This is the possible wedding day. We see the sign for The Outpost Wedding Chapel and head that way.
The place is nothing like we expected. Then again, what did we really expect? The place was surrounded by a chain link fence. This was not your usual fence like in your back yard. This was more like the chain link fences around a prison. It looked to be designed to keep anything and everyone out. Why would this be secured like it is? We were questioning as to whether or not we should enter. However, we are at the point of no return. Remember, we are not in a car, we are in a semi, an International cab over, and maneuvering is not as easy. Suddenly we hear a “ding ding” and alarms started going off and red lights started flashing. Apparently there was a hose on the ground that loudly makes a noise when you drive over it, ding! ding! Remember the full serve gas stations? You would pull in and drive over the hose and the sound alerted the attendant to come out. Evidently this particular hose also triggered the louder alarms and lights and the gate opens. I say alarms, but it was more like sirens or so it seemed to us. At this point we are wondering if the entire sign announcing this wedding stuff was a scam and we are going to be held hostage or who knows what may happen to us.
We are sort of gasping and are actually a bit leery. We are talking in hushed tones to each other wondering what is going on. I am thinking what have I done? Why did I ever start talking with this guy? My fiance/truck driver/virtual stranger notices a guy messing in the dirt up near the building and points him out to me. I quickly spotted him as well. He appears to be weeding a garden but we do not really know. He notices us and jumps up and runs in to the building. I am not sure why all of the alarms and sirens did not signal our arrival to him. Who is the one that allowed the gates to open? Do the alarms sound and the gate just opens? What does this really accomplish? I mean, what was the point if he did not hear them? My fiance/investigator says maybe they are burying the prior couple that came in expecting to be married. There’s a thought.
My fiance/storyteller begins to narrate. He says the guy is running in to the building yelling, “Mable, Mable, we got a customer. Quick get ready!” He says he is washing his hands and cleaning up now and frantically trying to get out of his gardening clothes and in to a suit. He has me in stitches. He says that when we get in there they will probably ask what we want as if there were another option like for instance a cheeseburger and fries! He went into an entire dialogue. He is saying things like, “Mable, quick fix your hair we got one coming in. Come on Mable step it up.” He will not let up and we are laughing so hard. We get to the building and walk in and sure enough, the man is adjusting his tie. The first thing the man says to us is, “I am sorry, I was looking for my tie. I wanted to wear my blue tie!” I totally lose it, laughing way too hard to even speak. The guy looks at us like we are crazy as he has no idea why we are laughing. We regain our composure and the guy says, “Can I help you?” My fiance/psychic turns to me nodding his head yes with a look that I just know says “yes, see I told you? How about that cheeseburger??” It’s all over now, I cannot stop laughing. I do not know if it is from the prior anxiety, that it IS that funny, or it is nerves. Whatever it is, I am hysterical.
The man, undaunted, went on to tell us our options. For additional fees we could have a number of things from flowers to music. He had an entire list. Some seemed nice, some seemed silly. We could have a pretty little wedding certificate. He said he could calligraphy it for us as he has been learning how and practicing. The assistant, a woman, says he does just an awesome job at calligraphy, it is really nice. She is smiling up at him adoringly. What a cute couple. The frame for the certificate of course would be extra and we would have to wait to be sure the ink was dry! Haha. I think a video was offered for somewhere around $200.00 which we thought was quite high for back then. We could have 3 or 4 photos taken, but we would have to wait longer for someone to come take them. We said we just wanted to get married. We were told we could say our own vows if we wanted and there were several different types of services. We just quietly listened to their spiel. We had no idea this was how it would be. We just figured we would go in, pay, sign some papers say our I do’s and leave. We told them that we would just take a standard wedding and we would take the certificate. The fee for these two things was a mere $120.00 if memory serves me. There is that speeding ticket hanging out there, though.
We paid and the preacher asked Mable to go get his robe. He told her to be sure to get this certain one. It took her some time to get the robe. She finally returns, and they are both all smiles. We think Mable must be his wife or girlfriend, they are so enamored with each other. He fastens up his robe and looks at Mable and talks about wanting his blue tie again. Mable agrees that yes, it does look good on him and turns to us and smiles and shakes her head yes. She reminds me of the school secretary from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off! I felt like buying this man a blue tie since he loved it so. His tie did not really matter, we just wanted to get this over with by now. Picture this, (this is a movie reference, comment if you get it) we are 2,000 miles from home, we just had some questionable meat for breakfast, we got a speeding ticket, I am wearing my fiance’s underwear, does it really matter what color of tie he is wearing? This place was beginning to feel weird.
He is dressed and ready. He opens a closet, grabs his Bible and leads us into the chapel. He proudly tells us that we get to come stand under this nice rounded arch of flowers. There is about another 10 minutes spent on having us stand together and positioning us just perfectly. I think there was tape or something indicating just where we should stand. Goodness there is such a fuss being made. We get positioned and the preacher tells my fiance/comedian to take both of my hands in his and to look at me and say, “My dearest beloved.” I feel like the Golden Girls’ Sophia here, but picture this….he is a larger, muscular guy, 6’3″, who rides a Harley, wears a leather Elmer Fudd hat, full leathers and has longer hair. He is a truck driver. At the moment he is wearing jeans, his work boots and a black t-shirt, tucked in with a big belt buckle. It is not an extra huge buckle with like the picture of a truck or train or something, just a larger buckle, a plain opened square shape. His black t-shirt may have been a Harley t-shirt. Can you really picture that this big guy is going to be holding both hands, looking down at a 5″2″ girl who is wearing his underpants and lovingly say, “My dearest beloved?” I do not really think he could even say these words to anyone as it is not really something he would say, not really his style.
So…. he has my hands, he looks at the preacher, he looks at me, he grins a little and he then looks back at the preacher as if to ask if he were serious about wanting him to say this. I am not able to totally describe his facial expressions but they are priceless! It is like he is in disbelief that he has to say this and he is smiling like he surely has mistaken what he has been asked to do. He has this silly look and grin and is looking back and forth for probably a good 2 or 3 minutes that felt more like about 10 minutes. He sort of looks like a child who was up to mischief about to be caught and trying to figure his way out of it or to plan his escape.
He looks down at me finally and rather than stating the words, it comes out like a question. He is so hesitant, almost stuttering, and then says with a question in his voice, “My dearest beloved?” I feel like he is waiting on an answer from me or encouragement that he said it correctly. True to my prior behavior, I break into sudden hysterical laughter. I double over and cannot stop. This time the laughter is producing tears and I can barely breathe. It was his face when he was told what to say and the looking around and then waiting on my response that did it. Actually it was his entire response that triggered it. I surely wish we had ordered that video! It would have been so much better than me trying to describe it! There is also the face of the preacher and his assistant. They just stood there not understanding at all and saying nothing. If I saw someone laughing like that I would have at least smiled and maybe even chuckled. I thought laughter was suppose to be contagious, It was more than I could handle and watching the preacher and his assistant/possible wife/possible girlfriend made it all the more hysterical. I wish I could totally explain this so that you could picture it. My fiance/guide/rescuer takes action and grabs my hand and leads me out of the building….