‘Tis the season to get hitched.
It all started, of course, with the recent royal spectacle of Harry and Meghan saying their vows. Although I’m not nearly as fond of the royals as I was as a little girl, I did watch the show and looked at it as a welcome respite from all the gloom and doom of the regular news these days. They were happy, it was the one day of summer in Britain, the gown was lovely, the children attending the bride sweet, and the old stuffy royals as glum as ever. Do any of those old fogeys ever crack a real smile? But the bride’s family and friends compensated nicely with their happy faces. And who didn’t love Ben Mulroney’s son photo-bombing the bride with his partially toothless grin?
That said, I can appreciate the work that went into planning such a spectacle. And, as formal and regimented as it was, there are times I long for those formal weddings of a bygone era. I mean, at least you knew where you stood. You knew you were required to wear fancy, uncomfy duds (including high heels for the women),endure readings from some religious tome that nobody understood, mumble along as you attempted to sing songs you didn’t know and didn’t care to know, follow along with a program you couldn’t decipher since you neglected to bring your reading glasses. And then there was the obligatory ‘ receiving line’ wherein guests (all 200 of them) repeated the same inane sentiments. Just once I yearned for someone (not me) to burst out and say something truly outrageous just to lighten the mood…something like:”Why don’t you just cut to the chase, go to your hotel, have some REAL fun and we’ll take a doggie bag with wedding cake in it and we’ll call it a day?” After all, it WAS really only about the dress and the cake.
Lil Sis’s wedding last year required some planning but nothing along the order of a traditional church wedding. Thank goodness…I was exhausted at the end of it even though the part I played was small. The last minute switch from Donkey Sanctuary to The Man In My Life’s backyard caused a bit of a kerfuffle, but in the end, was lovely. And yes, I’m still slightly miffed that someone didn’t hide a couple of donkeys in the bushes to bound out and surprise. But, now that I think of it, I don’t suppose donkeys actually bound, do they? It’s more of a slow sashay — if they’re in the mood.
This weekend, we attended the wedding of ‘Second Son’, aka ‘Other Brother’. It was a mixture of Italian and Indian families so was very colorful. The Mother of The Bride wore a sari as did the Mother of The Groom (MOG), borrowed from the MOB for the occasion. The theme was ‘gold’ — featured in dinner cutlery, decorations, favors and, as is traditional in an Indian wedding, gold jewelry galore.
In the spirit of things, I planned to wear gold shoes. But as I was waiting for The Man In My Life to pick me up, I noticed some strange black bits of something on the carpet. I picked them up, certain they hadn’t been there before (I DID actually vacuum that day!) and discovered to my dismay that they were bits from the heel pad of one of my shoes. I wouldn’t be able to walk far since I’d be lopsided — and that was BEFORE any drinking. I changed into pointy-toed white heels that guaranteed I’d be crippled by evening. But they matched the long white pants from L’il Sis’s wedding (the ones I almost melted when ironing them). Yes, my current record with wedding outfits isn’t stellar.
And, did I mention it was 35 degrees Celsius that day? And the wedding was to be outside with no air conditioning even for the dinner? I could picture myself fainting into a puddle — very Victorian of me. If there’s one thing everyone knows about me, it’s that I don’t do excessive heat. Most summer nights I sleep with the air con cranked to meat locker status and I still need an ice pack. Call me crazy, but I’m onboard with those recent medical reports claiming menopausal hot flashes and night sweats can continue into a woman’s 70s. I am living, sweating proof.
The heat, of course, caused all manner of problems about attire. Until two weeks before the wedding, I had found two possible outfits hidden in my closet. Both, however, were white. Having been raised a proper WASP, I knew that it it’s not cool to out-white the bride and intentionally draw attention to yourself. What to do? Retail therapy, of course. I searched everywhere I normally shop to find something–anything–suitable. Nada.I’ve discussed the ‘joys’ of an aging body before but it became a real problem for this event. All the cool, pretty, floaty dresses suitable for a wedding were sleeveless (no way I’m baring my wrinkled arms), horribly thick fabric, or dressy enough that they would require heels and pantyhose. I know younger women eschew these, but having grown up with them for dress occasions, that was what I considered to be the proper dress code. (Besides, pantyhose cover the wrinkly skin and age spots and I couldn’t imagine my sweaty feet in shoes without some protection.) But nothing really ‘sang’ to me. Sang? Hell…the choices didn’t even whisper to me. They just screamed expletives in my head.
Maybe I could simply give up, wear every diamond I own and wrap myself in a white paper bag (cool AND covers all sins). The sparkly jewels would distract from the rest of me. Hmm…I wondered if I could glue some diamonds or pearls to my Keds and be done with the shoe problem as well.
A few weeks before the wedding, I shared my woes with the MOG. She had purchased three possible dresses — none of which she liked but they’d do. And then she confessed that she too was having shoe issues.
“I can’t find shoes to go with any of the dresses,” she complained. “My bunions are so bad…nothing fits my feet comfortably!”
“Ha! You want to talk bunions?” I chucked. Then I whipped off my shoes and held up MY bunions for comparison’s sake.
Her horrified look said it all. “Oh, you win. Yours are worse!” Happy to make her day…
At the actual wedding, we were chatting with a friend of L’il Sis’s. I was telling this woman about my perplexing clothing woes in preparation for the wedding. My Man piped up, grinning from ear to ear:”I told her she could have just worn her bra and panties! That way she’d be cool…”
To which I retorted good-naturedly: “Nobody wants to see that!” Now you see? That’s ONE comment you couldn’t have said at a traditional wedding. One point for casual and fun.
The venue was an old brick factory, partly restored to look both industrial and trendy with trees in the courtyard and birds flitting overhead as we watched the ceremony. A cheeky woodpecker even serenaded us throughout with his hammering.
It was also my chance to play ‘proud Mom’ since L’il Sis had made the bride’s dinner outfit from sari fabric and she also delivered a touching, funny, loving tribute to the couple. I don’t think I’ve ever known L’il Sis to give a speech in front of a room of people. She was a pro!
It was a wonderful celebration of the happy couple. We left before the dancing began since we had a long drive home and, as predicted, after standing in my stupid heels for two hours in the extreme heat, my feet were so swollen and sore I knew i’d be lucky to hobble to the car. At that point, My Man became my Knight in Shining Armor (perhaps he was making up for the bra and panties crack) as he retrieved a pair of my comfy flats from the car so I wouldn’t be forced to crawl from the hall to the parking lot. You, Dear Readers, will be happy to know that two days later, I am now able to walk again.
And L’il Sis just called to say that her first day of looking after the newlyweds’ large hound (while they honeymoon) has resulted in her gashed foot, her dog and the guest hound fighting each other, and stress over where to put the two dogs when the plumber comes to install a new sink in her apartment tomorrow when she and hubby are at work — a situation that has all the makings of a lawsuit when the guest hound attacks the unknown, unsuspecting plumber!
I could be wrong, but I suspect Meghan and Harry didn’t struggle with such issues…