Abigail + Dan
I had a party for hurricane Irene. A friend of a friend brought Dan, and we all hunkered down for the weekend. The two of us connected while chain smoking out the window while the wind blew like mad. I thought he was arrogant, funny, and had beautiful eyes. We talked until 4 am two nights in a row.
He took me to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx where we ate Italian food. Then we drove around the neighborhood where he grew up and we exchanged life stories. I always dated emotionally remote people who kept me guessing. Dan’s feelings are right on the surface. I knew he was “the one” when I realized that he was my best friend, and no one has ever made me laugh so hard.
One day, he was telling me this story about how in 7th grade he decided to use the plot of “Deep Impact” from the 90s for a research project. I must have thought this was an incredibly charming story, because I collapsed in laughter and blurted out “I love you!” He kissed me, said he loved me back, and then started gloating that I had caved and said it first.
We started talking about marriage after a year and a half or so. Our group of friends traveled down to my family’s place on Cumberland Island, Georgia, for Memorial Day weekend in 2014. After a 4 hour nature tour, Dan said that he left his phone at our previous stop, the ruins of Dungeness. We drove back to the ruins, and started walking through a promenade that is surrounded by tabby columns covered in flowers. He started saying sweet things, but I was so tired I didn’t even really notice. I was basically on my hands and knees searching around for his phone when he said, “You really don’t get it?” and got on one knee.
The morning of our wedding, I took a bath and cuddled with my dog. Meditated. Both of my parents walked me down the aisle to Louis Armstrong’s “Kiss to Build a Dream On”. We got married in a circle. We danced to New Orleans jazz as we paraded with all of the guests down the street to the reception. Neighbors came out to join the dancing. We waved white handkerchiefs stamped with an image of conjoined skeletons. We ate fatty brisket, roast pig, corn bread, fall vegetables, roasted oysters, and grits. My sister in law made almond cake with homemade rhubarb jam straight from the garden. We danced to hip hop music. We smoked cuban cigars and watched our friends set off a ridiculous amount of illegal fireworks. The cops came and tried to shut us down, which felt exactly right.