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It’s Like Rain On Your Wedding Day

May 5, 2010

There are two sides to everything. Except spheres. And Klein bottles. And things with more than two sides. And…nevermind. Anyway! Never is this more true than when good friends, or old friends –  or good AND old friends, God save us – get married.

Diana was to be married in five more days. The gray house at Orchard Slope was in a turmoil of baking and brewing and boiling and stewing, for there was to be a big, old-timey wedding. Anne, of course, was to be bridesmaid, as had been arranged when they were twelve years old, and Gilbert was coming from Kingsport to be best man. Anne was enjoying the excitement of the various preparations, but under it all she carried a little heartache. She was, in a sense, losing her dear old chum; Diana’s new home would be two miles from Green Gables, and the old constant companionship could never be theirs again. Anne looked up at Diana’s light and thought how it had beaconed to her for many years; but soon it would shine through the summer twilights no more. Two big, painful tears welled up in her gray eyes.

“Oh,” she thought, “how horrible it is that people have to grow up—and marry—and CHANGE!”

Chapter 28: A June Evening, Anne of the Island

The BRIGHT Side:

  • You have a compelling reason to get in shape.
  • You might actually get in shape.
  • You can dress up without having to justify it (she says like she LIKES dressing up and doesn’t avoid it like she avoids torturing herself with blunt cutlery).
  • You get all the fun with none of the attendant stresses! Don’t need money, don’t need a man…totally worry-free. Vicarious living ftw!
  • If it’s a family wedding, you get some LOOT – the wedding gold that one person can’t POSSIBLY wear in their single short lifetime, and which they are FULLY EXPECTED to distribute to the sundry girls of the family. They get hitched, you get bling, everybody wins!

The DARK Side:

  • You are kind  of losing a friend. YOU ARE. Anyone who says otherwise is LYING, including your friend.
  • You might be expected to do like, bollywood dancing. This is against your personal religion of never dancing where anyone can see you EVER. Unless there is some kind of monetary incentive. A sizeable one.
  • You have to get a present that is actually not a toaster. But then you also realise there is nothing on the earth you can BUY for this person, and the thing you have to get is NECESSARILY priceless, and then you realise you can’t AFFORD priceless because you are, as we say in the south of London, well skint. And THEN you realise you will probably not get anything and in the end it’s all okay because you don’t even have to buy a toaster. So basically, yes, you are saying:

‘You’ve no idea how hard I’ve looked for a gift to bring you.
Nothing seemed right.
What’s the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the Ocean?
Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient.’

…so I didn’t get you anything, ‘kay? ^_^

  • Everyone will interrogate you about why you’re not married yet. Then they will lecture you about your age (advanced), figure (unsatisfactory) and fussiness (excessive), and completely ignore your presentation of the Four States Model (genius) and lecture you some more about being negative and misandrist (they won’t use that word, but you know) then you will run screaming from the room, and everyone will think it is the wild screaming of unadulterated joy and happiness when in fact it is the slightly mad screaming of someone who can’t take it anymore and is ready to end it all RIGHT NOW.

Where The Wilted Things Are

Alas! No amount of loot or bling or gold can make up for how, by the end of every wedding, there is a you-shaped puddle of globby blobbiness under the furthest table in the darkest corner of the quietest room, pulsating with a DANGEROUS radioactive glow, repeating over and over ‘So I’m not married. So what? Just get over it. Just get over it. Just get over it. JUST GET OV-‘

And it will be at least a week before you start resolving into a girl-shaped mass – just in time to begin the cycle again for the NEXT wedding…

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. May 5, 2010 2:06 am

    hmmm, i’m trying to hug you through the computer screen, but my fingers just—keep—hitting—solid.

    • May 5, 2010 2:11 am

      I hope it is an I-think-you-are-so-awesome-I-have-to-eat-you-right-now hug and not an awww-you-poor-thing-I-feel-sorry-for-you kind because I am totally having the time of my life with these 😀

      I wonder how many more Alanis-themed posts I can produce? >_>

      Ouch I may have just hit my head on my monitor trying to hug you back. Ouch ouch ouch.

      • Kaimalino permalink
        May 5, 2010 3:18 am

        Bollywood dancing?! It’s not just a rumor? Please may I be your shameless stunt double? (At least until someone catches on to me and stamps “HARAM” on my forehead?)
        In Hawai’i, the bride dances a hula and the guests tuck money on her dress. Then during the couple’s first dance, there’s a “money bowl” (usually a beautiful gift from a close family member to be the couple’s best dish). Guests tuck bills on the bride’s dress and the groom has to nibble them off with his teeth and drop them into the money bowl with his mouth. We made several hundred dollars in exchange for just a few minutes of (fun, laughing) indignity. I tell you this so you can plan a cultural excuse to request your sizeable monetary incentive for dancing.
        BTW, an old friend from the newsroom used to cackle with me about a clipping she had stuck to her cubicle. It said: “As the last single woman in my family, I used to feel so awkward at weddings. My aging aunties would always nudge me when the bride and groom would kiss and say, ‘You’re next, huh?’ Now, though, it’s OK. When I sit with them at funerals, I nudge them and say, ‘You’re next, huh?'”
        Sending a pity-free hug your way.

      • May 5, 2010 12:16 pm

        I sit with them at funerals, I nudge them and say, ‘You’re next, huh?’”

        I think this may have made my day!

  2. May 5, 2010 9:45 am

    Awww! I’ve got a family wedding too in July and yes, I am already feeling anxious about it. I had a slice of ‘aunt ganging’ the other day when I visited my cousin and her new baby and my aunt (who had flown over from abroad) starting questioning me. But, worse is whne the angry questioning turn to pity and they look at you with a sad face and say ” don’t worry, don;t lose hope..” (!!!)

  3. May 5, 2010 9:53 am

    on the other hand, Anne was very intuitive and sensitive about her friendship with Diana that during her Early days at Green Gables, Marilla found her crying:

    “Whatever’s the matter now, Anne?” she asked.

    “It’s about Diana,” sobbed Anne luxuriously. “I love Diana so, Marilla. I cannot ever live without her. But I know very well when we grow up that Diana will get married and go away and leave me. And oh, what shall I do? I hate her husband–I just hate him furiously. I’ve been imagining it all out–the wedding and everything–Diana dressed in snowy garments, with a veil, and looking as beautiful and regal as a queen; and me the bridesmaid, with a lovely dress too, and puffed sleeves, but with a breaking heart hid beneath my smiling face. And then bidding Diana goodbye-e-e–” Here Anne broke down entirely and wept with increasing bitterness.

    Marilla turned quickly away to hide her twitching face; but it was no use; she collapsed on the nearest chair and burst into such a hearty and unusual peal of laughter that Matthew, crossing the yard outside, halted in amazement. When had he heard Marilla laugh like that before?

    “Well, Anne Shirley,” said Marilla as soon as she could speak, “if you must borrow trouble, for pity’s sake borrow it handier home. I should think you had an imagination, sure enough.”

  4. fjafjan permalink
    May 5, 2010 10:03 am

    “There are two sides to everything. Except spheres” also Klein Bottles and Möbius Strips.

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klein_bottle)

    [/relevant input]

  5. May 5, 2010 12:14 pm

    Look, when the interrogation begins, don’t act nervous. Cops, er…aunties have a way of smelling fear and jumping all over it. You must just smile sweetly and say: “I am content with what Allah has given me.” Cause really, nothing is going to make them happy until you are married. Oh wait – that isn’t true, then the pestering to have babies will begin. Only until you reproduce will you be safe – oh wait, that is only if you manage to have a boy. As someone with two girls, we get, ALL THE TIME, old men from the mosque saying in front of our girls, “May Allah bless you with a boy next time!” “Oh, no boys?” “Brother, you should have a son!” Uh, believe me, if Captain Wentworth could actually HAVE (as in birth) a boy, I would totally be all for it. Hmm, maybe laughing hysterically IS the best way of dealing with this. Maybe even try waving a fork around dangerously and next time they might not bother you, but rather just cluck sympathetically to each other.

  6. Kaimalino permalink
    May 5, 2010 12:38 pm

    The sons will not save you from ridiculous comments! I have three sons. Everywhere we go (and yes, I realize I often look as if I am leading a parade), strangers ask me if my husband and I are going to “try for a girl.” As if these three little people are clones? As if I am having no fun because I don’t have a child to decorate with hair clips and nail polish? Two eternal truths: You’ll never please everyone, and “everyone” is incapable of minding their individual and collective business! The topic of people commenting on children is a whole post to me. . . abd BTW, happy Boys’ Day today, May 5! You can be sure we are celebrating!

    • May 5, 2010 1:03 pm

      True – I have heard that too! I guess some people can’t believe that a few of us are just happy to have children, whatever gender God (The Universe, whoever or whatever people believe in!) has decided to gift us with. Also, gotta love the “aren’t you going to try for a …?” I mean, it’s not like placing an order with your credit card, people!

  7. May 5, 2010 10:02 pm

    You guys. You crack me up. (I feel like I’ve said that a lot of late XD)

    Kai, you can totally be my stunt double BUT – I keep the money. ‘kay? ^_^

    Hummingbird, Anne is gold! I remember laughing myself silly over that in my latest re-read. And you know how different things stand out to you at different readings? I re-read the whole series a few months ago, and what REALLY stood out is Marilla and her sense of humour/sarchasm – the hilarious woman XD

    Fjaf, a Klein bottle is in the same class as a sphere XD

    I have to say, it’s been a long time since I’ve actually been enjittered (do you like my word?) by the Approach of the Aunties – I DAZZLE them with my BURNING WIT and they laugh until they cry…and then, well, they cry about my terrible single fate and also because their sons are already married (or in grade school) so OH NOES SHE’S ESCAPING.

    I appeal to aunties (and also crazy old men on the bus -_-). It must be because my face is a brown flower.

    So my advice to heckled singletons: laugh, girls. Laugh and pray and be content with what Allah has given you, and be the best person that you can, and keep on working on that, not (exclusively) on discovering your honey. I mean hubby.

    • May 8, 2010 6:54 pm

      I looooved reading this article! For so long I always thought it was a Southern thing – the whole your family feels no need to give you any sense of privacy in your life and they constantly ask you questions that are really disguised as demands for how they think you should be living your life. I am so glad that this seems to be an issue everywhere and in every family. Makes me worry less about it. I too shall laugh! And I totally agree with the idea that you can never please everyone and that trying to will only make you miserable. People are soooooo nosy!!

      GIGANTIC HUG ACCOMPANIED WITH HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER AND HEART-FELT ADMIRATION!! (no pity included)

  8. May 8, 2010 7:03 pm

    Oh, and it too frustrates me so much when people totally devalue and disregard your brilliant accomplishments and instead only think about how you have “failed” in other ways. Eternal pessimists, they are! All the time my family makes me seem so boring because they are never interested in my university work, and so I don’t have tons of other stuff to tell them about. They only want to talk about my social life which, let’s face it, has taken a huge backseat to my classes and research right now. I’m not a boring, antisocial loser! I’m a hard-working, fun-loving, genius student and you should love and admire me for that! (I think to myself while donning the same pouty-face I developed at the age of four.)

  9. May 9, 2010 12:53 am

    In fairness to the Aunties – and every one of them out there, whatever shape or form or gender they come in – what we young whippersnappers consider busybody-ness, to said Aunties, it is the way their world works. Everybody’s business is their business, and they are genuine, sincere women who want you to be happy, and who will help you in any way they can. They might not always be flexible in their definitions of happiness, true, and their help may have a terrible way of misfiring – but that’s okay. It’s up to us to make allowances for them – they’ve lived long and useful lives, and to have set ways is their indulgence. They belong to the Old World – back in a time and place where people talked to each other, dropped into their neighbours’ for tea and samosas, laughed together and cried together, and on the whole, lived visibly. (cf. this: 7 Reasons the 21st Century is making you miserable – interesting read!)

    (They didn’t need this Facebook and Twitter rubbish: see, a zillion times a day, a person can write the most inane and mindless things, telling the whole world their business, and they’ll resent the interest of people who are actually part of their lives. And maybe it’s because we’ve moved so drastically away from the old social connections that we are obsessed with this new way – because we’re in connection-deficit, and the human is a social animal. It needs to interact. So we feed it with Facebook. That is like being severely malnourished and having a chocolate bar. Totally tangential rant – and so: parentheses!)

    I think once we make allowances for each other – or at least, we make our own allowances since we can’t do anything about them – it all starts to smooth out. In my long experience (XD) of being a recalcitrant daughter, I find it isn’t necessary for us to agree in our opinions, as long as I give proper acknowledgement to theirs, and address the things they are concerned about, and feed their interests. It’s not a lot to give to keep relationships sweet. : )

    This isn’t, of course, an excuse for prejudice and malice – those are a whole different kettle of fish – but just an affectionate appreciation of the Aunty Brigade whose love makes life TOUGH, but without whom the world would be a less kind place.

    (HEY, AUNTY SHOUT-OUT! NOW PLEASE STOP BLAMING ME FOR BEING SADLY SINGLE!)

    I love the pouty-face, I can just imagine it and it looks so cute that I can’t possibly take you seriously for at least the next 37 minutes! ^_^ And be glad they don’t ask you about school, because believe me, when you’ve explained thirty-six thousand times what you’re research is about, and listened to twice as many opinions about how you should conduct it, from people who think you can make up your data, you would infinitely prefer to answer questions about your social life. It’s much easier to make up that kind of fiction.

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