The wedding, in our D.C. apartment, was tiny, especially by today's standards: fourteen people including us, our parents, our siblings, their spouses, and the Jesuit friend who performed the ceremony. He said we should go to city hall and repeat it for the official record because he hadn't married us according to the laws of his faith and that was the requirement for it to be considered legal. We never did. I guess by now it's as official as it will ever be. My mother did send out what Bob's brother Steve referred to as a shake-down card, meaning it was an announcement designed to solicit gifts for us. I'm not sure how many she sent out and I don't think that was her intent. Even so, my Aunt Fanny, famously, said she would give us her gift when we visited her. That's another thing we never did. Anyway, the gifts that remain are few. A little knife. A very large stock pot. A set of stainless steel mixing bowls. And a silver-plated ice bucket. They're all items related to food and drink, as it happens, useful and, by now, looking very well used, especially the little knife, but not especially the ice bucket, which has come out only for parties. And actually the little knife was inside the stock pot -- it came from the same couple -- so I guess the number of gifts that remain numbers just three.
The couple who gave us the knife-cum-stock pot, Martin and Marsha, got divorced shortly after they (or, probably, Marsha alone, since she, being the woman, was probably the gift-getter) chose that excellent combo. Sandi and Mark, the couple who gave us the terrific mixing bowls, split up too. As for the couple, Judy and Mo, who gave us the ice bucket, which was very stylish, like themselves, they never were married, although Judy thought they were going to be. The trouble was, even though they were engaged and a date had been set, Mo had neglected to get a divorce. Judy discovered that towards the end of their wedding preparations, when Mo was required to produce the divorce papers for the priest. We could hear Judy, who was our downstairs neighbor, crying for days; a few weeks or months later, I can't quite remember which, she packed up and drove back home to Wisconsin, leaving her cat, Saki, with us.
Our Jesuit friend, Jeff Donnelly, by the way, didn't keep his vows, either. But that was probably a good thing. We saw him many years later, in Miami. After he'd left the priesthood, he got married -- to a former nun.
So why have we remained married and very happily at that? We have our pat answers, which we voice now and again, when asked, but here, I'll just say that one reason for the longevity is because I never wrote much about our marriage through my equally long writing career. I think I'll keep it that way.