Thursday, November 28, 2019

You only get married twice

There is nothing fair in this world
There is nothing safe in this world
Look for something left in this world
Start again

Thanksgiving Day. Seems like a good day to finish this post that I started weeks ago. Writing has not bubbled up to the top of my hypothetical to-do list, but it's been at the back of my mind, you might even say, weighing on my mind. If I'm ever going to get around to penning more important thoughts, I need to finish this one and send it out into the ether.

Like so many things in life, whether you anticipate them eagerly or with dread, sooner or later they’re over.

My daughter is married.


For good, for keeps, this time. Please be so.

Kandace and Chris. She's a beautiful bride, no question.
The wedding weekend went off without a hitch and a lot of it was surprisingly fun.

We were first on the scene. As the mother of the bride, I got first dibs on staying at my daughter’s house, so we rolled in on Wednesday evening, to accommodate the kids work and school schedules and the options for using mileage for our flights.

Ryland waited up just for a hug and a goodnight kiss. I wasn’t far behind him in hitting the hay.

K.C. had Thursday off, but took Ry to school and we brought him lunch from Wendy’s. We ran a couple of errands in the afternoon, picking up last minute supplies.

When we leave for a trip, Neil usually tops up the dry cat food, but we both forgot. All day Thursday I tried to get an update from our cat minder, hinting that the cats might be hungry. Email, text, and phone messages went unanswered, so of course my anxiety kicked up.

We don’t have a backup plan for situations like this. The best I could think of was to message my neighbor via Facebook and give them the garage code to get in, after we remotely disable the alarm. Fortunately Kris finally called back and all was well, the cats had been tended earlier in the day by her daughter.

I’m a bad cat momma but I’m a little too good at worrying about them.

Kris’ daughters have my full blessing to be designated cat caregivers and I now have their contact info, in case I can’t reach Kris again.

After that it was all smooth sailing. Thursday night we met the groom’s mom and some of her family for dinner at a barbecue place, after which they came back to the house for a tour.

On Friday, the mom of the groom, K.C., and I had manicures. This was followed by the wedding ceremony rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner, an elegant affair for about 40 people, once you included the wedding party and their spouses (and a few kids) plus four sets of parents, siblings, and step-siblings.

Saturday was a beautiful day. The moms and the bridal party had pedicures, then went to the bridal suite for hair, makeup, and dressing up.

I hadn’t tried on my dress except the once, briefly, when I thought, this will be okay if I don’t find anything I like more (after which I essentially stopped looking). It actually worked out just fine, especially with the shoes and a beaded bag that I found serendipitously at a little local shop when I wasn’t even looking for one. The shoes and purse each cost more that the dress, but at least I’ve a good chance of wearing them again.

Once again, my good weather luck held, and the outdoor ceremony was lovely.

Here I have to say that some of the pomp and circumstance made me feel a little cynical. It’s been almost exactly twelve years since my daughter made her vows to another man. To her credit, she’s not the one who broke them, and in some ways I’m not sorry that her first husband did, because I’m very fond of her new husband. It’s his first (hopefully only) marriage and if he was the one who wanted a traditional wedding, I think my daughter was quite happy to hop on the party wagon.

Ryland was a big part of the affair.
And they did go all out, although I know they worked hard to keep brakes on the guest list. Everything they did was lavish, from the beautiful golf club venue to the open bar, elegant menu, decorations, a photo booth, roaming photographers, candy table for treat bags, two kinds of cake, champagne toasts, throwing of bouquet and garter, and sparkler exit, at least for the photo aspect.

Wisely, the affair started at 4:30 so by 9:30 pm it was winding down enough for me to pry my grandson away and take him home and put him (and myself) to bed.

We met up once more for Sunday breakfast at the host hotel, and to do a complicated bag swap before the newlyweds left for honeymoon land. It was another gorgeous day, so after we went back to the house to hand off the dog to the new father-in-law-law, Neil and I took Ry To the zoo. He enjoyed everything, including his expensive kids meal lunch. I’ve never been happier to drop $14 to watch our picky little guy demolish a cheeseburger.

And later at home, he ate a good sized turkey sub with melted cheese for dinner. We played Monopoly Junior and had an early bedtime, because school night. I haven’t gotten up at 6 am for a while, but we made it all work, and we brought him lunch again.

Monday was rainy and the temperature plummeted to wicked cold. We had a couple of hours before school pickup, so we drove to a yarn store in McKinney for a skein of Spincycle. I also squeezed in a nap before we collected Ry. Homework, another round of Monopoly, and a pizza delivered for dinner rounded out our last evening in Carrollton.

And on Tuesday morning, we took Ry to school and then me to the airport. The trip home felt endless but everything went smoothly, including a plane change in Jackson, where I had to go all the way to Gate 4 from Gate 3. Eventually I landed in Charlotte, shuttled to my car, and drove home. It was a cold day, but I found a nice sunny spot to read during my layover, and I actually finished the second book in the Outlander series while we sat on the tarmac in Charlotte, waiting for an outbound traffic jam to clear.

The cats were typically happy to see me, meaning Loki hopped on my lap at the first chance, Biscotti allowed me to pet him briefly, and Zamboni poked his head out in relatively short order. I don’t know why I fret about them so much when I’m away. Pretty soon all three were curled up and snoozing, in other words, business as usual.

In the meantime, Neil went to Houston to see friends and spend a little more time with his kids. I spent a lot of that time just chilling here, sleeping in, knitting by the fireplace, because baby, it’s cold outside.

Neil has been back for a couple of weeks now. It's been quiet. Quiet is good. Mostly. Sometimes I think it's a little too quiet.

But today the sun is out, Starbucks is open, we're making Loco Moco for Thanksgiving dinner, I have yarn,  and there are lots of Black Friday sales online already.

Seriously, I'm grateful for all that is good in my life and in the world.

And for you too, I wish every blessing.

The only (er, unfortunate) wedding photo of me, so far.
With Ry-pie and my brother Phil.
My hair looks nice anyway.

Hey little sister, what have you done?
Hey little sister, who's the only one?
Hey little sister, who's your superman?
Hey little sister, who's the one you want?
Hey little sister, shotgun!

It's a nice day to start again
It's a nice day for a white wedding
It's a nice day to start again

Hey little sister, who is it you're with?
Hey little sister, what's your vice or wish?
Hey little sister, shotgun, oh yeah
Hey little sister, who's your superman?
Hey little sister, shotgun!

It's a nice day to start again
It's a nice day for a white wedding
It's a nice day to start again

Pick it up
Take me back home, yeah
There is nothing fair in this world
There is nothing safe in this world
And there's nothing sure in this world
And there's nothing pure in this world
Look for something left in this world
Start again

It's a nice day for a white wedding
It's a nice day to start again

(Billy Idol © Chrysalis Music)