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photo by Sheri Dixon

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Tale of Two Weddings

I'm not a big Royal Watcher.

Never have been, never even wanted to be a princess when I was a little girl.

I wanted to be a train engineer.

But as luck would have it, I woke up at about 5am needing to pee and the TV was still on from when we went to sleep and there it was.

***The Royal Wedding***

Seemed like a whole lot of falderol leading up to the "I do's" and I couldn't help but wonder if Kate knows what this particular "I do" means for the rest of her life.

Poor Wills was born into it and doesn't know any different, but from that moment right after a middle aged hippiechick in deep East Texas peed and crawled back into bed with 2 scruffy terriers and her handsome beloved husband Kate Middleton's private life was OVER.

Don't get me wrong- I LOVE weddings. Shoot, I've had three of my own.

But it struck me that contrary to the happy ceremony a wedding is supposed to be, it seemed to me to be more akin to a sentencing- there wasn't a smile in the house- from the families to the guests to the little choirboys in their ruffly-necked gowns everyone looked so damn SERIOUS.

Now I admit, not everyone was happy at my last wedding- the flowerdog took an immediate and permanent dislike to the judge in his sinister black robe and growled the entire time, glaring up at him from under her waggling eyebrows. But the judge, the guests (all 4 of them), Ward and myself? All grinning ear to ear- this was the happy union of 2 people ridiculously in love, the culmination of an extended courtship and the leap of faith that said "This is the person- I've finally got it right".

Of course we didn't have the stress of knowing if we'd said our vows with one of those little boogers that cling to yer nose hairs just inside the nostril it would've have been noticed by millions of people live and millions more in replays...forever.

I don't recall just how much the Royal Wedding cost, but I do know that for that amount of money, the damn trees they lugged into the Abbey should've been not just green, but covered in fragrant blossoms and abuzz with butterflies.

I'm sitting at my desk looking at the dried bouquet from my wedding...a dozen lavender roses from a roadside stand- $2.50 for the dozen- tied with a length of pink ribbon. From back across the years I remember wiring them and tying them together...at work. Before our lunch-hour ceremony, Mexican restaurant lunch and back to work for the afternoon.

Kate's dress WAS amazing. Especially the bodice that appeared as though it could've stood up in front of the church at neat attention even if Kate had stayed at home.

My wedding dress was also amazing. I'd found it months before I knew I was getting married and admired it but had no reason to buy it- not that it was THAT schmancy- just a cotton dress printed with tiny lavender and blue flowers and a romantic scooped lacy neckline, but I had nowhere to wear that pretty a dress. What luck that when I needed it, it was where I'd first seen it- on the rack at Goodwill.

Here's the thing.

Weddings, even one as insanely huge as The Royal Wedding, are easy.

It's marriage that's hard.

Not "Wow, this was a bad idea- what the hell was I thinking?" hard. (Although that WAS the case with my first two).

But the day to day living with another human who has moods, whose body falters, who changes opinions and outlooks and ideologies- all these are the Human Condition and we all do it. We're every one of us fallible and fragile, and the hard part is accepting and embracing the rhythm of this dance- knowing that who leads and who follows will alternate with circumstance, that even the music and dance steps may morph into something completely different without warning- the hard part is not getting frustrated or frightened by the changes- but to look steadily at one another and remain...partners.

All this is so very hard in the easiest of lives and in the privacy of anonymity. I cannot imagine the difficulty of attempting a strong, normal marriage while under the beady, shifty carnivorous eyes of The Royal Watchers.

Good luck Kate and Wills.

When I watched your wedding I was not wishing that I could be a princess, but thanking my lucky stars that I'm not.

Oh, and wondering what the HELL is up with those damn ridiculous hats.

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