I had never been to a city like Chicago. I was shocked and un-nerved by the busyness, the tall buildings, all the people. Our apartment was located a few blocks from Russell’s bank. I wasn’t close to anything which made no difference since I had no job. The apartment was on the tenth floor with big windows, but all I could see were other buildings. It was nice, not very spacious, but plenty big enough for our needs. We bought what furniture was essential for the bedroom, living room, and kitchen plus a desk for Russell in the second bedroom. Both our parents had given things like lamps, dishes, and some other necessities. Neither of us had any idea about setting up a house but it sort of came together.
The next step was the wedding. Both Russell and I wanted a small, quiet simple affair, but, of course, my parents wanted to invite half the republican Party and Russell’s parents covered half of eastern Iowa, so the guest list was huge, most of these people neither of us knew or had ever met. If it were up to us, we would have had maybe a dozen or so people that we even knew, a few relatives, a few college acquaintances and maybe some high school friends.
Be that as it may, the invitations were sent. I had my dress, my mother had hers. We had the rings and managed to find a best man and bridesmaid, Russell had a guy he knew from high school and I, from law school. I had few friends and Russell had even fewer.
Since I was from the middle of the state and Russell was less that sixty miles from the eastern side of the state, we elected to have the celebration in the small college town of Grinnell right on Interstate 80, midway between, so there would be an easy drive for our guests.
The day came, we did the ceremony, there was a huge reception where we received congratulations from people who we didn’t know until we were tired of standing. We clumsily did the first dance, cut the cake and did all the right things to placate our parents. Then it was over at 12:30 A.M.
Russell and I took turns undressing and putting on our pajamas in the bathroom as we were too uncomfortable and embarrassed to do it in front of each other. Russell was pretty drunk and fell into bed, instantly asleep. I crawled in, maintaining as much distance as I could from him in the king size bed. I lay awake a long while thinking about what I had done and wondering what the future might hold. I felt relieved that we had postponed the sex.
We flew out of Des Moines the next day for our honeymoon in Cancun. Russell had insisted we be by the ocean and wanted to go down to a resort there. I told him it was summer and would be really hot. It was in the high eighties and he got sunburned the first day on the beach and was miserable.
We tried to have sex for the first time on the second night. He just got on top of me, shoved himself into me. It hurt like a hot poker was being rammed into me. He was inside of me for about a minute, grunted, his body stiffening, and rolled off, rolled over and went to sleep. That was far from what those books had told me. It was certainly not pleasurable but painful and messy. We had sex once more that week and it was awful and painful every time we did it from then on. I hated sex but felt it my duty as a wife.
I spent most of the honeymoon studying for the Illinois bar exam and Russell spent his reading through a bundle of information from his new employer, most of the time being spent indoors because the sun was so blistering hot. I would have just as soon been back home in our new place in Chicago.