I can’t really write about my first two marriages and ignore the last one. It was epic in all respects, much like the Pirates of the Caribbean movies that defined the various stages of our relationship.
I met Diablo during the release party of Pirates of the Caribbean I in Key West. I probably wouldn’t have ever married her, but damn if Pirates of the Caribbean II wasn’t released in July 2006. So there wasn’t another option, except leaving her marooned mid swoon and heading back west.
As we all know, oil and vinegar makes a nice salad dressing but it doesn’t want to stay mixed when you’re not shaking the hell out of it. We were never a great salad dressing.
But I really did figure that we would be together forever, and if it had to be the latter part of “for better or for worse,” then so be it. Sure, the alarm bells were going off. I knew that it was a dangerous undertaking to marry someone who had never been married before and who was addicted to Disney. All that princess stuff and “happily ever afters” really sets up a girl for disappointment, especially when her Prince Charming was still in the frog stage.
As always Diablo took the reins immediately on the marriage carriage. She wanted to do a pirate marriage – now there’s an original idea – since my last one had been a pirate marriage as well. I really think she had a single white female thing going, wanting to have the life I was in when she met me, but instead of being the understudy for the part of Robb’s Wife, she wanted the lead.
No matter. It sounded good to me, largely because we had talked the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure Theatre folks in Orlando into letting us do the ceremony there. Not before the show, but as part of the show.
This required a performance and a script. How could I resist writing a script? Hello! Writer guy. So off I went to write the play that was actually a marriage. Or was it the other way around? I guess somewhere along the way I neglected to realize I was playing the lead and would actually end up with the prize – the Boob-y Prize, perhaps – but the prize nonetheless.
The general plot was irresistible. In the middle of the show, a bold captain (me) strolls up onto the deck (stage) and challenges their captain. They think I want to fight. The captain says, “What type of challenge.” I say “Marriage.” They all look repulsed and jump back. I should have jumped overboard. I would have too, if only I had written it into the script.
As with almost anything I do (don’t ever let me write your eulogy), I had to add some shtick. During the play, uh, ceremony, the monk marrying us asked us to disarm as a demonstration of trust. We kept pulling out swords, guns and daggers from the darndest places. I had no idea Diablo could hide so much hardware in very private places. I still wonder where that three foot sword came out of, but I have some ideas.
It was a good show, I must say. So much so that Diablo tried and still tries to take credit for it. But you can see my fingerprints all over the script, right down to the schmaltzy part where we pour sand into a single bottle with a bunch of B.S. about where we have been and how our lives are now one. Tear jerky stuff, I tell you, but still B.S.
I’m sure everything was B.S. to the 500 Brazilians who attended our wedding. Our own wedding party was about 70. The rest of the cavernous theater was filled with busloads of 20-something Brazilians who didn’t seem to understand that Diablo and I were getting married.
I didn’t seem to understand it either. The full impact of doing the deed hit me at the reception. The cake people had brought our custom wedding cake in. It was a pirate ship. It was supposed to be white, but they made it brown. Diablo hit the roof. It was going to ruin her day and no amount of consoling could keep that from happening. And if her day was ruined, mine was certain to be.
I was just too blind to see that this was a huge warning sign. The girl liked to be in control of everything and certainly that included me. She had warned me that I had better not be partying it up at the wedding. I didn’t. I was a good boy, drinking pop prior to the performance.
But afterwards, well, it was a damned reception. It is supposed to be a party. And since she didn’t drink and the theater folks had offered us a bottle of champagne, well who am I to screw with tradition and not make a couple toasts. Yes, I was a little tipsy, not too tipsy, but just enough to still be happy about the play, uh, wedding, that I had just been in.
If I look hard for them on my computer, I can still see Diablo’s pissy look at our wedding in the photos. Me, all smiles. Her, frowny bitch-faced. Another warning sign that a storm would be brewing and it wouldn’t be a Hurricane (for the uninitiated, that’s my pirate name).
In my memoirs, I am overly kind about it. It’s because I wrote it while we still thought we would be friends. Talk about someone being delusionally optimistic.
Looking back, it was another “what was I drinkin'” moment in my life. I was caught up in a whirlwind of a moment that had begun the day before at Disney. Yes, my marriage saga takes you to the Magic Kingdom, the happiest place (not!) on earth.
The Pirates of the Caribbean ride had just been refurbished, adding Jack Sparrow into the scenes. It was due to re-open on the day of the movie release. Diablo, being a news reporter, had wangled an invite to do our wedding there too on live television.
So off we headed at the crack of early to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride with a small cadre of crew in tow. I mostly wanted to ride the ride in pirate costume, so I had readily agreed to doing a series of fake weddings on TV.
However, I had no idea I would be getting married five times that day on top of getting hitched for real the next. I think that’s why I didn’t have the sense to cut and run. I had been through the “I do’s” so many times in rehearsal and then on live TV that I didn’t even think about what this would really mean to me.
I wasn’t ready to get married. I was a fish out of water in Florida and still getting over my last relationship. But single white female girl really wanted the happily ever after thing and I was Mr. Fill In The Blank.
It wasn’t all bad, mind you. I did get to go on the ride in costume. True, I had to marry Diablo to do it. But it is one of my favorite rides, even to this day, in any theme park.
I sometimes wonder if the Disney handlers ever knew that we were getting married for real at one of their competitor’s places just across town. I bet that would have made them a bit Grumpy.
In the Emerald City, free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty I’m free at last,