When I was a little girl, my favorite day was Saturdays. I could hardly wait for every Saturday to roll around, as, on that day, people held weddings and my kid sister and I would rush over to the front window of our home, and watch the procession of fancy cars drive by and give us a glimpse at the mysterious bride inside the car.
Like clockwork, those events came down Walton Avenue, in the Bronx, every Saturday, tooting and beeping horns, and making all kinds of clanking sounds when tin cans attached to the cars by strings, were jumping and dancing on the road. Hearing them drawing closer to our ears, Maria [God rest her soul] and I would drop our chores and dash, excitedly to the window, to gaze and gawk at those impressive cars that set our imaginations ablaze with dreams of our own! I always found fascinating the shroud of mystery the bride was in, when I could see her. Whether the white veil over her face created the mystery, or that I did not personally know the bride and was curious, or that she sat encased by the very elaborate and elusive automobile that carried her, all the same, weddings ringed mysterious, pleasing, and very alluring to me.
Once gone from view, Maria and I would return to our chores and spend time discussing the entire procession of wedding cars. Some were black stretch cars; others white Rolls Royce, my favorite! And others were convertibles of the day, with the tops down, giving us clear view of the mysterious bride, her handsome Groom, the bridesmaids and their Ushers, the Matron of Honor and Best Man, the parents of the bride, and the groom, and the miniature flower girl and ring boy.
Yikes! Something about that dream changed.
I grew up, and found out that, our dreams don’t always match our reality, or that our reality don’t always match our dreams! That unless we merge careful planning into our Wedding day AND our marriage, one or the other, or both, will suffer shattering, and wide disparity.
At age 30, I had realized that I still held fondness for Weddings and the procession of exclusive cars that represent them. I had already been married and divorced, and had a young son, and couldn’t believe that I felt as fascinated then by the Brides that be and the shroud of mystery that surrounded them as I did in my childhood. And here it was Saturday, April 1, 1989, that I was in my car with my kid, stuck in traffic because a wedding party ahead of me brought all drivers to a jam, in the town of West New York, NJ.
As I sat there, waiting and watching things unfold, I felt a bit of sadness that I had not yet had the privilege of such a grandiose wedding feast myself. My wedding ceremony had went held in civil court, presided by a Judge, because I had done things backwards and had gotten pregnant before the marriage even materialized; and the reception took place at my local VFW Hall, with all the food and decorations with favors slapped together by family and me, because we were poor as could be! But I had my heart set on a fellow I knew from my teen years, with whom I had reconnected and still felt the love for him; and took that moment to dream of how it might be should he and I tie the knot.
Here comes the Bride…
And there goes the marriage!
When these newlyweds turned around, to move towards the manor, and thus faced me, I saw just then that the groom was the very fellow I had thought that I would one day marry! Naturally, I burst into tears with all my latest dreams crushed, and covered my face with my hands so that the groom not see me crying, should he notice me. My son asked me why I was crying and I reminded him that I always cry at weddings.The limo drove off and the cars behind began honking their horns so that I move forward or out of their way.
I left the scene in a hurry, wondering where to put all of my brokenness. Indeed that was “April Fools-Day,” but that memorable scene was no joke to me! One thing I did learn from all of this dreamy weddingstuff is that unless [very careful] planning goes into the relationships we bond ourselves to, we will assuredly recite: here comes the bride, and there goes the marriage!
Be wise, friends, before avowing the famous words: I do!