Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Church Lady and Miss Manners Go To a Wedding

As we approached the park, several almost-empty large beer bottles caught my eye. I could feel the Church Lady in me rising up in judgment. A fine way to start a wedding, she said. Isn't that special?

And then, I saw the groomsmen and the bridesmaids in their formalwear. "Kids these days!" I said as I poked my husband. He laughed and so did I. I recognize this weird phenomenon happening more frequently. I'm channeling adults or at least that adult voice I used to hear outside of me. Now she's lurking somewhere inside.

Miss Manners pushed aside the Church Lady and pointed out (inside my head) that when bridesmaids wear sequins on strapless gowns, they ought to wear shoes. She also noted with dismay that strapless gowns smoosh most women, even those with lovely figures. She wrinkled her nose at the sight of men's hairy toes exposed for the world to see.

She counted the bridesmaids (nine) and the groomsmen (6)--what about symmetry?!--and shook her head at the white gown on the flowergirl and the off-white gown on the Junior Bridemaid. Very disconcerting, indeed.

And then I couldn't listen to either the Church Lady or Miss Manners anymore because the processional began. Pretty soon, I felt a little dizzy from the hypnotic and endless repetition of Pachelbel's Canon in D Major . . . played by a steel drum. I really have nothing against steel drums, but this song played by this instrument reminded me of when my children leave the electric keyboard stuck on the demo song, which happens to be Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are."

The entire wedding party disdained footwear, including the pastor. The only one who would have been quite adorable barefoot would have been the flowergirl, who was wearing ballet flats.

During the wedding, I listened to the vows and thought that brides and grooms seldom really understand what they are agreeing to. Even though the pastor says "in poverty and riches, in sickness and health" in a loud, clear voice, those words are more like the fine print that anyone hardly ever reads because they don't think it really applies to them.

The ceremony took place at a park overlooking water. Fluffy clouds--made to order by the bride, no doubt--floated across the sky, offering brief respite from the sun. The blue of the water and sky contrasted with the wine-colored dresses and the vivid yellow of the bouquets.

And then, the bride and groom boogied their way down the aisle to the recorded sounds of Barry White crooning, "You're My First, My Last, My Everything." What joy! What optimism!

At the reception, we waited two and a half hours to eat and during that time, the microphone was passed among the wedding party. At one point, the groom pledged that his sole purpose would be to make his bride happy. She squealed and jumped into his arms and I thought, Happy? For there will be days when he makes her anything but happy and I hope she is prepared for those days. Will she think he broke his word when he's no longer making her happy? Or will she realize that being happy is not what life is about?

But last night was the time for being happy. Which explains why I stripped off my pantyhose and left them in the bathroom trash. Then I proceeded to sit with bare feet while I waited for dinner.

If you can't beat them, join them.


Blogger Julana said...

Maybe these people needed a little more pre-marital counseling. :-)
I haven't had pantyhose on once this summer. Probably first time ever. :-)

4:54 AM  
Anonymous mopsy said...

The *real* reason people cry at weddings: pantyhose.

Our anniversary is this week---your post is a nice reminder of that naive optimism I oozed that day.

6:45 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

I can't remember the last time I wore pantyhose.

I am all for making weddings unique, I tried to do the same thing. But, steel drums?

7:25 AM  
Blogger Thia said...

Happy. I hope they make it through the honeymoon-happy. Maybe I am just too old and cynical.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

The wedding sounds very cool! I was just in a wedding this past Saturday in Salem, MA. The bride assured me that everything was within walking distance. Well, when you are wearing freakin' high heels and wedding attire, the acceptable walking distance changes drastically. I don't think she took that into consideration as I now have 4 band aids on each foot. I am ALL for barefoot weddings!

9:11 PM  

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