MissM and I have been in Sydney (hiding) for a few days in order to surprise Mum on her 70th birthday (December 9), and DH arrives a few days later due to work deadlines.
Everyone is outside enjoying the sunshine and DH and I are sipping coffee, catching up while I am checking emails from the Japanese Embassy re: visas.
DH leans close and whispers 'would you like to marry me in Japan'
To which, to both our surprise I simply say WHY? Not 'why' quickly, but wwwhhhhyyyyy slowly as if there's an underlying reason to the question - tho not sure wwwwwwhhhhyyyyyyy in Japan or wwwwwwhhhhhyyyyyyy get married.
We've not talked about getting married since before MissM was born. We felt as good as married for years constantly referring to one another as 'my husband' or 'my wife'.
In Ireland we were 'supposed' to be married for our visa's (well, at least mine as I move around the world as DH's dependant while he's on an employees sponsored visa-thingy).
It's funny how one expects new migrants to 'do as the Romans do' - Aussies do things one way, so if you are new to the country, come on! join in 'our' way. Americans are different again in some daily rituals, and so on.
Not this bunny. I was not getting married just because some Government didn't recognise our defacto relationship of 7 years (at that time). NO WAY! We'll get married if and when we choose. Not 'cos we're told to.
Hence the WWWWWWWHHHHHHYYYYYY - did Japan have marital requirements on my visa that we weren't aware of?
And the ring - where was the ring??????????????
This all happened in seconds - tho it felt like hours to poor DH who, like most men who propose marriage (especially to someone they've been with for years and is the mother of their one and only child) to jump up and shout YES! YES! YES!
His response to wwwwwwhhhhhhhyyyyy was a simple 'because I thought it might be a good thing to do'
Where was the ring????????????
So, we told family and friends we were getting married; everyone was thrilled. And then within a few days, DH flew back to Japan and we continued our holiday.
MissM and I arrive in Japan on December 23, just in time for our first Xmas in our apartment, minus our belongings. It was the funniest Xmas we've ever spent. MsLexus joined us for Xmas lunch.
MissM started school on January 5 and for the next few weeks my life was a whirlwind of new faces, new shopping experiences, first trip to Costco, first PTSA meeting, first time catching a taxi to the supermarket on my own, starting Japanese conversation classes and more ... but all FIRSTS.
Meanwhile DH was busy at work settling in and, unbeknowns to me filling in Japanese paperwork so we could get married.
On The Friday he said something like, I've only got a short meeting on Monday, why don't we pop around to the Prefecture Office and get married on January 26 - it's Australia Day, and the middle of Chinese NY seems a good day.
Oh OK I said.
I prepared an email to send to family and friends and programed it to SEND on January 26.
On the Monday, Mia went to school (for some reason she was against us getting married, so much so that she went to school, save the drama. She kept saying that if we got married daddy would leave - go figure. For a kid who watches way too many Barbie adn Disney movies we're not sure where this concept came from)
I went to Japanese class, and at the end of class, MsH asked me what i was doing - and I smiled and said shyly, meeting Guy and then getting married. She said WHAT?????????????? A short sharp sounding WHAT? as in WHAT THE ????????????
Another friend at the time, MsC walked by and joined our conversation and as simple as that they were our witnesses and photographers.
They walked home with me; I asked them if I should wear outfit A or B. DH came home, changed his shirt and tie and I introduced him to the ladies.
We all strolled thru Chinatown laughing, the girls snapping photos as we walked, people looking at us as if maybe we were famous Gaijin but they didn't recognize us.
We stopped off at a Temple and did the insence offering.
Then we went to the Prefecture Office, filled in a few more forms all in Japanese and waited.
The poor little man at the counter was so nervous.
We sat, we waited, we laughed, the girls continued taking photos
And before we knew it, we were married.
MsH kindly invited us back to her place for champagne, so we picked Mia up from school on the way and she joined us. Her first sip of bubbles was on our wedding day.
DH and I went out for a scrumptious meal that night.
|Entree served in a very decorative style to celebrate Chinese NY|
|Inside the bowls ....|
|Wagu steak with garlic sprouts|
Six months later, in July 2010 we hosted an afternoon tea at Vaucluse House with Sydney family and friends to celebrate. It was a happy, funny day. We even wore the same outfits for continuity of photos! We wanted an Australian/Japanese theme and with the generous help of MsDi and MsC we managed to create a great atmosphere.
|Sakura wedding cake|
|Individual cupcakes with LOVE and HONOUR in Kanji|
|Little touches to show off our new home|
|The 3 of us|
|After a few lovely speeches, cake time.|
It was and still is, hard to remember the day without friends and family around us. I remember an acquaintence in Yokohama who'd heard we got married asked me 'was it the wedding of your dreams' YEAH RIGHT - no family, no friends in a completely foreign language - yeah, every girls dream NOT.
It was also MissM's 6th b/day - so lots to celebrate.
So while tomorrow might be 3 years of marriage, to me, it feels like we've been together forever. We belong together. There's a song by an Australian band called Savage Garden 'I knew I loved you before I met you' and every time i hear it i think of DH ...... we've been 'right' from the first time we met at work. (even tho he thought i was the receptionist hehehehehe)
DH probably won't even read this but if he does, honey i love you pure and simple. We've created a wonderful life together. The past 18 months have sucked big time, but we made it thru stronger, happier, healthier.
No one could ask for more than you give me every day - love, laughter, MissM, respect, good conversation, and the knowledge that no matter what, we're in this together and we'll be OK.
Happy anniversary honey