Today I watched my beautiful cousin Rachael get married. And the wedding was stunning and she was stunning. And it was an impelling thing to witness.
But despite being thoroughly impressed with the beauty of it all, I did have some thoughts.
In the influx (as there seems to be at a wedding) of people talking about how they met their own spouses, I have seen a trend.
Rachael first met her husband, Ryan, when she was trying to parallel park her car and he helped her figure it out, I guess. According to something I overheard someone say, he looked at her and he knew. He just knew.
The night before at their rehearsal dinner my other cousin Katie mentioned that her father felt similarly when he first met her mother. She said, “He said he was even dating someone else at the time, but he thought she was just the most gorgeous and fun woman he ever saw.”
After we had come home from the wedding to recharge, I was in the office chatting with my grandpa. He was telling me about how he first met my grandmother in Green Bay. He had been dating, but was unimpressed because, in his words, “None of them could hold a conversation for longer than five minutes.” So he told a buddy that he’d run out of girls to try, and his complaint that none of them could or would talk, and his buddy said, “Well, you ought to meet [my grandmother].”
Let me here note that my grandmother cannot hold a conversation for less than five minutes. I said so to my grandfather and he laughed.
“But,” he added, “I told her on the second date that I was going to marry her.”
I find that interesting. In each of these situations, the guy (always the guy) knew. Just like that. Nothing more complicated. I wonder if it’s generally just not that simple for women. Maybe not. I do think the different gender brains are wired differently. But it’s interesting.
The other beautiful, wondrous thing about this day is that, after recharging at home and visiting my aunt and uncle (the wedding givers) to say goodbye and play their piano (in that order, heh heh), we went over to my other aunt and uncle’s, where the cousins are closer to our age and with whom we have had a LOT of fun over the years and this week.
For some reason this year I found it harder to interact with them normally. Granted, it’s been two years since I saw everyone in the context of the family, and a lot has happened to me and to them in those two years, signifying a drastic change which is not so apparent to my family as it is to me. So I felt a little bit like I was straining to be normal with my family. Which is not a good feeling.
But, after a few awkward minutes of standing around us the younger six (of whom I am the oldest) went down to the basement and snuggled up on the couch with blankets and got into a storytelling groove that lasted two hours. We had each other rolling with laughter. It was glorious. It was wondrous. It was healing. I will treasure that memory for quite a long time.
All in all, I would say that this has been a week to reaffirm (as this summer seems to have been doing all along) that I am loved, and that I have people to love whom I do love.
Which facts form a precious, indefinable, inexpressible joy.