77-YO Woman Marries Herself | “I Was Nervous but Then I Was Really Happy”
We have often been advised to love ourselves first so that we don't lose ourselves while loving others. A 77-year-old woman proved this in a remarkable act of self-love as she took wedding vows with herself. A partner is there with you through thick and thin and in this woman's case, it is 'her own self.' Her act makes sense but to actually take such a step is commendable.
Dorothy "Dottie" Fideli is a resident of O'Bannon Terrace Retirement Community in Goshen, Ohio. She walked down the aisle on May 13, 2023. The ceremony was a rather emotional affair, surrounded by neighbors, family and friends. It was also quite symbolic—announcing self-love in this form. "I said, you know what, I have done everything else. Why not? I am going to marry myself," Fideli told TODAY. The woman approached the property manager of her retirement home, Rob Geiger to perform the ceremony and he happily obliged.
She recalled telling Geiger, "I came in here, and I told Rob, I said, 'Rob, you are going to marry me.'" He immediately said, "You are what?'" Hahaha! It sounded like [something] against the tide but the intention behind it deserved applause. To Geiger, it was an honor to perform all the wedding rituals for a woman who has been a reason for joy and happiness to other people. He grabbed the opportunity with pride. Geiger told TODAY, "She is a very incredible woman and so full of life. She has always thought of others."
Donna Pennigton, Fideli's daughter, was equally thrilled to throw her mother a solo wedding. She also acknowledged the idea of 'self-love.' The retired woman told TODAY, "She goes, 'Oh, Mom, yeah, let's go do it. I will go get your dress and I'll get you everything." Wow! Her daughter was delighted to be a part of the ceremony and she took care of all the cooking and decorating of the community room at the retirement home. She handpicked balloons, designed a beautiful arch, and did other special touches. She also arranged a delicious two-tiered cake with red roses and a heart-shaped cookie. Fideli was a sight to behold in a white dress with sheer long sleeves with floral detailing, a silver belt and a veil with an embellished headband. What a bride! She also shared her feelings and said, "I was nervous but then I was really happy."
When Fideli had this idea for the first time, she thought it might be "just one of the things that I normally do." She also admitted that she'd normally do many crazy things. "I do crazy things around here just to make people laugh." She added, "When I see them all down in the dumps, I go and get one of my outfits on and dress up and come down and they smile." How adorable! However, the ceremony ended with an emotional note where Fideli held a white lily in her hand and used it as a symbol for cultivating self-love.
Fideli was first married in 1965. But apparently, she didn't have a proper wedding ceremony. Her ex-husband and she took wedding vows at the justice of the peace, but it seems to have been a rather hasty and formal ceremony because right afterward, her husband went to work and Fideli went home (as Fideli revealed).
Apart from the wedding, Fideli's act of 'self-love' really promotes the joy of living and being a happy cookie for as long as you live.