I’ve written a lot about my wife, Sara, over the past year. She is often mentioned in my columns and Facebook posts. Through little anecdotes, I chronicle our adventures of getting in and out of trouble, volunteering, goofing off, or just doing everyday things.
No matter where we go, it never fails that we come across someone I know, and I have to introduce my wife. In nearly each instance, we hear, “It is nice to meet you, Sara, but I honestly feel like I already know you. Was it hard getting pancake batter out of your hair after you two got into your pancake fight? Those pictures were hilarious.”
It’s just what happens when you marry a journalist.
You also get your husband coming home at weird hours, as well as constant breaks for phone calls and emails throughout the day, date nights interrupted because of a car accident along the way to dinner, every detail of your life is told through embarrassing columns, and more.
But, as I always remind her, she knew what she was getting into when she married me. Which makes me question her sanity.
I am a theatre and Disney geek, and I have trouble sleeping, which means I will be up some nights, singing Wicked or Pocahontas, while she bribes me to sleep with promises of eventually watching Lord of the Rings.
I tap my brakes to the beat of whatever song is on the radio.
I like to make the cats act as puppets to annoy her by dancing on her head.
I drag her to volunteer or shop on her days off.
I am writing all of this, partly to recommend the Catholic Church to consider canonization as a saint one day, because on Sunday morning, we celebrated our first year of marriage.
Yes, on December, 13, 2014, we married. She has officially tolerated me for one entire year.
Our marriage was just as shocking to us as it was to our family, when they found out that evening. We had been dating for four months and, as with anything else in my life, our marriage wasn’t planned. We didn’t wait eight months to prepare the perfect wedding. In fact, if someone told us on December 12, 2014, that we’d be married the next day, we probably would have walked away from the crazy person in a non-alarming fashion.
As with any good story, our adventure in marriage starts with vodka. We had partied the night before, nothing crazy, of course, but enough to end us eloped the next morning.
I don’t even recall asking for her hand in marriage. It just sort of happened. One minute, we were writing poetry out of song titles from music playlists, and the next, it was just common knowledge that we were getting married in the morning. Sort of how you just know to expect rain from a forecast.
Oh, tomorrow is a 30 percent chance of rain and about a 95 percent chance of elopement. Dress accordingly.
We set an alarm for a ridiculously early hour for an impromptu, and hungover, wedding. It was a weekend, so we weren’t sure how limited the hours of the Greenup County Courthouse would be. We ran off to Greenup, fingers locked together, ready to become Mr. and Mrs.
We didn’t even know where we were exactly going, accidentally causing us to break into the Courthouse Annex, which had no one in it. After a while of touring the lonely, and inexplicably unlocked, dark building, we attempted a second go at the other building, which turned out to be the actual courthouse. Another 15 minutes of searching empty halls later, we found the room to get our license.
We sat politely, answering all of the questions the clerk had for us, smiling when we got strange looks after the blonde behind the counter asked, “So sweet…how long have you two been planning your wedding?”
After getting our paperwork, and a few strange looks, we were given a list of people in the area who could make it official. We called the first person, reaching a lady on the other line who was half awake. We told her we needed someone to marry us that morning. She asked us to meet her at her second-hand store, which featured a makeshift chapel.
We sat in my soon-to-be wife’s Buick and joked about what we were doing, making light of the seriousness of it all. Pretty soon, a Chevy SUV parked in front of us and a lady hoped out, making her way to unlocking the doors of the shop we were told to meet her.
We greeted the woman, who looked like she had just risen out of bed, to discover she had the same voice as the woman on the phone. She was talkative and friendly, explaining that she typically doesn’t open for an additional two hours, as she led us to her chapel.
Dodging and weaving past Amish-made furniture, we reached her ceremony space and stood under an arbor covered in Christmas lights.
We stood in the second-hand and Amish store in Greenup, allowing the woman to lead us through our vows.
As we finished, the woman looked at her watch, “Huh… imagine that,” she said. “It is 10:11…and it is 12/13/14. Did you guys plan that?”
We spent the remainder of our day on one of our random road trips to a ghost town along the Ohio River, calling each other Mr. and Mrs. Pratt to help the new reality set in.
I’ve grown up a lot in the past year. I’ve stopped partying and raising Cain. I’ve spent more time making each decision to benefit my family. And, I’ve spent 365 days thanking serendipity for delivering me to my best friend.
Sara and I have one year under our belts. One year of tragic loss, one year of never going to bed angry, one year of waking up in each others arms, one year of gaining a second family, and one year looking forward to a lifetime of memories ahead of us.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.