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So we got married in a church after all

Monday, 14 February, 2005. Rome, Italy.

Melissa and I woke up at the Hotel Trastevere and showered. We needed to finish a small amount of packing, a chore that we'd been putting off for some time now. Eight days in the same hotel room can create some amount of mess. Another hotel was housing us that night.

After showering and preparing our bodies, we got into our compilations of wedding clothes (we'd never had either entire outfit on all at once). Melissa looked like a sharp, light princess dressed to the nines in a pink sweater and pink and white flowery skirt. I helped tie the ribbon on the sleeve of her shirt.

As a present to the staff of the hotel, I left a pair of shoes on top of the closet. We gathered up all our bags, headed down the stairs to check out and paid the front desk. The wheels on the luggage click-clacked over the cobblestone on the way to the front of the police station. We waited a few minutes and were soon picked up and driven to the church - Santa Maria di Tempula.

In time, other guests arrived. Antonio and Loredanna had brought us. Caterina and Valentina arrived next. Then Alessandro and Sara with Juan and Magaly. Scavenging photographers circled us outside the church waiting to snap a shot to sell to us.

The officials arrived and wasted no time in asking for our documentation. We didn't have it. It should have been in their possession. Alessandro argued with one of them for a while before they gave up on him and called Melissa into the church. My princess was trapped in the castle. A damsel in distress!

Outside the church, I pretended to understand the Italian tongues while I secretly worried about my captive bride. The key to her release resided in an office in a downtown office building. Caterina revved her scooter's motor and took off. I was finally allowed to enter my bachelorhood's final resting place.

The ceremony was fast and bland. And in Italian. I didn't understand much of what was said, but I agreed nonetheless. Alessandro interpreted the officials commands and I replied "Si" when required, as did Melissa. We kissed, signed some papers, kissed again, posed for a couple of photos, and finally had a chance to kiss. Then, we exchanged rings and I took the opportunity to kiss the bride.

Melissa and I had entered the church separately as two people only 20 minutes prior. My wife and I exited the church into a group of people interested in celebrating our love. Also, the people waiting outside were interested in coating us in dry, uncooked rice.

Five months to the day after I sent the first correspondence to get to know a stranger named Melissa, we had officially wed. It is a path that I would never have guessed was my own, but I don't regret a single step along the way. Melissa will always be tied to me in the annuls of history, and I to her.

Posted by dennis @ 02:41 PM | Comments (1)
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