Saturday, March 29, 2008

Can you remember what you were doing 12 years ago today?

I can. The events of the day are stamped on my brain with indelible ink. Mine and a few other people's as well, a few hundred other people to be precise!

12 years ago today, for the very first time ever in my life, I fainted. In front of a church full of about 200 people. And then, about 8 minutes later, I did it again.

I know you can tell I'm leaving something out in the detail here, and that would be right. Because Friday 29th March 1996 also happened to be my wedding day, but what transpired to be a nasty dose of vertigo turned what should have been a serene day into a bit of a pantomime.

For context: Vertigo is the sensation of spinning even when you are standing completely still. Your surroundings appear to be moving either vertically or horizontally. Some people feel that they are actually spinning. The effect may be slight and only just noticeable, or it may be so severe that you fall to the ground. That was my type.

So we're all standing at the front of the church during the first hymn, Be Thou my Vision, when suddenly I find myself sitting on the front pew. Apparently I had blacked out completely, had been caught on the way down by my (not quite) husband and placed there whilst everyone else sang on, mostly oblivious to what had happened. Half the bridal party, though, had disappeared in different directions to try and secure a glass of water, smelling salts, towels and hot water or whatever people look for in an emergency!

The Elder from the church who was marrying us (I attended a Brethern assembly at that time, hence no minister) made the sensible decision to carry on as if nothing had happened which was exactly what we wanted to happen.

And we did, until we got to the first set of vows when I did it again. Only this time my (not quite) husband shouted 'Oh Shit!' (he was Presbyterian at the time) into the inconveniently placed microphone for the whole congregation to hear. (Our church spilt not long after we got married. I don't believe there is any direct correlation between the events, but ...)

At this stage, the Elder decided we should retire to the vestry. How I got there I'm not too sure. I have a vision of me being carried arse up over someones shoulder out the front of the church. The photographer didn't get that shot.

I was very well attended to in the vestry; luckily we had a neurologist, a cardiologist, a psychiatrist, an orthopaedic surgeon and at least three GPs attending the wedding, and actually after a few minutes break, we continued with proceedings, said everything we were supposed to say and got married.

Or at least, that's what we told the guests when we returned to the church some 10 minutes later to a standing ovation. Who can say for sure?? ;-)


Anonymous said...

Ahhh yes I remember it well!! ( A la My Fair Lady ) we thought we had thought of everything - but it was still a fantastic day. Hope you had a happy day today!

Cosmo said...

A belated 'Happy Anniversary' to you!

What a great wedding story. I can't help wondering what your husband would have said if he hadn't been a Presbyterian.

Speaking of Presbys, on that date 12 years ago I was working as a youth pastor in a Presbyterian church in Cleveland, Ohio. I've been trying to remember what I was doing on that weekend and I think it was the weekend I drove about 100 miles to visit my girlfriend (now wife) when my car went bang and the engine caught on fire. That didn't stop me from pouring some water on it, getting back in and trying to drive on. (I repeated this tactic a couple more times until the car finally gave up). Oh to be young, in love and stupid again...

jsi said...

No kidding - what an incredible memory!

St said...

Great story. Have married many couples but managed never to have a fainter. So far. Season starts April 26th.

Rose said...

Now that you mention it, yes! 12 years ago today, you and I were basking in the sun on a catamaran off the coast of St. Lucia and our husbands (yours being relatively new at the job)were dive buddies in the ocean below...and so began a great marriage and friendship...

Ali said...

Ah Rose, I remember it well, married less than a week and worrying already had he paid up his life insurance!!

That, I believe was the first of the catamaran trips we shared that holiday, subsequent ones we (and I use that word loosely!) used to introduce you to 'agglomerates' and 'how to communicate with dolphins by banging on the side of the boat'.

Dana said...

Happy Anniversary!!! Wow, that is probably one of THE best wedding stories ever!

You make me laugh...hope you've had just as much excitement in your marriage since!!!