Three years ago yesterday was the day I married Mr. Brown Eyes. So three years ago today was my first day as a wife. While my wedding day was everything I wanted it to be, the day after was...weird. Maybe that's just because I'm weird. That's definitely a possibility. However, lest there are any other young brides out there who are as weird as me, here is a glimpse of my first day of marriage so that they may know they are not alone in their weirdness:
I woke up the first morning of my eternity with Mr. Brown Eyes, my mind buzzing with memories of our beautiful wedding day, sunlight spilling through our bedroom window, the man I now called husband snoring softly beside me, one arm draped over my waist.
And I cried.
It was not the way I expected to feel the day after my wedding. As though some dark shadow was crouching over my heart, blocking the sunshine that threatened to overwhelm me the day before. I closed my eyes, trying to will it away.
Mr. Brown Eyes stirred beside me. I couldn't let him see my tears.
"Good morning, beautiful," he said, rising up on one elbow and kissing my cheek. "Or should I say, 'wife.'"
Oh, how that word made my heart flutter. I smiled. "Good morning, husband. How'd you sleep?"
"Like I had a beautiful woman beside me."
"Yesterday feels like a dream, doesn't it?"
"Mmm. A really good dream."
I tried to smile but it felt forced. Yesterday. Yesterday was all laughter and photographs and cake and roses. Yesterday our families and friends surrounded us. Every move we took put us in the spotlight. Yesterday I was as beautiful as a princess. Yesterday was magical. Today, on the other hand...
Today felt disappointing. Like the day after Christmas.
Tears stung the backs of my eyes. I was glad for the distraction when Mr. Brown Eyes asked, "Do you want breakfast?"
I nodded and quickly wiped the tears away as I followed him into the kitchen. Unfortunately we hadn't had a chance to go grocery shopping, so cereal and milk was our only option. I ate slowly, hoping perhaps all I needed to feel better was a full stomach. I looked around at the little apartment I now shared with Mr. Brown Eyes. It wasn't quite home yet, unpacked boxes still stacked in corners, Mr. Brown Eyes' cat, Critter, eyeing me warily from the top of the refrigerator.
Another wave of sadness washed over me. I braced my back against it. Why did I feel this way? This was my first day of eternity with the man I loved. I should have been dancing in celebration, singing from rooftops. Why then was I crying more than I did at my grandmother's funeral?
I glanced at Mr. Brown Eyes, his hair still tousled from sleep, and I knew in a heartbeat that my sadness had nothing to do with him. Oh, no. He was light in those shadows. I was so happy knowing he was my husband I thought my little heart could burst and spew pieces of happiness all over the room.
He caught my gaze, put down his spoon, and pushed his chair out from the table. In two steps he swept me into his arms and kissed me in a way he never could before we were married. I felt myself getting lost in his skin, his arms, his smell, and then...
I started bawling.
Mr. Brown Eyes set me down on the couch, his brow furrowed with concern. "Rachel? What's wrong?"
My fight was useless. The tears took over, wracking my body, pouring down my face and onto my robe and Mr. Brown Eyes' worried hands. He grabbed a box of tissues from the bathroom and soon there were half a dozen of them crumpled in my lap.
He didn't speak. Just cradled my cheek until the sobs tamed into random hiccups and sputters. I pulled him onto the couch beside me and buried my red, tear-stained face into his chest.
He tangled his fingers in my hair. "What's the matter?" he finally asked.
I raised my red-rimmed eyes to look at him and dismally shook my head. "I don't know. I'm so happy to be married to you, but I feel so sad at the same time."
This was Mr. Brown Eyes' first experience with my absurd female emotions. I've got to hand it to him, he took it like a pro.
"It's nothing I've done?" he asked.
I shook my head emphatically. "Oh, no. You're wonderful. I think it's just that I was so wrapped up in our wedding day that I didn't give much thought to the after. And everything's so different. Good different, but different. I just have to adjust to it all."
Another tear slipped down my cheek. Goodness, Mr. Brown Eyes must have been wondering what he got himself into.
He wiped the tear away with his hand. "What can I do to make you feel better?"
"Just hold me, "I whispered. And he did. And I started blubbering again.
My tears had successfully soaked his shirt when I found my voice again. "Are you disappointed with me?"
"No," he replied in a tone that invoked no argument, a tone that told me, even with the one word, that he would marry me all over again in a heartbeat.
My tears calmed, Mr. Brown Eyes kissed me and ushered me into the shower and we finished packing for our trip to Jamaica that night. Standing in an endlessly long line at the airport, Mr. Brown Eyes and I joked and flirted and I felt my sadness ebbing away. Just glancing at his profile in the seat next to me on the airplane was enough to make my heart do flip flops.
"Mr. Kirkaldie?" I asked.
"Yes, Mrs. Kirkaldie?" he replied.
"Nothing. I just wanted to hear you say that."
It would take me a few weeks to adjust to this thing called marriage, but I had my best friend to help me through it.
A part of me wishes someone had warned me that the first day would be like that, that I shouldn't exert all my energy on the wedding day and forget that that day was a beginning, not an ending. Then again, I doubt that I would have believed anyone who told me such things. It was a learning experience, the first one Mr. Brown Eyes and I experienced together.
And once we got through it, I was no longer weird!
If only that were true.
I bet Mr. Brown Eyes really wishes that were true.
Here's to an eternity of weirdness,
The Brown-Eyed Girl