My husband and I are unlike two peas in a pod. Quite far from it. We are the personification of – oil and water. We do not mix. Probably we are also the personification of ‘unlike poles attract’ because despite doubting Thomases, twelve years hence, it looks like we made it. So this marriage is actually like mixing metaphors. But it works for us.
Before I achieved this wedded bliss however, I’d like to take you back to my reminiscences twelve years ago when I was thirty one years old and single and facing the prospect of the turn of the century, being that, still single.
” The truth is, I do not relish attending weddings. Not that I do not believe in weddings but chances are, the wedding I am attending isn’t mine. Get the picture? I’m sourgraping! Besides, there, someone is always bound to ask when I am getting married and to that I found it polite to just shrug my shoulders. But sometimes the mole is insistent so I say ‘So sue me!’
My early exposure to weddings was as flower girl- an experience which was my idea of child stress. The gown, which was made of cheap silk did not fit very well and was very warm. To top it all, it would cling to the skin and when I was perspiring, it was both itchy and itchy. The other children kept on wailing a wail that resonated in the nave, apse and alcoves and every corner of the church. In fairness to them however, their tremolo sometimes was even better than the church choir’s.
I started attending weddings quite often enough when I was in medical school. I was eager to extricate myself from the rough and tumble of the pressure cooker (read:medical school) to get a social life. In those weddings, I was mere spectator. I learned that you have to clap your hands when the groom kisses the bride as though they were doing this for the first time (the kissing, Sweetie, not the wedding). And for them to kiss some more, you have to ting-ting-ting those long stemmed crystal glasses with the stem of either the knife or fork.
When I was out of medical school, I had more time so I attended bridal shower parties. A shower party is when all the unmarried girls are expected to behave like ingenues and the married ones bawdy.
Later on, I got bit roles. I was made lector in a friend’s wedding.
As lector, one should be wary of those church assistants who wanted to run everything in fast forward motion and who would have possessed a wee bit of etiquette as to grab the microphone to check the sound system while I was practising. And when she sees there’s nothing wrong, she would chide me for not talking loud enough. As lector, I learned too, not to get so carried away especially if, while saying a piece of my flummoxed and flustered mind, I’d forgotten to turn the mic off.
Then I got better roles. The kind those church assistants could no longer dismiss and shoo away.
I became maid of honor!
It was memorable because my friends noted that despite the extra lengthening, volumizing mascara, I was a wee bit teary eyed and instead of walking, I was gliding. I conveniently, vaguely remember that part although I admit to having been more excited than the bride herself. Like her, I stuck to tradition: something borrowed (the gown), something new (the shoes), something blue (my mood) and something old (me)!
In that wedding, I caught the bouquet, not kidding! And to those who remain skeptics even until now, let me get this straight: there was no complicity between the bride and me.
For a long time, I’d kept my fingers crossed that I’d eventually land a role where I get to sign a marriage contract. You know, that part where I’m neither groom nor principal sponsor.
Anyway, two years and one dozen weddings later, I’ve given up catching bridal bouquet at the traditional toss. Now, because I have become too old to become bridesmaid. friends took to making me emcee at the reception. And because of this, I have become known to be always the emcee, but never the bride.
The part of the wedding ritual which gave me the creeps was when I’d call on to the single ladies to gather to catch the bouquet. A few years back then, I’d jostle my way, short of somersault or do a reverse lay up or butterfly stroke on air just to increase the chance of getting lucky. I was very good at it. Check the videos.
That time it was fun. Now the fun had been replaced by angst – because the number of us aspirants has dwindled over the years. When before I could count us with the fingers of both hands, now there would be so few I could count a total with one finger.
Indeed many have taken the plunge much ahead of me.
One would not be so angst ridden if we tried to demystify the curse of being thrity or older and single.
True, there is a biological clock. But it’s not anything that implodes when you reach thirty. Friends, doctors or otherwise talk of the changing patterns of time. More and more people get married older nowadays. And yet they still have children. I know of one who got married at fifty one. No, she did not get pregnant. She just got married.
I see no sense getting frantic if you got one of those idiotic messages in a strip of paper from the fortune cake. I always got one that said I’d remain an old maid. Oh well, I have a truckload in my family tree.
Ever the optimist, I see no sense being scared in going down the aisle with my hair the same color as my wedding gown.
Hope springs eternal.”