Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


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Sunday, May 20, 2007  

Thank you darlings. There is nothing like a wedding to bring on the nostalgia. In fact, I believe the older I get, the more ghosts I see at these big family gatherings. Last night on the dance floor, when the father and mother of the bride (Caroll Lee and Biddy) were doing their dance, I could see them all out there; Hannah and Dabney, Teddy and Jack, Edmund and Rene, Margaret and Bill - a cotillion full of long gone couples, truly dancing on the green in King and Queen.

It was a fete that would have done Teddy proud, too. 500 guests gathered to wish the prettiest bride you ever did see walk down the isle on the arm of the proudest papa. In some ways it was Caroll Lee’s show because he is, undoubtedly, the most colorful man in the county but there was no dearth of good wishes for the bride and groom. Everyone wants them to have a wonderful life.

I’m torn between giving a full report of the wedding and keeping today’s post short. The exercise of detailing all the noteworthy aspects of such a big party, put on with no thought of expense, would be good for that future Great Southern Novel. But if I once begin I am afraid it will go on for pages. Perhaps a short list of the things that struck me most vividly is the way to go. Then, if there’s a clamor for more details, or if I one day want to pull up some colorful bit to flesh out the skeleton of a plot, I’d have some mnemonic hooks, full up of possibilities.

* The beautiful green drive through rural Essex and King & Queen, while I fretted away about arriving after the bride’s mother was seated. After all, I was with BD.

* The long pine-fringed drive leading to the bride’s home along the Mataponi River.

* The fairy lights that outlined all the pathways - from parking lot to ceremony tent, from party tent to the fanciest port-a-potties you ever saw in your whole life. Trailers with pictures on the walls and potpourri on the sinks and music piped in and charmine style paper. 2 of them with 8 stalls. Who even knew such a thing existed?

* All the ex’s present - because they’re the parents of the bridal party and besides, just because they’re not married any more doesn’t mean they’re not family.

* The cousins you didn’t even know about.

* The view across the river as evening drew on, placid, quiet, with the ebbing tide pulling little bits of grass or fallen laurel petals out to sea.

* The navy blue night sky lit up with just the crescent New Moon and Venus shedding blessings down upon the green world.

* The tables, enough for everyone to have a seat, all fluttered in linens and decorated with flowers, the guests clustering in ever-changing bouquets of pastel spring frocks and blue blazers.

* The band, Flashback it was called, made up of old guys, and one old gal, who played songs from the 40’s through the 80’s. Three saxophones, a trumpet, trombone and guitar, with drums and a singer. They were quite good, but they had a lot to do with conjuring up those ghost dancers. And who knew our vet and his wife were such skilled dancers. My goodness - they have the fanciest feet.

* Getting exactly the compliment I was hoping to achieve when Karen Parker’s daughter-in-law said to me "... and when you walked in I thought ‘My that is a well put together outfit." I knew Michelle already, a little bit, though I haven’t seen her in years, and that was just how I would have expected her to put it. Honest and true - next time you go out somewhere, wear a hat! You would not believe how happy it makes people to see a woman in a hat. You would not believe how many men think you are beautiful because you have a hat on. Not a baseball cap. Not a sun hat. A real, honest to goodness, from the hat shop, beautiful hat with a feather or a rose or a veil. I can’t believe how many women pass up this opportunity to be special.

* The magical glow of the tent, glancing back as we left, all full of light and (very loud) music and people, milling and moving about. People you knew and wanted to be happy and were glad to have in your life.

* The utter gentleness of the drive home, deep through midnight tunnels punctuated now and again by an on-coming car, watched by sentinel deer, slowly eating up the miles in the soft dark night.

Yes. Those are the snippets I want to remember. Maybe one day they will turn up in a piece of literature.

posted by Bess | 9:01 AM