And Then They Lived Happily Ever After

June 23, 2013 § 1 Comment

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So Delilah, my currently red-haired niece, had her fairytale wedding on the island of Chincoteague, in the June sun on green grass by the water. Sadly, wild ponies did not attend. But there was music and dancing, shrimp and oysters, beautiful young people and sharp-tongued old ladies. Charles, all in New York black, was mistaken for a priest. (The real officiant was a woman.) Ramona, as maid of honor, gave rousing toasts with just the right blend of emotion and wit; my sister was a vision in pink; and the bride’s father exhorted the newlyweds to go out and make money.

What is there to say about a happy wedding? Nobody vomited onto the cake, interrupted with unsavory news, or seduced someone else’s spouse. It’s possible a few of us ate or drank too much. There was a distinct lack of chocolate. My nose and shoulders roasted pink. I have pictures of gaiety, beauty, and Nick in a suit.

We spent the weekend here in a rented house by the water (family and some friends). I was answering work emails every day and feeling harassed, but also so deeply pleased to be around the people to whom I am related by blood, marriage, love and friendship. Earlier, we’d spent a few days in Washington and had dinner with my cousin Beatrice, whom I hadn’t seen in 30 years—it doesn’t feel that long, Bea!—and her family; and saw triplet cousins I hadn’t laid eyes on since their birth 12 years ago. I also got to the National Gallery, which was almost as thrilling as everything else. And oysters. I mentioned oysters already. They’re really good fresh, plump, fried. And crabcakes….

But mostly Delilah, the newborn with the huge blue eyes; the naked two-year-old peeing in Charles’ beer on a visit to our country house (we didn’t tell him until he’d taken a drink and he said, “Nothing wrong with a little baby pee,” and finished the bottle); the elfin child afraid of ghosts and solitude; the unhappy teenager; the beautiful bald girl; the skinny platinum blonde achingly in love with Nick, who wasn’t quite certain yet. And Delilah, now the joyous bride, still so much in love with her one and only, happy with life, her family, the beach, and a good party. The moon is full, Jupiter is entering Cancer (planet of luck, prosperity and marriage entering the sign of emotional connection), and all her loved ones are at sweet spots in their lives. I hope she and Nick are in love for a hundred years.

Sonnet 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

–William Shakespeare


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