Just this morning Ken and I were in the kitchen cleaning up after breakfast, and I was like:
"Baby, can you believe how amazing life is? Is there anything that could possibly make your life any happier?"
"I'm glad you asked that! I've been meaning to talk to you about something that I could really use."
"Really? Great! I can't wait to hear it. Can I just run upstairs and grab something?"
"I'm back! Okay, what would make your life just so much happier?"
"Great, so you want to know what would make my life just so much happier?"
"Sweet Sassy Mollassy! You HAVE to try these raspberries. You just have to have one. Right now."
"Woah, those really are good. So you know how you were just talking about what would make me happy?"
"Oh, yeah! Gawldangit, baby, this house is so freaking pretty. You know what, we should look at some reclaimed wood accents."
"Great idea! And and funny enough that leads me back to what we were talking about."
"What were we talking about?"
"What would make me even happier..."
"Right! Hey, speaking of reclaimed wood, don't you think you need a new desk?"
"Yes! Yes, that's what I've been trying to tell you. A desk is exactly what would make me happier."
"Oh! Why didn't you just say so?!"
I really don't have ADD. I can sit for hours, writing and reading and creating whatever. But when I'm with people I love, I just have so many thoughts I want to share with them that I can't get them out fast enough. Maybe it comes from working at home all day, so any contact outside of Abby and Sir Dexter Augustus brings forth a mad rush of verbal assault. Maybe it's just that I'm a spaz. But I love that Ken always (outwardly) keeps his patience with me.
Given this tendency to get overstimulated, we were both aware that our reception could be temple of doom for me. With 90 people I love shoved together in the prettiest little corner of the world, many of whom I rarely see because of distance, I could easily get lost in conversations with everyone of them that I would forget to live in the moment.
But Ken was determined to help me live that night to the fullest. During dinner, while I was so enamored with the presentation of the food, he said "Stop, Liz. Just put your fork down and look around." When I was lost in conversation with friends and didn't notice when my favorite song had come on, he made sure to lead me to the dance floor. When people were taking picture after picture, he sweetly excused us so that he could make sure that I saw all of the details of the decorations. Here are a few of those crazy details by Firefly Event Company:
Because of him I remember every ribbon and flower, every hug, every soft breeze on the Verandah. I remember my friend Cathy Elcik locking eyes with me when my favorite Josh Ritter song came on. I remember huddling in a corner with my husband while we shoveled the best cake into our mouths like a couple of trashcan raccoons at midnight. I remember all the speeches (and now "All Set" has become our Quinlan-family-motto).
But there was one detail from the whole night that I still carry with me every day. It was the one detail that no one planned, few noticed, but the one detail that set the stage for that night and really for our whole marriage.
Ken and I had half-heartedly practiced our first dance (Wings by Birdie) before the wedding, because we truly do better with half-assed preparation. But as soon as the song struck up, a chunk of hair fell in my eyes. Ken kept twirling me around and around like he was some sort of reborn Fred Astaire, all the while (on two inch heals and a silk dress) I couldn't see a damned thing. Frankly, I didn't care. I knew he'd lead me and make sure I was okay. I was happy just getting dizzy in the moment.
The way my sister tells it later, when she noticed I couldn't see she mumbled under her breath "brush her hair away, brush her hair away, please God let her have married the man who'll brush away her hair."
It was the slightest gesture. Merely a flick of his wrist. I'm doubtful anyone except my sister would have noticed. But as soon as he noticed I couldn't see, Ken stopped and cleared the hair from my face. He made sure that I could see all of the beautiful faces I love so much. He made sure I could see the ground so I wouldn't trip. And of course I'm going to turn this into a metaphor. He's still brushing the proverbial hair out of my eyes. When life gets overwhelming, when I'm blinded by complexities, when I'm too excited about life to even have a linear conversation about desks, with patience he gives me a clearer perspective. No matter how hard something is for me, he doesn't take over the task, but instead he helps me see the obstacles in my path.
Okay, ya'll, that's the end of the Biltmore wedding shenanigans. If you thought that was crazy awesome, stay tuned for Vatican / Pope madness.