Saturday, June 30, 2007

to be or not to be..there

Last night my husband and I went to a wedding reception for the daughter of a dear friend of his. I'll admit, I did not want to go. I'm not a party-pooper and I enjoy people, but it felt like obligation and I was already tired from too much obligation and too many people. I'm afraid it doesn't take much for me. I worried, as well, how my hearing would react in a huge crowd, lots of incidental noise and then loud dance music. It can be so tiring not to hear.

At first I just did not want to be there. At the core of my surface friendly countenance is a deep streak of anti-social that is very critical of financial and social-status posturing. I couldn't really believe that this was the case with these folks as I know them and the husband at least is a very simple guy. My husband and I both agreed it would take years of working at the Gatorade plant to pay for the extravagance we witnessed around us. It was clearly one of the most opulent and expensive wedding receptions I'd ever been invited to. Yet still it crossed my mind that this was a statement to the world-we are important people who can and will give our daughter the best. I felt resentment rising knowing I never would and never could give either of my girls anything remotely close. My daughter in college had just called us and asked about resigning for a credit card in case of emergency, which in her situation meant being able to buy food and afford transportation at the moment. I would gladly have given her the piles of untouched plates I saw hurried back to the kitchen.

I more or less stewed in my juices, tired, bored and resentful as my husband and I sat alone at a table for probably an hour before anything really started. Then guests filled out the seating arrangement, the wedding party came in and it was less morose. The brother of the groom and sister of the bride gave toasts that were truly wonderful-the young man read woodenly off a paper in his nerves, but managed a touching punchline and it was perfect. Then the young lady, as to heighten the total difference between men and women, grabbed the mic and owned it with an expressive, unscripted and tear-filled but hilarious tribute to her sister. It also, was perfect. I felt redeemed and then chided myself as the master of ceremonies told the crowd to forget their own problems, bill and mortgages, the daily stuff, and have fun.

I had to choose to enjoy, to talk and to smile. And I did, for the bride, her sister, the brother of the groom and dad, who was instructed not to get sloshed by the mother, but came beaming to our table with a huge pitcher of beer that he certainly earned after the dance with his now-married daughter. The job was done. And we all commented, how time has gone by! I don't want to think about it, but this is my life, and it's winding down. Some days I'm not sure I want to the be there. But life provides no other options.


Blogger jules said...

I've been to a wedding like that. I hated watching the "haves" waste so danged much. And the marriage lasted less than a year, so money obviously does NOT buy happiness.

9:57 AM  

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