described in my first answer, the in-flight movie was "Raggedy Man". It was 1982, in the olden-days when in-flight movies were actually MOVIES, not DVDs or videotapes. We're all intensely watching a particularly suspenseful scene when I felt something tickling the back of my head. It startled me, but I figured it was my husband-to-be trying to freak me out so I ignored it. Again, I felt my hair move every so slightly, this time closer to the top of my head. I looked over at him, annoyed and rethinking this whole wedding idea, but he was staring straight at the screen. Finally, I felt it again and I reached up to see what the heck was touching me and it was a PILE of movie film that had unraveled from the projector above my head. The whole plane cracked up laughing. (At the very end of the movie, when we were about to find out the identity of the murderer, the film burned up inside the hot mechanism. A woman who had seen the film before had to stand up and tell us all how it ended.)

5) When you come back in the next life (that is, assuming that we do), what would you like to come back as?

Me, with money.