A Secret Wedding, Concealed Emotions And A Bit Of Tomfoolery!
A Secret Wedding
Woohoo... earlier this month, I tied the knot! In secret. In a cave. With a picnic on the beach 'reception', just a few people present and a pizza feast later that night.
I've never been a girly-girl, who dreamed of a fancy white wedding–in fact, I've always cringed at the thought. I don't like attention either. But more than that, I don't like the extravagance of weddings. To me, they always feel more about the wedding itself, rather than the marriage. And that feels wrong. Add to that the loss of my mum last year and I'm sure you can understand why we didn't want a traditional wedding. That's one reason we kept it secret–we didn't want it to turn into a big celebratory event and neither did we want our friends and family back in the UK to feel obliged to travel. The wedding was no big deal. But the marriage is a huge deal!
I wish I could say we decided to get married in a cave because of the majestic backdrop- nature's cathedral. But that only occurred to me as I entered the cave. It was more about a private joke/desire between us–our ongoing desire to escape the world as we know it and live in a cave. Is anyone else as disillusioned with mankind as we are?
I wore my mums floaty, cotton, summer dress (and beads) from the 1980s. I remember her wearing it on our family holidays. By coincidence it was white–well, cream. I wore it with cave appropriate footwear–for once I ditched my heels. We didn't inform the cave office, we didn't hire a photographer, the only thing wedding-like was the presence of a Celebrant and the 'ceremony'. It was the perfect 'wedding'!
But let's get to the nitty-gritty, the reason we're here- the nonverbal cues and emotion. Whilst I'm emotionally sensitive and not afraid to show emotion, I'm also very good at emotional control. The ceremony was incredibly emotionally moving. Especially hearing Joanne (our Celebrant) relay what Lee, my about-to-be-husband, had written about me. One of our guests captured a photograph of my hand gravitating to my heart as I listened intently. While Joanne admitted she was trying to bring me to tears, the emotion I was trying to control was excitement. I felt giddy with it–thrilled to be marrying such an incredible and loving person. At that point, there were no tears to be had from me.
At the same time, Lee had just heard what I'd written about him. Teary-eyed, his hand disappeared into his pocket as he tried to conceal his emotion. An emotional soul, no matter how hard he tried, those tears of overwhelming emotion were sure to leak out.
As we were about to give each other our rings, Joanne asked what words we'd like each other to hear, when looking at the rings, in the future, should we ever be inadvertently parted. The example she gave was if one of us was lost somewhere. But all I could think of was death. All I could feel was sadness. I tried to conceal it, laughing it off with an exaggerated claim that Lee getting lost was a regular occurrence. When the truth is, once he got semi-lost in the bush while on a trail run. Though I'm not lying when I say that each time he goes for a run, I worry that he will get lost in the bush.
An introvert's nightmare to come up with something deep and meaningful, without days–or weeks–of prior reflection on life, love and death, I let Lee go first to buy myself some time.
Whilst working out what to say and still trying to control his emotion, Lee pursed his lips to the side. When we do this we're thinking of an alternative, so I assumed he had two ideas in his head and he was toying with which one to give. I was wrong. He told me later that he was trying to hold back his emotion, so he could compose himself to speak. The 'alternative' was an emotion. Much in the same way that I displayed the expression when trying to control my emotion/compose myself when I lost my mum–I wrote about that experience here.
Lee's words were all about us forever being best friends. Mine, after buying myself time to think, were, "I need more time to think about this, or I'll forever regret what I said". Two weeks later, on a lazy Sunday morning, I cried as I told Lee what the ring meant–should we ever be 'parted'...
That we weren't truly apart because we'd become a part of each other, living on within each other. Knowing what each other would say, do, or joke about in the moment of different situations. Being in each other's head.
I'd pretty much settled on that the day of the wedding, but it took two weeks to decide they really were the right words–should we ever be parted. Ironically, whilst writing that just now, I became emotional and found myself doing a lip purse, so that I could compose myself enough to finish writing. But before I finish, let me leave you with one more nonverbal cue from the day...
The Tongue Jut 😛😝😜🤪
Whilst looking through our photos for this post, I found an example of Lee doing a tongue jut, shortly after signing the marriage certificate. I thought I'd share it, albeit a little grainy and difficult to see. Typically, we do this when either we: feel we've got away with something, just been caught or made a mistake. We sometimes display this nonverbal cue to others deliberately–as in the image below. Often, we'll raise our eyebrows at the same time to draw attention to it. Or, we inadvertently display it, leaking our emotion- as I mentioned in this post about Trump.
While the tongue jut isn't too common to observe, Lee does it quite a lot, whilst fooling around–often. I don't remember what the circumstances were in this case, but knowing Lee, he would have just made a funny remark. I have another example of him doing this, caught on video when we were dating- I'd asked him to "lie to me". He'd just made up a ridiculous lie and then said this...
While I talk about the nonverbal cues of deception detection a lot, I don't want to understate the importance of observing and understanding the nonverbal cues we can observe in everyday life. Because, even empathy, has to start with recognition of emotion. I hope that the bits and pieces you learn about nonverbal communication, from my blog, empowers you to have greater insight into the emotions of the people close to you. So that you can better respond to their needs.