Thursday, April 09, 2009

Celina, The Wedding Coordinator

I am singularly blessed with my daughters.

Both of them have grown up to be lovey young women. They're smart and working to better themselves. They're independent and likely to remain that way. This weekend, my oldest girl is marrying her fiance' and her sister, who got married last month, is her matron of honor.

Here's where it gets funny.

I hate weddings. I was a caterer for far too long to enjoy weddings. I've set up weddings with over five hundred guests--where indulgent parents spend the equivalent of a house to give their daughters a proper sendoff into the traditional earmark of adult life. I never had a problem charging these people a hundred grand for their sit down dinners with passed hor d'ouerves and a pianist playing until the dance started and everything degenerated into the chicken dance. I always thought that my younger daughter would be the one who'd want a big wedding, but surprisingly and thankfully they just went to the courthouse and got married. My older girl was the one I thought would run away and elope.

I never counted on my future son-in-law wanting a military wedding.

So here I am, two states away, trying to organize a wedding where the bride has very little interest in anything other than showing up to get married. It's actually pretty hysterical; I thought my days of making wedding favors were over. Thank goodness I have all of that experience to fall back on, otherwise this could be just a parody of a wedding. As it is, though, I think I'm going to manange to marry her off with a minimum of expense. Her wedding is labor-intensive as opposed to cost-intensive, which for a poor struggling writer and her family is a good thing.

But man, do I hate tulle.

And then, the dreaded "g" word twice before the end of the year. I am WAY too young to fit into the grandma role but then again being a grandmother at 42 is actually kind of cool. That means I'll be around for my grandchildren's children, God willing. At least I'll be young enough to actually still play with the grandbabies. Meredith (the youngest) is having a girl in June. Audrey (the eldest) doesn't know what her baby, due in October, is going to be yet.

But first, the wedding. Audrey gets married on Sunday, her sister at her side, wearing a dress from a dream and marrying a young man who will be in the Middle East with his unit come the new year. And unlike most parents, who watch their daughers take the marriage vows, I can't sit back and congratulate myelf on a job well done. My daughters being who they are has very little to do with me.

I will be able to sit back, however, and enjoy seeing the happiness of my daughters as they take the final steps from the chrysalis of their adolescence into the big, broad world of 'you're grown up now.' I will know that unlike most of their peers, they are singularly well-requipped to take that step knowing more of the happiness and horrors that await them. And that, I think, is the only thing a parent can't give them.

Bon voyage, girls of mine.