The last wedding shower I attended was years ago since most of my friends are a) not stable enough to even consider marriage or b) already married. I don't know a lot of on the brink types, the girls who comb through Bride, Bridal Magazine, or a recent magazine I saw called, disturbingly, The Knot. One of my divorced friends joked, "It should be called The Noose." So I cast back to the last time I squeezed myself into some dreadful pastel get-up lest I be the only one in black like some godforsaken haint there while the bride-to-be opened small appliances and china she would probably reserve for special nights. The last part of the shower consisted of all of us giving the bride a piece of advice about being married. Don't give up your name unless you want to, I said. Or anything else. Your husband will forget you made a sacrifce, but you won't. This didn't go over so hot in the early 90s in Texas, but I'd just been scared out of my everloving mind by Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives and was at the tail end of my own marriage. So, not to put to fine a point on it, I did not give a rat's ass how my advice went over. Like Cassandra, I reported the news; I did not make it. At that point, I realized I should have gone ahead and worn black to the shower. My nervous twitches had started in earnest, and I could tell that I would have bloody circles under my eyes the next day from rubbing them so hard. Boredom and anxiety had blended to make the ugliest undereye concealer in the world.
Most sacrifices we are required to make are not large ones and perhaps this is the difficulty. Many people I know fantasize about being in a heroic position, risking his or her life for someone in need. But nobody I know fantasizes about making beds or doing dishes, cooking endless meals or taking out the trash yet again. The constant renewal of life can exhaust the most stout-hearted of us! I don't know if I'll ever be invited to another wedding shower, but if I am, I hope I get a chance to play the game again. Since my luck has been all but perfect in love, I'd have a better answer now. I'm not so concerned with whether someone keeps her name or not. After all, what we call ourselves often changes. But as for sacrifice, well, it's only real when the other person doesn't know you're making one.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"The only alternative to burying your friends is that they will have to bury you." Raymond Carver
Venus In Furs
1 part Chautreuse
1 part Cognac
1 sugar cube
Serve chilled in an appertif glass.
Benedictions and Maledictions
Many condolences to the victims of the shooting at Virginia Tech. There are no words for such sorrow.