Bramhall Square
By CAITLIN SHETTERLY  |  September 5, 2007

Reader, I married Cowboy. It rained in the morning, but cleared up to be a blustery warm day with lots of dramatic wind throwing my dress like in a Charlotte Bronte novel, my hair all done in the vein of Jane Austen, the sun sparkling down and lighting on the blue water where my eyes rested whenever I felt my mind wandering to the incredulity of starring in my own wedding and it really being real. Cowboy stood, tall as a lamppost, a beacon to my ever-jumpy mind, and was so true, I could not help but be sure.

We said our vows and read poems, and the minister spoke about the world today — one of violence and rage — and the hope a union can bring in the midst of so much gone so wild. Many of our words were carried out by the wind to the bay before they even reached our guests, but that’s OK, I think: maybe the wind kept us private and less showy, more like ourselves. And at the end the gorgeous jazz boys played “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” as we walked to the bar. And it was over — just a millisecond in the life’s history, but a defining moment that will forever now hover as a bookmark of before and after. I drank a Shipyard Summer and the party began. Later, exhausted from dancing and the fever of a wedding — I almost wrote “party” there but there is nothing else quite like a wedding, frankly, although I might never have believed it before — and in typical Cowboy and Caitlin style, we went to my mother’s and ate toast with our best friend Vanessa who was also my matron of honor and rehashed the whole thing before finally going back the hotel to crawl into bed, dog tired, emotionally whiplashed, and married.

Two days later, we left for Canada where we lay on the beach in the sun and talked about everything weird and wonderful that had happened until, finally, we'd talked it to death and knew it was a wonderful success. So we came home to our cat Ellison, our dog Hopper, and our very normal, simple life. I’d have liked to have believed that everything, even us, would be changed and shiny after such a starry wedding, but it’s not true. When we took Hopper to the beach for a reunion swim, Cowboy lost our only car keys on a spit of sand reaching far out into the water.

So, yes, married in a storybook wedding and yet still ourselves. Tired after hours of searching, no shoes, wallets, cell phones, or house keys, all locked in the car with the “smart key,” we hitched a ride home from the beach and didn’t speak to each other until it finally got dark and we’d both come to the conclusion that the only things belying the last week and a half of our lives were the rings of gold around our fingers. And hold onto my ring I did, as I knew my vows were not careless and in marrying my Cowboy I had married all angles of him, some rougher than others. And he the same.

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