Eight years earlier we had stood outside and exchanged vows. Six short months later, on a much sunnier day, we were divorced. And I really didn't think of it much after that.
A year before this day I had returned from Tennessee to boring Tim's house. I had met my ex's girlfriend almost by mistake and we had oddly become friends. I was the one she came to with odd questions about her perspective in-laws, odd questions about what happened during the first marriage and weird shots she couldn't stomach drinking.
She had specifically requested that I be there. So on a bright sunny Friday (as opposed to our foreshadowing, rainy, record setting cold wedding day) there I was in church sitting next to Tim.
Most people can tell you when they knew they loved someone. This is not one of those stories. Quite the opposite. This one of those stories where you know it's over.
We were half way through the mass the the pastor's homily got to me. He said in their pre-martial counseling he has asked the couple to list three reasons why they loved each other. His list included how good he felt being around her, her clearly defined goals and her excellent communication (he's my ex and I think he has selective hearing on this communication thing). She included how happy he always is to see her, that he always does the right thing and that he keeps his temper in check when they argue (this last one made me laugh because I found it to be one of his more irritating qualities).
And that's when it hit me. I had no reasons why I loved Tim. Because quite frankly I didn't. We had dated 5 months on the first go around. And 13 months on this try. Way longer than my standard rule of "if you don't know in a year you're never going to know."
And I had not one reason left. I used to think he was a hard worker and that we wanted similar things out of life. But now not so much. Way not so much.
Most women will tell you going to a wedding with a date is usually a romantic thing. My ex took me to his sister's wedding one month after we met, introduced me to his entire family and then sometime late in the night told me he loved me for the first time. This was not like that at all. Even though Tim had to know I was nervous beyond reason (see the old in-laws after 8 years? good times) he never once told me I looked nice, or held my hand or really anything. And as the priest kept talking I followed his gaze across the aisle to another woman's low cut dress. And rather than being upset I silently chuckled to myself, "More power to you buddy. If you think you have a chance with her by all means do."
Later in the night as the DJ announce the last dance he asked me to dance. And as the new bride exclaimed, "Holy crap. Tim and Jennifer dancing? This has to be a first."
And a last.