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.