"When you realize you want to spend
the rest of your life with somebody,
you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally
A couple of weeks ago I attended a bridal shower for a young girl who had grown up in the years since she lived across the street. The room was full of 20-something bridesmaids in different stages of just dating, early love, engaged. and married. There were also mothers with new babies and grandmothers. There was an air of excitement in the room. A table was laden with gifts to start a home. Recipes were exchanged and wishes made for a long and happy life.
I stood at the edge of the circle watching the bride-to-be, listening to the hopes and dreams of young women. I left trying to recall that feeling. The idea of two kids oohing over a vacuum cleaner and declaring undying love just seemed too idealistic. Are they still going to smile at each other when the vacuum cleaner needs pushing around the living room, or when it breaks down and the bag of dust and dog hair is spewed across the room. And what about on Sat. morning when he wants to go fishing, and she wants to get her toes done but the pantry is bare. How often will they go together to the grocery store like it's a trip to Disneyland before they begin to play rock, paper scissors to see who will do the chore?
I wanted to remember being gaga over my future husband. I wanted to recall loving and laughing, fighting and making up. I did conjure up a picture of myself as a bride dressed in white holding a bokay of flowers in one hand and my new partner's hand in the other. But without the stars in my eyes, I also saw the years of sadness, disappointment and a marriage on the rocks.
Today I went to a party for friend who is getting married in a couple of weeks. This circle of women was a lot different. They appeared older, wiser, worldlier, wearier. The punch was spiked and donations to a local women's shelter replaced toasters and towels. These women had a history beyond high school. Some were married, some divorced. Men - boyfriends, husbands, sons - were discussed with a kind of disdain and cynicism. Why, I thought to myself, were we here? To celebrate marriage or to wave the flag of Girl Power? I'm not saying that some of the things that were said weren't funny, or that I didn't agree and laugh. It seemed sad to me that by the time women are in their 40's the young love has burned itself out like a falling star. I'm sure these women love their husbands. I know my friend is looking forward to getting married. I just wish it showed more in their eyes and words.
Today I'm grateful for love. New, intense, fiery love. Old, relaxed, comfortable love. I'm grateful for a husband who rekindled my belief in marriage. And I'm grateful I'm no longer in the age bracket where 5 inch heels with peekaboo toes are the norm.
Wishing for you love in whatever form it comes to you,