Have you ever had a moment in your life when you had high expectations and instead you experienced great disappointment?
For me, one of those moments was the day I got married.
I love my wife. In fact, Deborah and I celebrated 23 years of marriage a couple of weeks ago. Our marriage has been great, but our wedding was a disaster. A week before the big day I started experiencing really unusual things.
- I kept getting nauseaus. I mentioned it to my roommates who said “You’re just nervous. You’re getting cold feet.” – “But I’m not nervous! I’m excited!”
- In addition to the nausea, I started getting headaches, and I never get headaches, so I mentioned it to my parents. “You’re just nervous.” – “But I’m not nervous! I’m excited!”
- The headaches and stomach pain continued and then a couple days before the wedding I started having hot flashes. While driving with Deborah, I couldn’t get my sweatshirt off fast enough. I felt like I was burning up! I explained how I was feeling to Deborah, and she asked “Are you nervous?” – “NO! I’m not nervous! I’m excited!”
- On the morning of our wedding day, I woke up with 100s of bumps all over my body. Since my groomsmen and I had spent the night with 6 of us in a Motel 6, I thought I had gotten bitten by some sort of bed bug. My groomsmen suggested I was nervous and the bumps were the result of my stress and fear. – “But I’m not nervous! Why won’t anyone believe me that I’m excited!”
After talking to my aunt who is a nurse, the mystery of the nausea, headaches, hot flashes, and now bumps was solved.
I woke up on the day of my wedding with chicken pox!
I had never had chicken pox in my entire life, now I got it on my wedding day!
Of all the days!!!
What was next, diaper rash on the honeymoon?!?
Can you imagine how ridiculous this moment was? I had given up soft drinks and chocolates to avoid getting even one pimple, and now I had hundreds of bumps all over my body! Deborah and I had saved ourselves for each other. One of my first thoughts was the wedding night. On the first night I would be with my wife, I looked like I had escaped from a leper colony!
I didn’t know what to do, but I thought I should call Deborah to find out if she had ever had chicken pox and tell her I was inflicted with this horrible childhood disease. Once I got her on the phone, I chickened out. Once I asked her if she had ever had chicken pox, she said “Of course, why do you ask?” She sounded so shocked by my question that I blurted out “Because one of my cousins has it.” “Well tell him not to come, that will ruin everything!”
I knew I had to tell her before she walked down the aisle and realized I was the one with chicken pox, so I wrote her a letter while she was in the changing room at the church telling her about my excitement and my disease. We have this great picture in our wedding album where she is reading my letter with a look of horror on her face.
This is not the expression you want your bride-to-be to make just hours before your wedding ceremony!
The ceremony went fine, and then afterwards the pastor told the crowd “Eric and Deborah would like to invite you to their wedding reception, but we should warn you: the groom has chicken pox. Go! Enjoy!”
People were waving at me from afar!
Parents were sending their kids over to me!
I shared this story in my life group. A few of the millennials in the group never had chicken pox since they got the chicken pox vaccine. To them sharing about getting chicken pox on my honeymoon would be like my grandma sharing about getting polio at her prom!
For more of the story, watch one of my first stand up comedy shows here:
For more on having healthy expectations, go to How To Get Killed in 6 Days – Dying to Expectations.