Sunday, November 4, 2007

the wedding

I haven't posted this because I was struggling with the tone of it, which I feared might come across as catty. It's the last thing I mean in the world. I adore the man who footed the bill for the extravaganza we attended for his daughter in Florida. It was already over the top before his wife died. It continued along those lines afterwards. I think a lot of us are worried about what happens after the hoopla has died down and the father of the bride is left alone in his very large house. . . .

I switched to water before the pink martinis could get to me. Actually, I think the pink martinis were 'martini' in name only, and mostly fruit juice - which was a blessing to the many of us consuming them.

I find it amazing what people do for weddings. 20 piece orchestra, 8 attendants each, everyone flying in (as no one actually lives in Tampa, the selected venue), crystal light-up bars, the required diversity in seating: lounge beds, sofas, arm chairs, bar stools, foam wedges, and - ok - the traditional table and chair. Limited in number. No master of ceremonies - thank God - bride and groom cheerfully mingling with guests and determined to enjoy the elaborately-staged affair, orchestrated by not only a wedding planner, but also a production company. I understand the bride started her "Bride" magazine subscription when she reached middle school. I am not making this up. I was told so by no less than 3 close family and/or friends.

Colours were brown and red - and riotous flower colours in the red, orange, yellow family. Matching butterflies were released at one stage (which was very touching when we learned that it was a reference to the brides mother who apparently had a really strong connection with them shortly before she succumbed to cancer.)

There were three weddings at this resort that weekend. The maid - SherELL - filled me in on all the goings-on and told me of her own wedding aspirations. "What were your colors?" she asked of my own wedding.

"Colours? I didn't really have colours. . . . Well - white - I wore white. Well, a creamy white. And I told my two 'attendants' to wear whatever they liked. They ended up in mostly black. So I guess it was a black and white wedding."

This bride was in a gown that hinted gold. And almost everyone wore tuxes. Well, the men, I mean. I ended up not taking the gown I took the time away from the dissertation to shop for, as I had no time to hem it. I wore a black and white polka dot tea length dress, and felt just fine about it - thank you very much. As it was, it was way too cold to be wearing the gown I bought! I spent much of the evening in the king's tux jacket, which - with the dress - I was told gave me a very Annie Hall sort of look. Not what I had in mind, but hey. Cold is cold!

Very few of the women had long dresses on and only one - ok, two - looked really good in them. I'm not sure why long dresses don't seem to look very elegant on most women. Maybe it's the way we walk these days? Anyway, it just seems out of place on most women I ever see in them. Like we're playing dress up.

My good news was that the kings tux jacket kept me warm, and the water kept me from a hangover, so all I ultimately had to cope with was a feeling of anticlimax that all that money couldn't bring back the missing wife and mother (one) and (two) the idea of the honeymoon seemed kind of thin and pale after all the extravaganza.

Then again, I guess people don't really have "real" honeymoons anymore - namely having waited until after the marriage ceremony to consummate the marriage - and so the emphasis is all placed on the ceremony and party. I don't know that a party will take all that weight. . . .

But who am I.

I wish them the best - they are a lovely young man and woman, a whole lot more mature than I was at their age, maybe even more mature than I am now! - and yet the wedding was bittersweet. There was a lack, somehow. An absence of joy.

And I am sorry to say it.

But I think most of us felt it, even though none of us would admit it

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