When we Met (2)
(or how our story continued)
We designed our own wedding invitations, which Steve printed of course. Although we checked it about 10 times, after printing, one of our colleagues mentioned we forgot one tiny little detail: The Actual Wedding Date. Oopsies.
After we got engaged and it became clear we were serious, it still didn’t keep some from trying to discourage us. We were even told by several friends and family members, it was never a good idea to mix our Indonesian and Moluccan lineage. They told us the two of us wouldn’t match well, as ‘history’ would ‘confirm’. Aah, well. I believe it a good thing, I already learned as a teenager, it’s impossible to please people and not something one should care to pursue. Furthermore, we weren’t planning on living by superstitious rules. So we went ahead and started planning for our wedding.
I always joked – still do from time to time – I married Steve for his money 😆. As mentioned, we did not really earn much and neither of us had saved a lot of money before coming to work there. We had to literally put our Faith to Action, which meant, next to doing our jobs and do them well, we had to believe everything we planned would eventually work out, read: be paid for. Faith is nothing without Action and actions might fail without faith. (Why start something if you don’t believe yourself you can do it).
We weren’t that demanding, regarding wedding venues, dress or anything like that. But we did both have pretty large families and a lot of colleagues, who stood by us and thus should attend our wedding. All in all, it was going to be a grand party, not so much in appearances, as in numbers. As I told you all, it was both our custom, to have everyone over for dinner whenever, and it wouldn’t be any different on our wedding day. With what we earned, it would get just a little challenging how to get everything done. We had to take ‘stretching the limits’ to a whole other level. Oh Snap.
One thing we immediately agreed on: we wanted everyone to be able to attend the whole day, from the Townhall, the Church, the Reception to Dinner and the Party afterwards. No fussing with separate cards, for people who were and weren’t invited to some part of the day, Nu-Uh. We only would only marry one time, so we’d better make it a good one and remember, we were both used to big family parties.
A catering service simply wouldn’t do, if only because both our Moms ruled their kitchens. We had some kind of a battle, convincing them, they were Not Allowed, to be anywhere near the kitchen on our day. I can assure you, it wasn’t funny at that time 🙄, something about culture, honor and such. Of course a lot of food could be prepared beforehand and there were a lot of helping hands along the way and not only regarding the food either – though food was and still is, one of our main events of the day haha.
The amount of food that was prepared would blow your mind. Not only the actual dinner as well as many, many, snacks were made, to mention one of them: the pastels I showed you in Trick-and-treat-Yo’self It was to be a decent Indonesian dinner, with as many (side-) dishes as one can imagine. Nouvelle Cuisine could hang itself, no-one was going to leave our party hungry.
In the meanwhile we went about business as usual while facing another challenge: finding a home. We knew several married couples were assigned a home in one of the apartments owned by the foundation, but after all that happened, the last thing we wanted, was living on their premises. In Choose to let Loose, I already briefly mention this. We had to answer the same question over and over again: ‘Did you find a house already?’ Funny this. All these people were supposed to have the same faith as we, but somehow they had trouble believing our God would be Great enough to provide in something so essential.
Of course, some of them were just plain curious as to how we would manage it all. It’s one thing to practice ‘speaking things into existence’, as mentioned in Just Imagine, it’s another to actually Believe they Will Come True. Some might call it wishful thinking, but that won’t cut it for me. Fortunately, there were also enough colleagues who were truly involved in our lives and compassionate about the path we chose. They knew we were practically swimming against the tide. You will find opposition everywhere, we just have to learn to deal with it or leave it altogether 😉
It was well known to everybody outside the foundation, how employees were ‘paid’ and several fellow churchgoers, would ‘help’ out with anything they thought we might need. There was this elder lady – she must have been nearing 80 – who once came to me before the service started and handed me a little plastic bag. We sat down and had a little talk and she told me she was aware we were getting married soon. In the bag, she told me, were small pieces of fabric. To be precise: she cut pieces of jeans fabric to be used to patch up any holes in… Jeans.
This was undoubtedly, one of the most sweetest things anybody gave to me and the reason why she did this? She had seen Steve walking around in his ripped jeans more than once. And No, this wasn’t yet considered fashion. This was, of course, against dress policy, but working in the printing department, would definitely not require your best clothes. It happened so many times, he came straight to the service, delayed from work, with no time to change clothes… She truly assumed, we couldn’t afford a nice – whole – pair of jeans and so, this would certainly help. Oh but My Heart. She had no idea if I was actually capable of mending his jeans – which of course I was lol, but did I ever?
Just a little while later, Steve was asked to help out with clearing a ladies’ house: there was a rat infestation and they called in the exterminators. You guessed it: it was the same lady, living on her own, with no help whatsoever. Steve later told me, the stench that slapped him in the face when he entered that house, was beyond terrible. That little plastic bag with jeans patches, was pure gold, gifted to us… 💖 it’s the little things.
People started to ask us, if we had any wishes as regards to wedding presents. The first thing that came to mind was a – nicely – filled envelope, but we knew that most of them were in a similar financial situation and we didn’t want to make things awkward for anybody. That’s when I used one of my many notepads – multi colored and all cut and glued by Steve 😄 – and started gathering magazines, to cut out pictures from anything that might be useful for our new home. Though I did leave one page suggesting the magic envelope, you never know right?
I was no stranger to creating a ‘scrapbook’ – a description not yet invented at that time. This was passed through the whole building and people could just tear out the page with the article they would want to gift us. I made sure there were objects starting at a couple of euro’s – actually still guilders then – up to the more expensive (kitchen-) appliances. You see, we might have been living on our own, but we didn’t own much ourselves, so we basically needed about everything. At the time people thought it pretty creative, and there was no chance that we would get anything twice. When I received the notepad back a couple of days before the wedding, it was noticeably thinner…
We also went to the registry office to give notice of our marriage. Out of all the questions they asked, the one I remember best, was about the ceremony and how we envisioned it. We told them there was only one thing important to us: make it as short as possible. For us, the ‘real’ wedding would take place in church, where we would receive our blessing when the marriage would be sealed before God. They were kind of surprised and not in a truly good way. It seemed nobody else before asked for this simple thing. We did not need them to take any notes about ‘funny details’ to make it a nice story. Just fulfill the law, we’re good.
As bachelor parties go, ours was a pain in my butt. This was really the moment I discovered I don’t deal well with surprises while stressed, however well meant. We were part of the youth cell in the church and the whole gang decided to surprise us with a party. We just secured our new home and were very busy trying to get it all done, next to working our normal hours. It was all very exciting, but also stressful and I lost a couple of kilo’s along the way, which left me a skinny b**** 😣
One Saturday evening, just before the youth service was about to begin, our best friends, who would also be our witnesses on our wedding day, told us, they would take us to a couple who were about to get rid of some furniture. They were sure it was something that would help us out and we of course totally fell for it. We ended up on Scheveningen beach, where we had to go through all kinds of ‘funny’, read: torturous, exercises. They left me almost crying from sheer frustration, since I was basically physically exhausted. I was really Not in the mood for the ‘fun’ they had planned for us. I know, I know… Pathetic really.
To finish it off, the whole bunch of them – it must have been about 50 peeps or so – took us to dinner. I can’t even tell you what we ate, the only thing I Do remember: at the end they made it look like they forgot the money to pay and tried to joke us into doing the dishes instead. By that time I was Fuming and had a headache which literally blew my mind. As far as I recall, I just walked away and told them I never wanted to see their faces again. 😂 I was very grateful indeed. Fortunately, they finally figured out, they might have taken it a bit too far and took care of things.
To be honest, if some of them – especially the ones who should have known me – would have taken a moment to look at my face, they should have been made aware of the state my mind was in. But No. Of course Steve was aware and he did try to make things easier, poor guy was caught in the middle before we even got married. I was so out of sorts it took me some time to settle down again. And we still needed some furniture.
We eventually found all the furniture we needed here and there, I mean, vintage – such a nice word for second-hand – had always been fine with me. With some needlework on my part, the couch looked perfectly colorful and cozy. I also still had some stuff left in my old room at my parents place, so together it made up for a nice living space. A bed was another challenge though. After some consideration, we decided that we were not really able to spend too much money and Steve came up with a clever solution.
When still living with my parents, I shared a room with my sister and we slept in a simple wooden bunkbed, to save space. Steve took the bed apart and reconstructed it into a twin-bed: Voila! 😇 All his talents have been so handy during our marriage, I cannot even begin to tell you what this man is able to do with his hands and mind! To be honest, it wasn’t even until we were married I found out the full scale of his abilities, some of which I only believed when I actually saw him in action. I’m terrible, but come on now, Who has that many talents??
This left us still without a matrass though. Thinking back I am still smiling about the way we started. We were just so happy to have found each other and this place to live. We were a 100 percent sure, the rest were just details, which God would take care of somehow. In the end, we used an airbed as matrass the first couple of months, until we were able to buy our very own matrass. What can I say, it worked!
When word got out we were about to invite basically Everyone, because, why not, we again stirred the already overheated pot. As with all companies, it would be impossible to give everyone a day off at the same time, which is understandable. We just left them a choice: everyone was free to join in for that part of the day which was convenient, if the whole day wasn’t in the books. As invitations go, this one meant we had to make sure that people were able to actually attend the whole day, while the separate events – townhall, church, reception and dinner/ party – where held at different locations. Oh. Dear.
Both Steve and I were summoned by our respective managers and were questioned several times about our ‘supposedly inappropriate’ behavior. (But Why does this sound familiar?) They basically tried to put a wedge between us, so we would call off the wedding. It gotten so bad, at one point Steve told them he quit, so there would be no ‘breach’ in policy any longer. After trying to put the blame of Steve’s leaving the job on me, I told them the same: I would just leave and the whole issue would be solved, at least for us 🤐 I also mentioned the fact, if and when, we would want to behave ‘inappropriately’, they put me in charge of all the keys to all the guest rooms, so there was plenty of opportunity for us to do so. Sassy Indeed.
Slowly but surely, they started to be aware of the opposition they themselves started to experience by our coworkers, who couldn’t be quiet any longer. The whole situation was about to turn ridiculous and since they wouldn’t be able to handle to lose 2 hard workers, let alone more – they couldn’t fault us there – they finally got the point and very reluctantly left us to our plans. By that time, almost every department was involved, some actively because of the physical help they provided.
The invitations were re-printed, including the wedding date: 17th of August 1990. I really think a lot of people saw us as a couple of braggers. With our ‘big mouths’, we claimed – read: spoke into existence – a wonderful day, planned to our own perfection. It seemed impossible to make it all come true and even now, it sounds a bit much 😂, when looking at our limits at that time. But hey, we had nothing to lose and everything to gain. We were the Authors and we decided, How Our Story Continued.
To be Continued…
Wishing y’all a lovey dovey weekend! Cuddle Up and NJoy! ❤