Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wedding Truths

I didn't sleep well on the night before this day, nineteen years ago. The room temperature in my parents' home was warmer than I was used to and I was excited. I was also a bundle of nerves: The next day was my wedding day and I wanted everything to be perfect.

So, "Skip the up-doo," I said, in the hairdresser's chair when the style felt a bit much for me. "Leave it down," I said.

Then, once the make-up artist had spent an hour pancaking my face and outlining my my eyes, I wet a cloth to wash it all off.  I wasn't happy with my elaborate bouquet, either. I'd wanted a handful of daisies tied with a satin ribbon.

When the photography session ran long because I'd opted for three separate shoot locations, I was annoyed because I missed the harpist entirely.  And when Balthazar stepped, with his shiny shoes, on the large bow fastened to the small of my back and cascading the length of my train, causing it to rip off altogether, I became annoyed with him, too.

"The camera sees that you're angry," said the photographer.

The truth is I didn't much enjoy my wedding day.

I was young and stupid and concentrating on all the wrong things and, on some level, I think I knew this. Hence, the last minute hair and make-up changes. Subconsciously, I must have been trying to tone it all down.

Anyway, here we are a full nineteen years later and, finally, I get it. Finally, I understand that it's the little truths that matter most. The simplest things.

Like the way my hand fits perfectly into Balthazar's; the light of his touch at the small of my back, where that pompous bow had no business being. Like the smell of fresh cut grass and the gift of rain. Honey on toast. My babies' hugs.

If I had the chance to do it all again, yes, I'd choose bunched daisies, but more than this, I'd pay attention to the things that really mattered.

Like the complicated love in my mother's face while we ate cereal that morning; the wetness in my dad's eyes when we danced, the importance of the tear he wouldn't let go even as he spoke his blessing in my ear; the meaningful embraces of lifelong friends; and Balthazar's kiss at the altar; the passion and promise in it; the joy in his eyes; and the wedding-sex glint that must have played there all day.

Of course, I can't do it all again, but at least I can fix it for the next nineteen years.

So, Balthazar, hurry home. Kiss me, again.

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