Friday, May 29, 2009

Something Old, Something New

It's a crap shoot, ya know, this wedding stuff. You plan and you plan and you just never know how that day's gonna turn out, with one exception - you can be fairly certain that the bride and groom won't notice much beyond each other and won't remember much of the extravaganza.

White is so banal anyway. What's to remember? No wonder we add colors and flowers and people in frilly dresses and dark suits with fancy ties. It makes sense that colored mints are par for the course and towering cakes with unfamiliar people perched on top are de rigor.

And now it's customary to add trees and white lights (everywhere)'s a wonder the bride doesn't trip over some poorly placed chord.

And this brings me to Kelly and Logan, the newly engaged couple who didn't even want a wedding. And I can see why. Who wants to have bags of leftover mints as dessert for the next year, topped by a frozen (and stale) cake top with those same unfamiliar people cryonically preserved and still perched on the inch of sugar-icing? I am pretty sure they don't. But I bet the cake cutting moment will be worth all that planning!

Who wants to worry about what color hat someone might wear and how people who really don't like each other (but come together for these very spay-eh-shul occasions) might act? No one, which is why most folks are on their best behavior at weddings.

So, why have a wedding? It's expensive, it's stressful, it's over in an hour, you have to invite people you have never met - and you have mints left over.

The bride has to find the dress of her dreams, in one shopping spree usually. The groom has to suck in for a cumberband of appropriate color. They both have to select "best" friends and favorite family members to serve in the wedding party. It's a wonder weddings don't sometimes turn into family feuds. It's more of a wonder that more couples don't elope mid-wedding-planning. I am certain many consider it. So what keeps them on track, what motivates them to have a wedding? Love. Family. Tradition. Celebration. Friends. Love......

Weddings are celebrations of life and love. They are as much, if not more, for the guests (family, friends, others who have to be invited because of that silly Vanderbilt book of etiquette) as they are for the couple getting hitched.

And there's an interesting phrase, "Getting hitched." Sounds like redneck trailer talk to me. "Hitch it up, Fred!" Somehow, "Hitch her up, Logan" just doesn't feel right.

So, we have weddings, we invite people "just because" AND "because!", we hope for civility, grace and courtesy from all, but mostly, we love that feeling of hope and dreams and optimism that young couples in love almost ooze, to say nothing of those mints; so we plan and plan an hold our breath in both excitement and dread all the time watching out for those loose chords and saying quiet prayers that this union will be one for the eternities.

Knowing Logan and Kelly...and watching them together, and sensing their mutual respect and witnessing their obvious love for each other... this one's a slam dunk.

Which brings me to Ralph Bobik...and those size 14 Converse basketball shoes he wore to my reception - with his tux - in 1976, sending my poor Dad into heart failure. I love that guy. I am not sure my Dad felt quite the same affinity for Ralph at that moment of truth when Joel (my Dad) looked at Ralph and said "YOU BETTER NOT have forgotten your dress shoes."
I loved my Dad. And I love that memory (which proves that brides DO remember some things from their weddings and receptions!).

And I love Converse. And I love weddings. And I love Kelly and Logan.

And now I get to go help Kelly find the dress of her dreams in one shopping spree.

And maybe even a perfect pair of Converse, for a very special day and an even more special girl.

Of course it won't matter, she won't remember much of it anyway. But I will and so will everyone else who is there. But the person who will remember? Logan. The minute Kelly comes into view - princess for a day to all of us but in Logan's mind that day will be one of those eternal photoshot moments, forever engraved in his memory.

Weddings. An old tradition for a new love.

Well, and for the mints, of course.

Elvis Presley "Something Blue"

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