Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Tale of 2 (or 3) Weddings

Friday at 2:52 AM, I rolled over to check my clock, and seeing as the alarm was set to wake me in just 8 minutes, I decided I’d go ahead and make my bleary-eyed way to the living room, where I would spend the next 4 plus hours watching a certain British couple become newlyweds. Some (ahem, Hub) scoffed at my need to forsake sleep to watch something I could simply DVR. I suggested he DVR the Superbowl and see how he liked it. So, hello, 3 AM. (Dear 3 AM, thank you for being hospitable and all, but I don’t think we really click, so perhaps we shouldn’t sped your hour together in consciousness. Please tell you friends 4 AM, 5 AM, and 6 AM as well. Love, Julie.)

I have had a long fascination with both the British royals and romance in general. I’m a girly girl, I know. When I was [age redacted], I remember getting up at this same unseemly hour with my grandmother while on vacation to watch Lady Di become Princess Di, and how magical it all seemed. I mean, we all know how that story played out, but then, it was about the moment, and for my little self, it was the first time I’d ever seen a princess in the flesh and not in 2D animation. How could I not fall in love with all that pomp and circumstance? Just the unfurling of that giant, flowing train (wrinkles notwithstanding) was mind blowing to my tiny brain. I was hooked. My thoughtful parents gave me beautiful dolls of the groom and the bride, which I still have to this day, along with several books, a coffee cup, and probably a few other sundries courtesy of their trip across the pond. I was in love with the fairytale, and part of me always will be.

Therefore, I watched the wedding of William and Kate, start to finish and then some. I ogled at the amazing and amazingly crazy hats, held my breath when Kate and to rattle off that 9 mile long name, and got misty-eyed as a father gave his daughter to the man she loves and all the obligation that goes along with him. I love that they bucked the staidness of tradition by kissing twice and zooming around in a zippy little sports car like impetuous teenagers. And I felt just like that little girl of 3 decades ago, albeit with a few more lines across her face.

And then I was fortunate enough to be invited to a wedding Saturday, that of one of the Hub’s many cousins. I knew this would be a fancy shindig when the invitation arrived made of linen and cost more to fly here than most airline baggage. Now, I enjoy a good family hoedown, or any celebration of marriage really, but really, the swankier, the better in my book. And this one was swanky. The ceremony was lovely, in a stunningly ornate old church. And despite a 4 hour wait between the ceremony and the reception (which ended up including wiling away the time in a bar with peanut shells on the floor, so decidedly unswanky), it was well worth it to walk into that candlelit room filled with white flowers and an open bar. The food was remarkable (we even got to pre-select our entrees on the RSVP card, something that is rare in this day and age of the buffet), the music a well-planned mix of energetic fun and gentle romance, and the happy couple couldn’t stop smiling (both this couple and the bride and groom). We stayed far too late (sorry, Mom and Dad, and thanks for watching the kids), talked too much and danced too little, but had a fantastic time all around. I learned 2 important things: 1) my husband really needs to be schooled in the proper technique of the Two Step, and 2) my search for a fancy pair of heels that don’t try to render my feet completely numb is back on. Oh, shoe shopping, how I’ve missed you.

I’m awash in the giddiness of romance, which might or might not be the champagne still talking. It’s nice to be reminded of that, now that the 9 year mark on our marriage is just a few short weeks away. It’s important to remember that fluttery feeling every now and then. So thank you, William and Kate, Lindsay and Brendan, for that little tap on my shoulder. I can’t wait for the next one.

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