The wedding. Well I survived and no-one else died. I just sort of made a pact with myself that guaranteed the right of every guest safe passage to come and go without being murdered or harmed in any way. I had thought about gift baskets for the guests, but to be honest we were broke and I was not sure I would ever be allowed to attend another feminists rally if I had to glue gun or bake or bedazzle one more thing. What is more precious than the gift of life anyway?
So, as usual I ran around worrying about small final details like decorating, doing the brides hair, sewing the last of the seed pearls on the veil, doing all the bridal party bouquets, corsages, etc, making sure the caterer was good to go, changing the grand kids and grandma’s diapers, picking up last minute items, doing make-up for the bride and for my husband, glue gunning the head of the cake top bride back on her body because she had been accidentally decapitated on her way from the bakery, and general relative wrangling …. as I said .. just a few of some of the smaller details.
Everyone else was enjoying the day and having a quick relax and drink before they had to do their much more important things … like you know .. getting dressed.
“Aren’t you dressed YET? Mom, the wedding is in 10 minutes! What have you been doing all this time? Don’t you know this is the most important day of my life. Don’t you dare ruin this for me and make this all about you again!”
I was holding straight pins in my mouth, had a 10 pound bag of ice tucked under one arm, was pointing to where the corsages were on the counter behind the punch with my right boob, and trying to push the dog outside the bedroom door with one foot before it decided to christen the wedding dress.
It took every ounce of my training with time spent in my childhood at Sunday School for me not to just show up in my pjays and hair a mess. Why was it that I ever thought having kids was a good idea? And what the heck was all the excitement about when it was a girl???
And the thing is it was months of planning, hundreds of dollars, and over in just one short night! OK that was really insincere of me. People say that all of the time and I just copied it. I only said it because the therapy I have been in to make me feel more a part of and connected to the world around me has failed. They said I should try to talk and act more like normal people. The truth is I didn’t mean it and saying it did nothing for me. I don’t care if it made my new in laws feel more connected to me for a few minutes.
I don’t like them anyway.
The truth is this wedding was not over in just a night or even months ….. it has taken over 20 years and tens of thousands of dollars and the trauma and the financial burden of the day meant we were going to be eating beans on toast for the next 10 years. Who was I kidding?
Is it wrong to high five your husband when your child is pronounced married?
Is it wrong to explain the marital contract in the reception speeches…. “no refund, no return… you try you buy??” Oh and, “we are converting your bedroom into a sex den for your father and I and all the locks on the doors have been changed as well as the phone number. Here are the last of her bills … yes the whole box.”
The thing is you do the wedding thing for the one child and the others start complaining about being neglected. Like they operate on the fairsy sharesy principle . .. what one gets they must all get equally. “You didn’t make ME a sandwich, I haven’t eaten all day and I am starving.” (how petty and selfish can they be?)
“No you are right! BINGO! There is a prize for noticing that. Here is your box of crackers and some peanut butter. Congrats for winning the missing sandwich game. Thanks for playing.”
And they tell anyone who will listen .. . “Mom forgot to feed me! I almost died …”
I was an unequal sandwich provider. It has been the symbol of my cruelty and favouritism to them as children. It was a story told to every therapist we ever took them too and I am sure it will be the basis of their criminal defences in the years to come.
“How come HER dress is nicer than mine?”
“Umm … cause she is the bride??”
I did manage to get dressed about 1.3 minutes before the bride arrived, forgot my corsage, ran a comb through my hair and hoped bright red and sweaty went with my dress and was featured in a fashion mag somewhere as the latest look. I ran into the yard behind the jacaranda tree just in time to hand a hanky to a crying guest … thank God it was not the groom.
Those bridesmaids get so touchy about their dresses. Who cares if the bird on the dress was still flapping around and pecking at her in all that orange and purple toile … she only had to wear it for a couple of hours for crying out loud … and lots of bride magazines show birds in the head gear.
So the kids came, they married, they ate, they danced, they opened gifts, they left, (although they complained about us pushing them into the limo at 5:35pm. Well come on, the wedding was at 4 … no time to dilly dally … their bright future awaited them …and we gave them both a sandwich to eat on the way .)
… and then we drank … and drank .. and drank ….
I left out the part about running naked through the house and the field next door because that was kind of a blur. That wedding photographer said he just needed the pics of that for something special he was trying with his new camera, although I can’t be sure that WAS the photographer. He looked a lot like the neighbour. Who can tell these things in a wine haze derived from years of suffering at the hands of the bride?
The next day as we sat with our shades on at 5:00 in the morning surveying the site of the bombing and contemplated taking down tents, picking up bottles, and returning the elephants, we considered the meaning of life and tried to map out world peace as our heads pounded from too much wine. No-one else was up … the little unmarried lambkins needed to sleep … they had a busy life ahead storing up energy for their big day when they too would suck the last of the bone marrow from us as they waved good-bye taking the new big screen tv with them because they insisted they were the ones in the family who really appreciated it, neither of us knew how to operate the remote, and national geographic looks much better on a smaller screen. We knew we would have to get some new china, bed sheets, furniture and car to give to each of them on their big day as part of our responsibility as parents to help them circumvent the tragedies that had beset so much of our lives … like hard work and sacrifice and such.
We tried to wake them up to help us out … at least with the elephants. They evidently had us blocked on their Facebook pages as they were no longer searchable. Thank heavens we still knew how to contact people without Social Media.
As usual they had the perfect reasoning of why they couldn’t help us.
“It is sandwich karma. Live with it.”