(this one is especially for [personal profile] sdn who is the first person I thought of when I saw the "wedding pinata.")

So, yesterday in the mail I got a catalog for a whole bunch of weird wedding favors and gifts. I was equal parts amused and horrified looking through the catalog, knowing full well that people spend many hours arguing over this crap and actually buying it for their weddings. The top several contenders for weird or just plain tacky included the:

Love for sale! )

I just realized that this year there have been two graduations, one divorce, and several gestating babies, but thus far NO WEDDINGS! My summer is feeling a little empty, either you're all married, or I have been blacklisted as a terrible wedding guest. (It's that orange dress, isn't it? People used to make me be in the wedding party so I wouldn't wear it, now they just plain don't invite me.)

Either that, or, DOOOOM! it's my turn to throw an outrageously expensive party and prey on all my friends to buy hideous dresses for it. I promise, if I ever get married, you will all be invited and allowed to mock me mercilessly. (And hopefully intervene if I ever try to don a "Property of the Groom" tshirt, even if I insist I'm doing it ironically.)

OMG = Wedding Trash Can Cover. It's like a plastic liner that goes on the OUTSIDE of the trash can instead of the INSIDE. This catalog is making me feel like I am an alien visitor to the Planet Bride. Do people actually care about these things? ("My day would've been perfect except that those trash cans were so ugly, and clashed with my bouquet.")

More trivia:

* Yesterday my teacher brought several buckets-worth of plants to fill in the bald spots in my xeric garden. She was impressed with how good it was looking and gave me a spyria bush as a bonus. She will also be bringing me a miniture plum tree. The plants are all in the ground and looking good. Plus, I got to play in the mud, which (duh!) makes digging a lot easier and a lot more FUN!

* I sunburnt my lips.

* I made sloppy joes, even though I don't like sloppy joes and can't remember the last time I ate them. They turned out really tasty. (And sloppy.)

* Brother bought 9 lbs of bananas for 99 cents. This translates to something like 25 bananas. Strangely, I'd been collecting banana recipes for just such an emergency. I gave him [personal profile] averygoodun's banana bread recipe (which is really fantastic, btw) and he will also be testing the Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal recipe, while I try my hand at Banana Cake with Banana Frosting; Banana Pie (more bananas than your traditional banana cream, with a fantastic no-oven variation); and if I get really desparate: Banana Coffee Cake. So, if any of you like bananas or would like to request a taste or a loaf of banana bread, let me know. I will be baking with bananas all week.

(Also, banana trivia, if there are too many bananas and they are ripening too fast, chop them up and put them in the freezer. You can cook with them later or make smoothies.)

Revenge!

Oct. 2nd, 2006 07:40 am
Another wedding dream last night in which I ripped the battery and hard drive out of the laptop of an entitled bride as bargaining collateral. On the subject of weddings, I think I've officially crossed the line from "has issues" to "morbidly obsessed." The dream was pretty much a revenge fantasy about ruining weddings.

Last week, I said to someone that one of the crappy things about karma is that even when the seeds of the perfect revenge are already present in any given situation, (like T & 2nd Bridesmaid) one probably won't be there to see it happen. Worse, even if one is present, in the time it has taken for the wheels to turn, one is usually no longer hoping for revenge.

Justice works kind of the same way. As well it should. Justice should never be about passionate motives like revenge.

I think revenge is an under-represented theme in literature. Could you name some of your favorite books on revenge. (Besides The Count of Monte Cristo.) I would particularly like to see more YA about revenge, because let me tell you, next to boys, revenge was probably what I spent most of my time thinking about at that age.

(There was an interesting YA book about fast food and revenge I read several years ago featuring a "condiment troll." I can't recall the name of it at the moment, but have just been kicking Amazon because it should have a search function for statistically unlikely phrases (or whatever SIP stands for) because "condiment troll" would surely bring this up. I can even remember the cover and the publisher (Candlewick), the author has had several other well-received books. What the heck is the title?)

Further to that - there are not enough YA books about work. (Joan Bauer does some great work titles.) Most the time when I read YA I wonder how the heck these kids ended up so priveleged as to just mope around thinking about their problems. I spent all my time working, studying, (okay, I never studied, but I spent endless hours on "projects") and partying. I didn't play sports, because I had neither the time nor resources (sports are expensive!) but I did compete on the forensics team. Oh yes, and I was doing regional theatre and voice competitions. I was not moping, I was having a frickin' nervous breakdown!

At the time work seemed like a big problem, between mean bosses (I worked for the Verns whose restaurant was shutdown about two years ago because they owed years of back taxes. The employees showed up for work as usual to find the restaurant had been seized by the IRS, the owners had skipped town, and they were never paid their back wages.) weird co-workers (I had someone conspire to get me fired, but that was not nearly so uncomfortable as the usual string of convicts, vets, and drug addicts that work in the food business) or how to make enough money to be able to socialize w/ my friends and buy my own clothes. (I was lucky grunge was hot.) When my mother was out of work (this happened about every two years) I would help with bills. Forget saving for college, there wasn't enough money for that. Which is why I'm still broke now. And I didn't have a car, which is another thing that mystifies me about teens today. Neither was I some kind of ghetto kid, though our neighborhood had fairly regular busts, and one time a SWAT team came through, which was uncomfortable, and there was lots of domestic violence.

I'd like to know statistically, how many teens work, earning how much, and doing what. In college (where I was still working) I remember some grownup giving me the whole, "just wait until you're in the real world" lecture. I'd had it with that particular lecture.

"I'm working 35 hours a week and taking 16 hours of credit," I said. "I'm guessing I could tell you a thing or two about the 'real world.'" I passed that comment off as a joke, which is why I got away with it, but I was absolutely serious.

I still stand by that comment, although I can tell you the difference between then and now is endurance. All through high school and college it was a sprint. All you had to do was get through the next 3-6 months before your situation would change completely. I think I became an adult when I realized it was all about endurance, that things could go on for years without a shift in circumstance.
Last night I had an absolutely wretched wedding dream:

I was getting married, but I had nothing to wear. Even the nice reserve clothes that I usually wear for special occasions had been ruined. For instance, my orange gown had been silk-screened across the chest with an ad for a plumbing company. Most of the dream consisted of me trying on random clothing people threw at me, in the middle of gift shop, which was supposed to be closed for my used, but in which people were still shopping.

The clothing was truly dreadful: pleated stretch pants, denim embroidered with eyelet, prairie skirts, shirts that were too small, had buttons that gapped, or were covered in stains. There was a beautiful long white and gold fringed vest, but it didn't go with anything.

I was crying in frustration and screaming at people who were trying to offer helpful suggestions. Everything was ready and waiting for me: the guests were gathered, the flowers were arranged, the music was playing, and I didn't have a thing to wear.

Then I realized I didn't have any idea who I was marrying. In fact, when the dream started, I hadn't even realized I was getting married. My frustration about my appearance had quickly taken over the important issue, which should have been my decision to make a legal commitment to another person.

It sounds pretty tame when I write it down, but the mounting tension, ending in absolute terror makes it one of the worst dreams I have had in a very long time.
The bride told me this morning that she hadn't originally understood my reluctance to be maid of honor. "I didn't really feel like I was asking that much of you," she said. "But after the wedding I can see the enormous emotional weight to the honor. I felt like you were my big sister protecting me through the entire wedding. I don't even know how to begin to thank you for the honor you have showed me by being a part of my wedding, and a part of my life."

(I'm getting all sniffly again, just thinking about it.)

She also gave me a rather drunken toast last night to me and my future Viking.
Okay, I'm going to try writing about the wedding again, since I missed some parts and don't want to come off sounding like it was all awful.

Good parts:
* glorious stars. I have been waiting all summer to see stars like that.
* Sean - Rosebud's first gay boyfriend. We have always got on like a house on fire. I haven't seen him since before I moved to NY. He now lives in the Bronx. There was a lot of squealing and jumping up and down, and discussions about Halloween costumes. ("You've got the little angel & devil on your shoulder, except with you it's like a pilgrim on one shoulder, and an sex goddess on the other," he said. He's psychic!)
* Erika - "a small town girl, living in a lonely world" and an absolute sweetheart. I would call her a doll, except it would probably offend her. She's feisty, and adorable, and so, amazingly, sweet. One of Rosebud's new NY friends who could actually make it out for the wedding. I wish I had a friend like her when I was in NY.
* Jess & Shannon - I finally met Rosebud's amazing friends from Boston. They are such a beautiful couple they inspire love wherever they go.
* Lisa - the groom's sister rocks. If you ever have hail damage, consider yourself lucky if she's the woman they get to climb on your roof.
* we were all beautiful. Even I felt beautiful in my costume. (Actually I felt like an opera singer, which inspired selections from Die Fledermaus in the Bride's cabin while we were dressing for the wedding. Three of us (Bride's mom, 2nd bridesmaid, and me) have all studied opera at various points in our lives. Rosebud, 2nd bridesmaid, and I used to sing together for pleasure, and can still do amazing three part harmony spontaneously. Our voices just lock in, and there we are. I haven't sang with other people in such a long time, it was an enormous pleasure.
* the groom - I'm glad Rosebud is marrying him and not someone else.
* the single gals - I can't tell you how glad I was not to be the ONLY single person at this wedding. There weren't many single men to speak of, but there were at least five single gals, which made me feel not quite so alone.
* the brides mother was incredibly well behaved and did not have a meltdown. In fact all of the family members were in excellent behavior. With the exception of one comment from the Grudgeholding Grandmother (about the Bride's weight) the usual snarkiness was at a minimum.
* breakfast - despite the fact that I was incredibly cranky to be woken up early for the pancake breakfast, it was a ton of fun, and I wouldn't have missed the rootin' & tootin' for anything.
* the groom and I have the same sense of humor. We kept finishing each other's jokes. It's eerie.
* staying at the ranch - I didn't really want to stay up there, but it ended up being the right thing for a lot of reasons.
* 2nd bridesmaid behaved herself, and for once realized it was not all about her
* my toast went over well.
* I was so glad not to have a date at this wedding. They would have been miserable, and I would have driven myself crazy trying to make sure they were taken care of and having a good time.


Negatives
* chaotic wedding reception
* photograper - I am still dreaming up my ideal revenge above and beyond the simple solution of pushing her and all her equipment into the lake.
* crappy wedding coordinator
* my cabin smelled funny, "It's like an airplane bathroom," said the best man, whose half smelled even worse.
* disappointed by the quality of the dancing and some of Rosebud's self-centered friends.
* scary decor involving livestock (& kittens!) wearing various cowboy paraphenalia
* food - I have never been to a wedding with great food. Catering has become synonymous with "mediocre" to me
* they poured the head table short on champagne. I got an inch of champagne to make it through four toasts with. Better me than the guests, but it still made me cranky. I love champagne, and am going to have to start drinking it for the hell of it because I never get enough on special occasions. (Ex used to keep a half bottle in the fridge for a special occasion. Isn't it sad that in the entire four years we were together, he never once opened it for me? I am reason enough to start drinking champagne, you don't need an occasion any more special than me.)
* the overwhelming couple-y thing that happens at weddings, like some collective dellusion. It's very hard to deal with for anyone who does not currently have a partner. And yet we are as much a part of the wedding as anyone else.

This morning the groom said to me, "I'm not telling anyone to go to Vegas or Hawaii to get married anymore. It was really amazing to see everything come together and have all these people wishing us well."

"That's because a wedding is about your community," I said. "You two have already made a commitment to each other. The wedding is when you make a commitment to all the other people in your life. You introduce your partner and your intentions to your community, and your respective communities to each other. They in turn make a commitment to love and support you in your marriage."

I'm a part of that community, too.
Today is the day of Rosebud's wedding, the wedding that has been eating my life, my pride, and my wallet. In another 18 hours, it will all be over.

Yesterday was the worst day I have had in a very long time. I stayed late at work because my boss is going out of town next week, and didn't get a chance to eat all day, and had to do tons of last minute shopping for wedding crap.

Things I forgot: safety pins, easy-tear packing tape, going to the bank.

Things I got: shoes, food, jewels, ribbon, a party-purse, and Beano for my toast. (I still haven't figured out if I'm doing the joke toast, or the insipid throw-away one. I'm trying to combine the two. The bride & groom met over a bowl of bean and hotdog soup. The ice broke when the hostess came into the room and asked, "Does anyone want some Beano?" I think this is hilarious, and would be perfect if I was the best man; but I think wedding tradition dictates that the maid of honor does not talk about farts in her wedding toast. Plus the hostess, whose cooking is secretly and largely detested among the social circle, will be attending the wedding.)

I thought I should mention that I am aware of the fact that my attitude about this wedding has been terrible, and that I never should have agreed to be involved, ("You're the closest thing I have to a sister!") and that most of my complaints have been largely MY issues on parade. I am the one who feels queasy by the large expenditure of money, by antiquated traditions like "giving away the bride," and by one person dictating everything down to what one will wear (and how much it will cost) for a specific day. I am also the one who feels there is a lot about weddings that really excludes single people (or non-traditional relationships) and is almost intended to denigrate their status. But I suspect, while these are MY issues, that these are things that bother other people about weddings, too.

Things I am not against: healthy committed relationships, families, good friends, big parties.

I'm hoping of more from the second list, and less from the first.

Wish me luck! It's going to be a very long day.

S
The bad news is that the bride decided on rhinestones, which means there will be both shoe shopping, and shopping for a wrap in my near future. Rhinestones just don't go with pointy, chocolate, suede mules. Neither do they go with autumnal shawls, or my sheer scarf.

I've never been a big fan of rhinestones. I've always felt there was something vaguely vulgar about them. Maybe it's because they're simulacra. Or maybe I'm just frightened of becoming one of those loud, fat, vulgar women who can't rein in her accessories.

Oddly, my problem with the rhinestones (aside from the fact that they're rhinestones,) is that they are such good taste, they just look silly on me. They are very short, and the gown is low cut. It makes my boobs look even bigger (if possible.) What I need is a nice, central, focal point, to draw the eye up, just a little bit.

The expression, "Mutton dressed as lamb," is used to describe women who dress to young for their age. People have often accused me of eccentric dressing, but nothing looks stranger on me than ordinary clothing. (Sweater sets and khaki pants, for example.) This wedding outfit makes me feel like something fierce or exotic dressed as something ordinary. Tiger dressed as chicken, or something equally absurd. I keep reminding myself that it is a costume, and I'm here to play a role; but despite a lifetime of practice, ordinary is one of the hardest roles I have ever tried to play.
Shoes arrived today, and I picked up my bridesmaid gown. I tried everything on in varying combinations, and finally arrived at something I liked with an old pair of pointy mules, and a gossamer scarf with random bits of embroidery all over it. The look will require a pair of absurdly long earrings, but as I looked at myself in the mirror, I thought, "Damn, can I hold up a strapless dress!"

The scarf is a particularly nice touch as it is only a shade paler than my skin, and the effect with the gown makes it look as though the gown is slowly evaporating off my moonlight skin. I imagine people looking at me and hoping something will slip. There's something deliciously undressed about the ensemble. Nevermind that I'm almost completely covered.

It's not that I felt particularly beautiful. It's more that I feel the potential of beauty still exists within me, ready to shimmer into reality at the slightest provocation.

Alterations

Aug. 4th, 2005 11:58 am
It is a deliciously rainy day. I just spent 15 minutes on the patio underneath the overhang with a steaming mug of tea, watching the rain. Over the past few days I've started feeling like myself again, which is to say fierce and passionate, instead of a victim of fate or circumstance.

I'm getting the bridesmaid dress altered today, by an independant party who came highly recommended. In NY I got scammed by a woman who was recommended by a co-worker as a seamstress. I've been burnt by independent operators before, but I'll be d*mned if I let that stupid bridal shop charge me an arm and a leg for "extra material" and then charge me again for altering it when the dress ended up being several sizes too big.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate the whole bridal industry?
This one is from the bride on hair appointments:

"We'll all be beautiful!!! It's gonna be fun and stress-free dammit!"
This evening I found an invitation to my neighbor's bridal shower tucked into my door. What is this? Some sort of cosmic joke? (I blame you, RB!) I didn't even know she was getting married. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, the thought of me sitting in on yet another bridal shower, this time in Spanish, was extremely discomforting. Flattering, awkward, uncomfortable, and totally and completely exasperating. (What is the etiquette for the situation? Should I worry about offending my neighbors, or are they just wanting to share their joy with their eccentric single neighbor.)

Of course, I'm extremely happy for her, but it's so weird to get an invitation, I just don't know what to do... and I don't know how much more bride I can handle this season.

I finished Mirror Game this evening, and I must say, it was extremely disturbing. I was so happy Mark could finally make an uneasy truce with himself, but the whole 'multiple personality' solution reminded me of Vicki on One Life to Live, the only soap I have occasionally followed over the past (god!) 18 years. I hate multiple personalities as a plot device. And I really resent all the suffering Bujold puts her characters through in this novel. There are certain novelists I just can't read because I can't deal with how horribly they treat their characters. The real sadist in this story is the author!

That being said, I've enjoyed her "secret lines of genetic power" read on the women in her various cultures,(the Cetagandan "Star Creche", the Vor women and their ambitious marriages, even the Darada group,) though I also wish she'd write more about it. I still like the first book best, because I enjoyed Cordelia.

I'm dreading the next book because it the blurb said something about "Miles hits 30. Thirty hits back." (Just what I need to be reading right now.) So I'm probably going to take a break. I need to write some reviews, and read something squishy and pedestrian again. Preferably with a floral cover and a happy ending.

I could write more about absurdity at work (we can't seem to get any office supplies delivered because HQ won't pay the bill!) but I think I'll save that subject for another day.
I've tried to write about this author several times in LJ, and have never been able to find quite the right words. Hilary McKay is a well-known, award-winning author in the UK, but does not seem to have much of an audience here in the U.S. She has written a number of books, most of which form separate story cycles, much like the work of Madeleine L'engle (whose characters eventually meet, in her later books, which creates a decided conflict between her chronos and kairos story arcs.) There is The Exiles series about four sisters and their "Big Grandma." Then their is the Casson series about four siblings growing up as children to artists. And there are two "stand alone" titles that involve two families living in an old house by the sea.

The adventures that the children in these books have are fairly mundane (although, Saffy's Angel the first book in the Casson family cycle, features a character returning to her birth place in Italy to try to find a lost artifact.) What I like most about the writing is that the children act and think like children, without losing nuance which seems clearly intended for adult readers.

The Casson family cycle (which now has three books: Saffy's Angel; Indigo's Star; and Permanent Rose,) reminds me a lot of the crazy bohemian families in Fay Weldon's novels, except skewed to a child's point-of-view. There a lot of those wonderful moments when nothing in particular has happened plot-wise, and yet the reader is aware, along with the characters, that a character's perceptions, and perhaps even their life is changed irrevocably.

One such moment occurs in The Exiles in Love, in which Big Grandma takes her grandchildren to France to help her now pubescent grandchildren recover from the "family malady," a tendency to fall-in-love with inappropriate people. I copied this paragraph out of the book and into one of my journals because it seemed a very clear description of something I've had happen over the years, but have never found the words to describe. This passage describes the girls receiving the news that a "golden boy" they know who is friendly, popular, attractive, and clearly someone destined for great things, has decided to apprentice to his uncle's butcher shop:

Until that afternoon Alan Adair's shining success had seemed as certain as their own. They had all been so sure that it was only a matter of time before their humdrum lives were transformed by talent and good fortune into careers of glittering achievement. Now suddenly a small chill wind from the future had blown into their lives. If Alan Adair, that golden boy, was to end up a butcher in his uncle's shop, what horrors might their own fates have in store? It did not bear thinking of.

Last night I had a sense of that "small chill wind" at the bridal shower. I guess you could say it was a success, but as a sat there watching the several generations, from the bride and her friends (one of whom is expecting a baby, another who already has three,) up through the senile grandparents, (there were three who were particularly bad, one of which kept mixing me up with one of the other guests and asking me about my twins.) I thought, "This is the sum of our lives. At one time we expected great things for ourselves, and yet all we can talk about is weddings and babies."

Not that these things are unimportant, but it seemed as though these people had given up everything but a desire to see their genes continued, and that was all they had left to live for. This was also the primary focus of the parent's generation, who may be disappointed in their ambition to become grandparents as the bride is a dancer and is in no way desiring to have children anytime soon.

Leave it to me to get the chills at what is supposed to be a happy occasion. I just wish I had something more to show for my time on the planet, and didn't constantly have the feeling that so many of my childhood friends have been deeply compromised by the decisions and expectations of adult lives.
[personal profile] ashfae sent me the following link in my notes:

http://www.uglydress.com/helkitweddre.html

I thought the site was too awful not to put in a general post.

Coincidentally, I had a nightmare about the wedding last night, specifically about bridesmaid fittings.
I've had a surprisingly intense week despite being on "involuntary vacation." Still no word from the publishers. I'm playing the "no news is good news" game, but I will have to wake up and smell my slowly dwindling bank account (smells kind of like when the tide's out) next week.

Did I mention all my bills are paid for the month? Hooray!

Met with Bride's Stepmom to plan bridal shower. It was actually fun, and I've taken on a cooking challenge for it. I love to cook, and it's always good to have an occasion for which to provide. My biggest problem in the cooking category is that I rarely have people to share it with. I've decided this is going to change.

Went through pictures at Bride's request for the bride&groom slideshow. I'd never heard of this until I read about it in [livejournal.com profile] dr_tectonic's journal. Now it seems like it's everywhere. I can't decide if it's a good thing, or just one more pain-in-the-ass moment in the cult of marriage. Bride & I threw a mystery party in 1997 for the purpose of inviting boys we liked. One of them is her fiancee now. So I guess it was a success, 8 YEARS LATER! (Not that I would be interested in the guy I invited to the party. It's just as well, the other bridesmaid, per her usual habit, took off with him.)

Still, looking through all my photo albums was kind of a weird experience. I noticed I haven't really taken any pictures since I left for NY. The few that exist mostly have Ex in them, so I stuffed them in the boyfriend box until I can deal. It's not that I'm still heartbroken; it's more that looking back at that period makes me feel angry, used, and really, really stupid. That period of my life is what happens when I live a life ruled by fear. Never again!

Mom is thinking about taking the house off the market. There are a lot of reasons for this, the sibling struggles with unemployment, the fact that she would like to visit this summer, and the fact that it's just sitting on a market for which it's overpriced. Between mortgage companies covering "modular housing" tanking and their stock being bought out for pennies on the dollar, low interest rates, and an explosion in new home construction, there isn't a lot of demand for low-income housing. The going price for a house our size and age (it's a three bedroom, two bathroom, double wide, about 1400 sq. ft. w/ all major appliances) is now $10K less than what we still owe on the mortgage, and $15K under what it was appraised for this year. Ridiculous.

Carly called this week, and we went out last night. She split with her on-again, off-again, and says, "It's harder than I thought it'd be." I'm surprised to find myself back in my old role of consoler. I guess I must be well on my way to recovery if I'm no longer the one in any given situation with a broken heart.
An interesting article about class & marrige today as a part of the series of features about class in america:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/19/national/class/MARRIAGE-FINAL.html?hp

My brother has hypothesized that ones class determines more about one's life than one's race or gender. Sometimes I think he's right. There are several rather telling anecdotes in this article including how the working class husband didn't fit into a upper-middle class work place, or how class background affects the children's outlook to the future.

Money is continually tight for Lael Croteau, 27, who is in graduate school in educational administration at the University of Vermont, and Maggie, 25, who is working three jobs while in her second year of law school at American University. At restaurants, they ask to have the leftovers wrapped to take home. Neither could imagine taking a semester off to try out massage school, as Isaac did. They are careful about their manners, their plans, their clothes.

"Who's got money, who doesn't, it's always going on in my head," Maggie said. "So I put on the armor. I have the bag. I have the shirt. I know people can't tell my background by looking."

"Jonah and Isaac don't have to worry about how they dress, or whether they'll have the money to finish college, or anything," Lael said. "That's a real luxury."

On the rare occasions when they are all together, the daughters get on easily with the sons, though there are occasional tensions. Maggie would love to have a summer internship with a human rights group, but she needs paid work and when she graduates, with more than $100,000 of debt, she will need a law firm job, not one with a nonprofit. So when Isaac one day teased her as being a sellout, she reminded him that it was a lot easier to live your ideals when you did not need to make money to pay for them.


I've been thinking a lot about my own position w/ regard to social class. My family tends to be a bit of an exception. They are largely working (my dad works in manufacturing)) or lower-middle class. I grew up on the poverty line, sometime a little above, sometimes a little below, depending on whether or not my dad had work. (My mom was both breadmaker and breadwinner.) However, the fact that they are both classical musicians, and place a high value on education doesn't exactly make me blue-collar. The easiest way to sum up the dearth of material goods and an abundance of ideas is "bohemian." And it definitely shapes the way I view the world. At my current job I keep getting razed about my vocabulary (too big,) and I worry about whether or not I "pass" as middle-class, at the same time as I am for the most part bored by the things people talk about.

Anyway, I'm not sure I have anything else to say about it today, I just thought I'd bring up the topic.

S
I slept late today (finally) and after my requisite cup of tea and a shower, I left the house not knowing anything about my day except that I must go to the bank, and order the bridesmaid gown. I had this strange feeling that something special was going to happen, and that I needed to be prepared for any contingency.

I don't know if you ever have these days; but somedays I wake up thinking, "Today will be an adventure." I know every day as potential for excitement, but today I had a sense that something truly special was about to happen.

And it was. After a brief stop by a friends house, who was not particularly prepared (nor pleased) to see me; I realized my adventure was going to be elsewhere. (Heck, it was worth a try!)

My friend Linnet has been in a really bad state, as her grandfather (with whom she was very close) died recently, and her husband does a fair amount of travel. I try to check in with her make sure everything is okay. Her phone has been out of service for the past several days, so I decided that I would stop by (as it was on my way to the bridal boutique.)

Much to my pleasure and surprise, not only did I find her at home, our friend Vanessa was in town for a visit, and had also unexpectedly stopped by.

"Sarah! I wanted to call you, but the phones have been out of service all week!" Linnet said.

Nessa was on her way out, but still took some time to chat. Since no one was expecting either of us, it was this amazing happy moment. We three used to run in the same pack in high school; the last time we have all been together was the night before Linnet's wedding five years ago.

There is something so poignant about that last night. Nessa was also anticipating her first marriage. I remember thinking, "Here it is, the beginning of the end of my girlhood." (Linnet was one of the first to get married.)

That night we talked and cried and hugged and read tarot for one another. It was one of those amazing, sweet, nights I will remember forever. I remember after I made a comment about feeling so lucky so spend the last night with the brides that Nessa said to me, "Sarah, someday you will be a bride, too!"

Linnet's wedding remains one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever been to. It was a simple, church, wedding, with the reception held in the reception hall. There was dancing, and as Linnet's husband was captain of the Mines dance team, there were all sorts of geeky, dancing, men in attendance. I danced the whole afternoon. It was wonderful. It was also obvious how much she and her husband love each other; not to mention the blessed fact that I did not have to BE in the wedding, nor was I related to anyone present.

Nessa's first marriage broke up under extremely painful circumstances. The last time we talked was shortly after the breakup, when our trains going in opposite directions briefly rendezvoused at Boston's South Station. We were both at one of the lower points in our lives and were barely coherent, but extremely grateful that an old and loving friend was in attendance.

Today she announced her second engagement. He's some kind of molecular engineer, and she's incredibly happy; and it shows. She is so much healthier looking that I have seen in years. And she is thinking about moving back to CO.

She told me I looked wonderful, (I'm a sight better than I was the last time she saw me!) and that Linnet had filled her in at length about things going on with me.

"I told her that you're happy!" Linnet said.

And it's true. As down as these past few months have been, I am much better than I was in New York. And most of what my loved ones have seen has been my renewed fire.

All this joy, and faith, and an unexpected, happy reunion, all in one day. Another small, sign, of restoring grace. (Not to mention uncanny girlfriend telepathy.)

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zalena

June 2015

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