Tag Archives: weddings

With Friends Like These…

Reading an advice column the other day, the opinion seeker declared that her best friend was getting married, but because she didn’t approve of the fiancé – describing him as a cheater, a liar and a thug (several of many traits that apparently make up a ‘ratchet’-type individual), she wondered how best to break it to her friend that she wasn’t going to attend the wedding – not even as a bridesmaid.

The columnist’s advice was based on her own similar experience, and so she recommended that she buy the dress, put it on and show up to support her friend. Because when she had neglected to do it years earlier for her own friend, their relationship went the way of all flesh. As did the marriage.

I’m reminded of a similar story where I knew the participants. Luckily I was neither the bride nor the bridesmaid, but I heard the story because one of the maids was busy telling everybody who would listen that she didn’t approve of the union. I always wondered whether the person who really ought to have known was any the wiser about how her “bestie” really felt.

And I said to myself, with friends like these – you’re better off with enemies, because at least with them you know where you stand. But, maybe she did tell her to her face, because as far as I know, this bridesmaid did attend the wedding. And I don’t want to think that she did so without ever telling her how she really felt.

So I agree with the columnist’s advice if she also insisted that she make her true feelings known to her friend, otherwise they’d end up in two different places – with one of them being seriously mislead.

Weddings require that you smile – a lot. Both my husband and I are no slouches in that department, but I know some people who shut it down two hours into the reception.

And they’re happy to be there.

So I take my hat off to the person who can smile even though she’s convinced that all the dresses and the food and the entertainment and the location rental are a total waste of money.

I am in awe of the person who can smile even though she thinks that the hours spent hosting a bridal shower, helping to prepare the favours, to choose the flowers and box up the cake were a colossal waste of time.

I bow deeply to the person who can smile when the photographer asks for just one more picture, even though she’d prefer to cut her eyes and suck her teeth instead.

I marvel at the person who can smile when asked to make a speech or give a toast which requires wishing the happy couple all the very best, even though it doesn’t gel with what she’s been telling everybody else.

Anyway, if the marriage that she considers doomed to failure actually survives, she will have already mastered the acting skills required when she’s obliged to be happy at the outcome.

But if the marriage does falter on the rocks, she will have already mastered the acting skills required when she’s expected to feign surprise at the outcome.

And she’ll be there to provide a willing shoulder to cry on.

I just hope she doesn’t spoil it by saying, “I told you so”.

Getting Married? Use your playing cards.

Some people say that they no longer attend weddings because the marriages aren’t lasting very long. I haven’t been to that many weddings in my life, but having had one and having been involved (to varying degrees), in the planning of a few, I know that we sometimes put greater stock in the wedding that lasts a few hours, rather than the marriage, which is supposed to last for more than a few years.

We’ve all seen the wedding planning shows where all the details are painstakingly attended to. Most of the attention is concentrated on what happens after the vows. Some brides even have two dresses because the traditional (long) wedding gown is sometimes not suitable for the ‘after-party’ that some receptions become.

The groom is relegated to second class status, because it’s really ‘the bride’s day’ and all he is required to do is to show up. Some men are happy to stay out of the decisions about the what, where, and when. But they’re probably saving their strength for the actual marriage which people say requires so much work.

Nobody goes into marriage thinking of divorce, unless you’re well-off and insist on a pre-nup. The rest of us think that our insurance rests in knowing our partner for years, before we take that ultimate step – but does that guarantee a successful marriage?

I know a woman who met her husband when he visited her island for vacation; they’ve been married for over twenty years. They don’t have any children. So could that be their secret?

I had a friend who married someone five months after she met him, while she was visiting family abroad. When asked how she knew it was the right decision, she replied that when it’s right, you just know. Which should also mean that you know when it isn’t.

Some people live together for years without that ‘piece of paper’, and soon after making it official, they go their separate ways. Maybe expectations change? Some have known each other and dated for years, but after taking the plunge, decide that the water isn’t fine after all. Maybe they should have shacked up first?

How about the ones that have lasted for years, through the death of parents and in-laws, the birth and growth of children, but for some reason they throw in the towel before what should be their golden years. Maybe they’ve become too familiar?

The vows say ‘for better or for worse’, but since life is short, some people will tell you that the best thing to do in an unhappy marriage is to get out of it. That way, both parties can be happier apart. But for some, the uncoupling and its attendant issues aren’t worth the effort. What’s a few more years in misery?

I don’t make any judgements either way, and compared to a lot of people, I have many more miles to travel; but I’ve come to realize that, notwithstanding the ‘hard work’, sometimes marriage really is luck of the draw.

Wedding Gift Registries – the good, the bad and the unwanted

Years before I was even interested in leaving my mothers’ house, I had thought that the idea of telling people what they should buy as a wedding gift was a little presumptuous. Maybe that’s why some people turn up empty-handed anyway. But when my turn came, I thought that it wasn’t so much forward as forward-thinking, because, face it. Who doesn’t need a little help getting her household together?

The idea of the gift registry was seen as a way of helping a new, usually young, couple to amass fairly quickly most of the items that would be needed for setting up house. So kitchen utensils, cutlery, sheet sets and glassware are typical presents. In the last several years, a lot of the couples are older and may already have been living on their own, but who can’t use an updated toaster and some new bath mats?

Photo credit: Myharusi.com

Photo credit: Myharusi.com

So although I live here, and my aunt’s sister-in-law’s daughter’s wedding is in another country, that doesn’t make me exempt. Although I can’t be there, the couple won’t want me to feel left out, so they allow me to choose a gift from an online registry. And I don’t have to worry – they’ll pick it up. However, if I do travel, this thoughtful convenience allows me to walk in to the reception with my conscience clear and my two hands swinging free.

But every wedding has a guest who sees the registry items as mere suggestions to give whatever he wants, or maybe that should be, what he didn’t want. That would explain the nicely wrapped coffee-maker for the couple who doesn’t even drink tea or the clock that belongs in the child’s bedroom for the couple who doesn’t yet have any children. Don’t forget about the spice racks that everybody seems to forget actually contain spices.

But I’m not going to knock any of the gifts that I have gotten. Even though I didn’t ask for the extra cake dish, it does have a cover that the other one doesn’t. Sometimes people do know what you will actually use, because whenever the power goes off, I remember fondly the person who gifted us with the portable fluorescent lamp. And we actually cooked with the bay leaves from the spice rack.

Some people think that because it takes quite a bit of money to put on a wedding production, it’s only fair that the invited guests bring something in return. So I have used every single wedding present I got, since somebody paid good money for it. That’s how I know that coffee really doesn’t taste as bad as I thought.