Sunday, May 23, 2010

Here's to love .. Whatever it is...

and here's the second bit ...

more about the wedding tonight (second marriage for both bride and groom) .. for obvious reasons, it got me thinking about what i really wanted in a long term um, ... okay, wedding. ugh. there i said it.

it's been a long time since i've been a wedding guest; not exactly my favorite occasion, a bitter divorcee' , some may say-- although i deny it (every time).

i'm not down on marriage, especially for people are who married. as i've said before: if you're married, stay married: hunker down and be there for each other. laugh. cry. do the work. make it work. because it's worth it. seriously.
if you are not married, or 'lucky' enough to have been through the marriage juggernaut and come out the other side relatively unscathed. well then, my friend, i say stay there. marriage is hard work. it's one of those things like italian creme cake: it looks better than it really is.
but i digresss....

so i go to this wedding. i am a guest of the bride. we are casual friends, at best. our daughters are long-time schoolmates and we had comradery in that we were both single mothers with relatively young children in the middle of suburbia. as a minority, we stuck together. truth be told, i'm sure if not for my daughter's connection with bride's daughter: i would not have been invited, let alone attended.

she's been dating this guy for about a year. that's all i really have to say about that. what i came here tonight to discuss is the wedding itself.

**as an aside i have to add: if there was every any question in my mind (which, there really wasn't), i now know with all certainty that i will never do the white dress and train with a veil thing ever again. she did. and that sealed the deal for me.**

i sat there and listened to the preacher bind them together til death do they part. yada yada yada. unity candle. traditional vows. what can is say dear reader? it made me squirm in my satin-covered chair knowing as i do, that she's already done this song with another partner. death did they part? fairly ugly divorces on both sides from the way she tells (told?) it. so.. death, not quite. but. this is her day. .. .. again.

then the reception: grand entrance. first dance. daddy dance. toasts from the four groomsmen. i felt my eyes rolling..
what are we, 23 years old here?

where is the realism? where is the part about : this is it fellas. no more dancing around the truth. we're here to take it to the next level, so both of you better be ready to cowboy up and ride this bull. because as you both know: it's a torn up road. so take a minute and think about it, because this is the last chance you have to take a step back without threat of serious repercussions from which you may-or may not-fully recover .. .. makes you wish sometimes it was as easy as holding onto bucking reigns for eight seconds.

i don't begrudge her this pomp and circumstance, but it solidified an attitude in me that i will not go back and say the same words. the same way. with the same hollowness. my crystal-crusted wedding gown didn't make a damn bit of difference a year from that day. by the time i got on the plane for my honeymoon, i could barely put together the fragments of memories from my wedding. it was a swhirl of snapshot moments in my mind. what exactly did we promise? it wasn't a moment of commitment, it was a lot of fluff about ... nothing. but this is only my experience.

i admit that i sometimes think what my 2nd wedding would be like. i can't see it, it's a vague idea.. but the images got clearer after tonight:
* it goes without saying that the dress code would be comfortable. the mood would be free and open. i'm not (necessarily) talking bare feet or cut offs in a city park .. .. i just mean the event would be momentous, without formality.
*then, the vows. in the comedy version of my vows, i say things like: "i promise never to gripe about the toilet seat and try my best not to one day hate you." because that's how i roll.
if i had to think about a real promise, i wouldn't repeat rote words from some preacher. this time, i need a spell i can trust.
maybe .. : "i like you so much i want you to be my family. i choose you because you see me better than i see myself, even when you look at the real me."
Romance and intimacy, yes, but there would be a sense of business at hand. i see the vows as a pact: an agreement. maybe we'd even sign a contract: that we would try to stay together. we would admit to each other that whatever it is that draws us to this place, to make this spectacle of our relationship: whatever that is: we agree here and now to explore it, nurture it and respect it. We acknowledge that there is strong love when we work together, and at this moment we enter into a partnership to foster that love. "for as long as we can possibly stand it. "

but that's just me. maybe i'd feel different if i'd walk a mile in her custom-dyed pump.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

there is only so long you can re-gift.

I went to a wedding tonight that turned out to be blog-fodder gold...
here's the first bit.

i have an antique chest that i call the gift closet. you may have a gift closet: your backstock-- your re-gifting stash. my gift closet is where i collect the birthday, christmas and miscellaneous gifts that either a) we don't want; 2) we can't use; or c) we're just not in love with. and throughout the year, i pull out these never used, unopened items and wrap them up for someone else, usually another kid, just like mine. rarely, are these gifts for adults.

however: we were invited to a wedding tonight. i turned to the gift closet with a creative hopefulness. there in the back, i spotted a silver and glass "jam set", which by luck would make a lovely wedding gift, seeing as how i had received it as a gift for my own wedding. but. never opened it. (it's a jam set. what the hell am i supposed to do with a jam set? if i need jam, i'll dig it out of the jar then put it back in the fridge.) i knew it was time for the jam set to find a home in a new gift closet: one with a happily married couple to care for it.
so i plucked it out and dusted off the box.

somewhere between drying my hair and cutting the silver wrapping paper, i had the idea to check out this jam set. the cellophane that kept the box taped was sticky and felt old as i carefully pried it up. the box showed wear, no doubt. it should, considering it's been moved three times. as i noticed the delicate, white paper protecting the trivet-part was kind of yellowed, i started to do the math on this potential re-gift. let's see: i've been divorced for seven years... married nine... oh god, this thing has been in the back of that chest for sixteen years!

the numbers made me laugh, as i pulled the pieces out of the box.... ... only to find a tiny envelope atop the white-wrapped silver spoon. "on your wedding day" the card read. "To tony and julie, we wish you many happy years together." ... name with held to protect the innocent.

this clever lady had put the card INSIDE the gift so it wouldn't get separated in the moving of the gifts from the reception to the ... wherever. SIXTEEN YEARS AGO. thank god i checked it, i thought. how freakin embarrassing to give an obvious re-gift, but with the original card. wow, would my face be red.

but the worst part is: the silver was all tarnished. can't save that.

re-gift: fail.

check in tomorrow for my take on the ceremony and reception ...

Monday, May 10, 2010

same song second verse... no, twelfth...

here's another classic blog, originally written sept. 25,, i'm not being lazy about posting... i'm just being... um, frugal -- using what i already have before getting new ...

I get so irritated with my daughter at the dinner table. Every single night she sits sideways in her chair and every single night she ends up spilling food on her lap, or dropping her cup off the edge of the table or something. All just because she's not sitting up straight paying attention. I tell her the same thing… every night. It's like she doesn't learn. I can't imagine where she gets it. Irritates.

So reader, as you may recall
when last we left this weary life traveler, i was feeling a leap coming on… forward movement
in the game of life lessons. I was looking for it; ready…to grow.
the problem with setting out to learn something new about yourself is… well, you learn something
new about yourself. something that is not usually cool. besides, by now, I already know all the cool things about myself.
I've spent the greatest part of my waking life glorifying, magnifying and generally extolling all the cool things I thought about me.
so I guess
now it's time
to move on
I talk to God.
I think one of my first mistakes here, was asking God to teach me how to be more loving. sounds good, doesn't it? I thought so. I didn't think
of it as such a challenge to master. in fact, I just dropped it into my prayers between wisdom and patience…'make me more loving'
... a sweet filling between the two biggies.
Mmm..warm fuzzies to me…muah! Love.
God has the ultimate sense of humor.
My second big mistake is being a slow learner.
should know by now, that if I want more of something in my life,
like love.. or respect ..or acceptance.. I have to purposefully
do/give that thing for/to other people.
This is life 101: do unto others.
It's karma.
The great, goes-around-comes-around.
Conversely, if you find yourself not getting
something you want from this life;
logically it follows
that you are
not giving enough of that thing.
Want your boss to be nicer to you? then bring the maintenance man cookies.
it's the universe man, wake up. Its real
So I shoulda known
when I wanted more love in my life
that He was going to show me
all the ways I act like an ass.
Yea. Fun lesson.
so much for fuzzies...
So I ask God to show me how to be a better person and he drops a dime to the universe and says, "hey man, go ahead and put it all in motion.
She wants to show more love and have more respect for people, so she's gotta learn lowliness.... This is going to be fun. I love this one."

(that's me paraphrasing God… I can still hear Him kind of giggling …)
I will not go into the myriad ways over the last few months that I have made a fool of myself and then had it served to me on silver the next morning at breakfast. I will not further shame myself regaling my public embarrassments; the times I was taken down to where I could see just how hurtful I can be to other people. I won't replay the times I've stumbled over someone's feelings or cut into someone's self esteem with clean-sharpened sarcasm. more times than not, I was made to answer for it. sometimes for the first time.
And in my misery; in the darkness of disappointment
and self-realization that I'm such a bitch …..
the universe whispered in my ear:
"You have to respect first,
before you are respected.
It doesn't matter if you think it's fair.
It's the game."
I'm learning to be more loving,
because I've see what a bitch I can be.
And that's not cool.
so…I've softened, I'm trying to be softer… girlie, if you will.
Holding back on those trademark sarcastic additions. snarkiness no more. Conversations with me will be dusted with colored sugar
punctuated by frosted muffin tops. No more piss and vinegar
from this little lady. Mindin' my Ps and Qs.
yes sir, mr. God sir… I done learned my lesson.
No more schoolin… please….

I'm begging you. stop.

This was a tough lesson, but i think i broke into bedrock; which is very cool. for now, I continue to offer apologies in my wake and walk the property nailing up boards I kicked out of the fencing around my bold, some might say strong, personality. and if out there in this anonymous web someone who knows me and maybe even loves me is reading this: thanks for loving me even when I'm a rude, conceited jerk. I hope you'll have to work less at loving me from now on… but I can't make any promises, I still can't get my daughter to sit up straight at dinner.