ESTELLE + BROOKS

Our first real date was a picnic in Riverside Park. She came even though she hates going uptown.

ESTELLE: We met at a friend’s birthday party. He was late; I was extra late. I was totally over dating and neither of us were really looking for a relationship. We’re both the products of the seventies—same bad TV shows, same bad outfits—and we talked the whole dinner. When he went to the bathroom, everyone teased me about my new boyfriend.

 

BROOKS: I was like, yes, this is working, but after dinner we all went barhopping, she walked right in and the bouncer wouldn’t let me in. I went to another bar with a few friends and practically begged her to come meet us. I was hooked. Our first real date was a picnic in Riverside Park. She came even though she hates going uptown.

 

 

ESTELLE: We’d talked about marrying over the years, but we’d both been married before and were sort of hesitant. When we decided to have kids, it felt important to me to be married. He was kind of nervous, but we talked about it for a while and decided to do it our way, which meant figuring it out as we went along. We decided to elope in Ireland because we’ve both got Irish ancestry and one of my best friends of all time lives there. We arrived in Belfast, got full rental car insurance knowing he’d probably crash driving on the wrong side of the road (happened before the week was up), and tried to find Jill’s house. Jill and I spent our twenties drinking pitchers of margaritas at Tortilla Flats, where if you could hula-hoop for a few minutes straight, you got a free pitcher. Finally, after asking directions a hundred times, we found her teensy hobbit-like house. Brooks could barely fit through the door. We asked her to plan the wedding however she wanted to and set off for a few days in Dublin.

 

 

BROOKS: We wanted to pawn the wedding rings from our previous marriages in Dublin and spend only that money buying new ones. The pawn shop was quite impressed by our rings and gave us a big pile of cash. Dublin is so small that we immediately attracted the attention of the local newspaper, they sent someone to follow us around on our journey. We went from shop to shop looking for the perfect rings. Estelle found one quickly, a pretty little antique dearest ring. They kept showing me really boring men’s bands, until I finally asked if they had anything a bit more Liberace style. Then they brought out a big gold ring with lime green stones and diamonds. It fit perfectly. The people we met along the way were really excited to help us on our wedding journey. In Ireland, you have to go to couple’s counseling for months before marrying, so they were surprised we were just going to do it. They gave us something borrowed and something blue to bring to the ceremony.

 

ESTELLE: We ended up being late to our own wedding. We honestly had no idea what the ceremony would be like, but Jill and her family pulled together this incredible afternoon. Her mother stole some holy water from the church to bless us with and her sister led us to her secret favorite place in this beautiful field. The ceremony was in Gaelic, so we understood nothing, except it really sounded like they were saying “tits and ass” a lot. We exchanged rings, kissed, and had a dance party.

 

 

BROOKS: After the wedding we drove around the countryside and stumbled upon this beautiful castle, the drawbridge was down so we walked right into the courtyard. We were admiring it through the windows when we noticed a toaster in the window and wondered if someone might live there after all. Almost immediately, a guard appeared and sent us packing. When we ate lunch in the town later, everyone was abuzz with the fact that someone had broken into Lord Antrim’s castle.