This year I went to a New Year’s Eve wedding. I was not going to write about this for fear of hurting a friend. But I cannot get the spectacle out of my head and so must share it with you. You’re gonna feel so lucky when you’re done reading!
The wedding was set to be a lovely affair. An afternoon event scheduled for New Year’s Eve with a lovely dinner to follow, dancing, and a midnight toast. It was set in a historic mountain ranch site with lots of history and local color. John Wayne loved the place! The timing of the nuptials was on schedule to happen just before sunset with a lovely cocktail hour to view setting sun as it sunk deeply behind the mountain shadows.
That is mostly where the romance ended. The day was overcast and rainy, with snow flurries disrupting the exchanging of the vows and cocktail hour which were both outside events with not a heater to be found. The bride wore a lovely white gown shivering her way down the aisle and through the ceremony. I wanted to give her my sweater, but I guess that wouldv’e ruined the moment. It was hard to watch. The hubby and I had wisely selected our wardrobe in preparation for the inclement weather, but no one expected to be standing outside for hours with a few widely spread tiny firepits and plastic cups filled with ice-cold margaritas.
But that was not what left me heartsick for the blushing bride. Her newly betrothed stood up to make his own speech at the reception thanking all of us for attending his fourth (yes, 4th) jaunt down the aisle toward wedded bliss. Our dear friend has never been married before so this idea of romance was a little hard to bear for her.
Yet as the groom went on (and on) in his speechifying he actually said something that made the whole of the audience stop the chatter and audibly gasp with horror. He relayed how he had met our friend when she was a cute young girl so adorable and full of life. That was sweet, right? Excepting that his statement was preceded by an admission that he was 36 and happily married when he met our friend and she was a young teenager at the time! It took a beat or two from the ticking clock for people to regain their composure and get their game-faces of politeness back on before another toast to the lovely shivering bride was gulped in shock and shame.
For the first dance, the groom had pre-recorded a lovesong that he lip-synced to while they swirled across the floor. It really brought home the notion that we and our friends had been trying to place all along, that this event was all about the show of what a great mate he had found, someone willing to marry him in the freezing cold rain and after he had been betrothed so many times before. He was brazen in his prideful, showy manner of twirling our dear friend around the room while she seemed so uncomfortable with it all.
After a little dancing we had to leave. I just needed to get away from such an unhappy scene. I couldn’t help thinking to myself that I felt awful, even worse than I had for teenaged bridal parties I’ve attended in the past where everyone was too young to be making lifelong commitments, let alone getting married. At least in those events the young blushing is about being full of hope whereas here the rosy skintone was due to the shrill air. And though my dear friend is older than myself, this alter-event seemed equally imprudent as those other rushes to spousal binds.
And over the course of the last few days it has also helped me to sort out some feelings I have about another friend who is newly dating and head over heels for a guy that everyone is less than enthused about. He is nice enough I suppose, but very parochial to her worldly lifestyle. He has no interest in her life, he is much more keen on monopolizing her attention. And like our newly married friend, this other lovey is beautiful and smart. These women are amazing to know and genuinely remarkable and accomplished people who are attached to men so obviously not their equals.
I’ve heard it’s bad out there in the dating world, but is it really this bad? Aren’t there still some men out there worthy of the great women I know? If what I witnessed this last weekend is romance then I’d probably be celibate were I not already hitched to a logic-brained, bona fide nerd.