“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” – Josephine Hart
So, my mother did end up going to the wedding. It seemed like her head cleared at the last minute, and though she had to go to more than ten stores, she finally found a dress she was okay with. (Of course, the PERFECT one arrived in the mail the next day.) To think I myself was a bit hesitant about going to the wedding – I don’t do well with crowds or strangers – but I would’ve regretted missing it forever. As it is, I’m thrilled I went.
It was magical. We arrived at the venue and found we were indeed in time for pictures, and the friendly, energetic photographer took tons of them, of all different combinations of family members. I’m especially excited to see and get a copy of the shot of me with my sisters. My sister the bride looked beautiful in a slightly goth-y black and red dress, my new brother-in-law in a black suit with a red vest, bridesmaids (including my younger sister) in red, my niece the maid of honor in black and looking wonderful, and my little nephews in very nice suits. I myself wore a silver, Celtic-style dress and my hair was done in fancy curls with a silver-and-pearl hairpiece.
It was like there had never been any tension between any of us, like we were all as close as we used to be. My mother, usually so stubborn, agreed to everything the bride wanted, even walking down the aisle before her as part of the procession. My older sister’s boys, usually a bit distant with me, hugged me happily, and my grumpy youngest sister who avoids people even more than I do was interacting and being charming. The ceremony itself was beautiful, outdoors in early evening with flowers everywhere, and officiated by my brother-in-law’s father who made jokes and Ghostbusters references to go with the invitation which had Viggo as its background. (My BIL is a bit of a geek.)
I watched, we all watched in tears as my older sister legalized her union which is going on 20 years. My youngest nephew (younger sister’s youngest) sat on his father’s lap beside me, occasionally shouting, which made the bride and groom laugh, and biting his father’s fingers with his new teeth.
The reception was amazing, in a beautiful room with a fancy bar, great music, strobe-like lights that constantly changed color, and some fancy food alongside more ordinary stuff. (I left before it was over with an upset stomach, so I missed the dessert bar.) My sister the bride danced almost the entire time I was there, which was about four hours, probably the most with her youngest nephew, but she made sure she danced with every single person there, with maybe one exception. (My dad doesn’t dance, though he did grudgingly wear a suit.) I, I’m told, gave my mom one of the happiest moments of her life, when I danced in a circle of bridesmaids with my older sister.
I don’t know how it happened. I guess it was just not a night anyone could say no to her, the bride, and according to my mother, I actually dance well. No one, including me, knew this, because I don’t even dance in private. That’s how little I dance. And no, it wasn’t the alcohol, I only had one small rum and Coke. Funny thing is, the bride isn’t usually a public dancer either. It must have been the magic of the night. I’m told toward the end my brother-in-law got really drunk and emotional, and not only danced, but cried to my parents that he wants us all to spend more time together as a family, and how much he loves us all…not sure how much of that he feels when sober, but we’ll see.
I can’t stress this enough – I DANCED. I danced alone too, how I don’t know, and with my niece (who made a beautiful speech about how her parents are the best role models), and with my nephew, while his little brother spent all night executing perfect 360-degree spins. I know my entries to this blog are usually pretty gloomy, and I’m sure unhappiness will come again. But part of me, now, will always be in that fancy room, where in the colored lights my family was a happy one, and no one had even a thought of fighting. I’ve gained a good memory to hold like a shield against future pain. I’m proud of myself.
I’m proud of all of us.