With my eldest cousin's marriage and my victory over their impression of me as nothing more than an artsy not-as-good-as-them anti-social awkward bookworm, I seem to have achieved some sort of quasi-adult status. They are no longer able to tease me about my major or the small print I read, so they have shifted the subject to my lack of impending matrimony. Though I am my father's only child and am likely to be hearing about this until they all die, it is a step up from sitting at the kiddie table. Strangely, I do not find myself feeling particularly irritated. I am usually frazzled or agitated after dealing with this branch of the family, but today, I am calm. Perhaps it is a sign that their power over me is at long last beginning to fade.
In hindsight, the hippie strategy of 2003 was too obvious. They felt I was incapable of living in a "normal" fashion, and they associated me very strongly with the "broke artsy crazy" type, so that sort of reaction-seeking was easy for them to swallow and forget. I modified my tactics for this weekend. Accustomed as they are to my introverted habits, they did not expect much out of me at this wedding, and I took them by storm. It was far more effective to prove that I have always been capable.
There are no photos in this post. Due to a severe oversight in which my name was not put on the family gift to the newlyweds, Saturday morning was spent frantically trying to find an additional satisfactory present instead of wandering around downtown, as I had hoped. I also lack pictures which show my dress well, but I will keep an eye on their website to see what pops up. I can assure you that I was quite classy, however, in a blackberry number that played on the contrast between satin and matte fabric in a most elegant manner. I received many compliments on my attire. That was shocker number one to them ... I looked damn good.
I am female, so I am obligated to pass on my shallow observations concerning appearances. My cousin was, of course, grinning from ear to ear, and the bride looked very refined. Her dress was sparkly without being over the top. Another interesting factoid: no bridesmaid was a natural blonde.
Now that's out of the way, I must say that it was a beautiful but very traditional approach to the legal bond, and I felt it almost went a little overboard on the religious justification. There was no room for same-sex marriage in the Reverend's interpretation, which was especially interesting considering that a Gay Pride fair was going on just a few miles down the street.
I'm not sure just how vital I consider marriage to a life well lived. As I am not familiar with the legal or financial benefits, it seems to be a ceremony to gain acceptance/recognition of your relationship from others, a way to validate the way you are living your life. If you have the emotional connection of friendship, then how necessary is a wedding to cement your interactions?
Despite a good amount of paranoia on my part (my father had already downed two beers before the 4:30 wedding ceremony and he kept on going!), no painful or embarrassing acts occurred during the event or the reception. I eventually stopped paying attention to my father and no longer felt a need to keep tabs on his behavior. I cannot control it, I will never be able to change it, and as long as it isn't delaying or impeding what I want to do, why should I worry? The reception hall was connected to the hotel and I had a key, so I was not dependent on him. Leaving, however, was not in my plans.
I had made a decision to leave my books at home to lessen the temptation of reading. When dinner ended and the dance began, Old Anne would have sat and looked bored, or ignored everyone as the story in her hands was much more interesting. This Anne hauled her entire table to the wooden floor, where she boogied down for much of the night! I received a surprising number of positive compliments from familiar faces and strange about my dancing prowess. (I am especially good at the Twist. I should take swing/salsa classes.) Shocker number two: I can move.
With all the jiving I was doing, visits to the free watering hole were quite necessary. Where others ordered alcohol, water suited my needs, as I had already moved my reservations and hesitations down several notches and needed no beverage to enhance the effect. Now, as I was hydrating myself, a handsome young man struck up a conversation. The Old Anne would have gotten her glass and uttered a few polite phrases before running away! The family, familiar with this incarnation, was expecting my presence back at the table in short order.
This Anne, however, was awesome, and did not return for some time. I hung out and talked about literature, photography, the state of politics today and more with this intelligent engineer. Having brains and knowing how to use them is extremely attractive, so I was probably flirting more than I realized. We exchanged numbers and emails, and he invited me to go out with a fairly sizable group of people around our age to a nearby bar. Ohoho! And people thought there was no backbone behind the glasses? Pshaw! I was flattered by his attentions, of course, but had to decline the offer due to an early morning, cute shoes being absolutely killer, and secretly not really liking bars. Shocker number three: I can talk.
Who rocks? Why yes, that would be me!