Monday, July 20, 2009

Back Again, Again

The older I get, the longer it takes me to recover from my travels. I got back from Chicago last Tuesday night and didn't feel myself again until Friday. My recovery was slowed somewhat by the fact that I felt like I was coming down with something, which is how I've felt all summer. I saw my doctor on Thursday, who is of the opinion that I have allergies. He suggested a daily dose of Claritin, and so far that seems to be helping.

Anyway. Chicago. It was a good trip. A few librarians squealed when they saw me and asked to have their picture taken with me. It turns out a little of that goes a long way, but who am I to complain? It was nice to be noticed.


The soap opera in our lives right now involves the nuptuals of an old friend of the Man's from college. Let's call him Bill. Bill is getting married. Again. And he wants the Man to be a member of the wedding.

When the request came last spring, the Man forgot the age-old rule, Never say "yes" to any request until you've thought about it for 24 hours. Say, "Wow, that sounds great, but I have to check with my _____ (wife, husband, therapist, personal trainer, priest, what have you)."

Thus last week the Man found himself on the receiving end of a xeroxed, two page, single-spaced letter from the 28-year-old Bride-to-Be (Bill is 43), filled with the precise rules and regulations for being a part of her wedding, including the requirement that all members of the wedding show up on site two days prior to the wedding to begin the preparations for the Most Important Wedding Ever.

Now, this would be bad enough, but there's more. Bill's first marriage was to a woman that the Man and I are both very fond of. We are also fond of their three children. We were appalled when Bill left his family a year-and-a-half ago because he no longer harbored romantic feelings for his (now ex-) wife. It went against everything we believe about marriage, fidelity and family.

So why did the Man agree to be in this second, monster wedding? Because he's a polite guy, and he was shocked that Bill was getting remarried so soon after his divorce and, quite simply, he did not have his wits about him when the request came.

Because the Man is all about personal honor, he won't let himself bow out now. But he's going to call Bill and tell him he can't come to town two days early. I suspect he will be dropped from the wedding party like a hot potato. He'll still attend the ceremony, which makes me happy, since I think it's going to be a big, honking freak show and I want to hear all about it.

And then I'll start taking bets on how long Marriage No. 2 lasts ...


Pom Pom said...

LHH, I am so glad you're back! Bummer about the second wedding. Keep posting - please!
Do you share the titles of your published stuff? I'm so curious.

Heather said...

In 9 months she'll want a baby. In 20 months Bill will wake up and think how similar his cranky, tired, overwhelmed, post-baby-body, new wife reminds him of the tough early years with wife number 1. And then Bill will be living his own personal "Groundhog Day" except not as funny and it lasts way longer than 2 hours. My money is on 23 months.
Glad you're back!

Susan said...

As a society, we're suffering from wedding craziness and marriage apathy. If people put as much effort into the marriage as they do the details of the wedding, more marriages would last and fewer children would be hurt in the aftermath of their parents' foolishness.

My Man's family has a second wedding in the works. Only difference is wife #2 has 3 kids of her own, is not as young as this cutie of which you speak, and My Man's brother has 1 son. I really liked wife #1 so I have a hard time looking woman #2 in the eye and always have the urge to wring brother-in-law's neck. I'm right there with you. This won't be easy.

Tracy said...

Told ya the quiet unassuming librarian types would love to see you ~ glad the trip was a great success.

Dh's family is dealing with the first occurrence of divorce in our generation. It's not easy being stuck between people. Here's hoping that the "not two days before" boundary will see your Man free and clear of the freak show responsibility.

Angela said...

OOOh! I do hope your man is able to escape gracefully.
Can he not excuse himself on the grounds that 'his wife has newly diagnosed allergies'?!
WHY WHY WHY do people do these crazy things - I am so sad about the mid-life attitude that says "I deserve better than this so will change Old Spouse for another one" ?
If they do this more than once, do they build up a collection of Old Spice?

Dulce Domum said...

"... including the requirement that all members of the wedding show up on site two days prior to the wedding to begin the preparations for the Most Important Wedding Ever."

What the heck is that about? Am I getting old? Is this normal? It makes me want to cross the Atlantic and put that girl on the naughty step for being so inconsiderate.

Glad you're back, Southpaw!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Pom Pom, I share my titles via e-mail. I like to keep this blog and my writing life (the professional part of it, anyway) separate, and amazingly enough people occasionally search for information about me and my books via Google.

Heather, I think the same thing that will happen to Wife #2 that happened to Wife #1: She'll grow up, become her own person, and stop adoring Bill as though he were a god sent from the universe. And you're right, Wife #2 will have babies and not seem so young or perky anymore, and not have as much energy for Bill, and because Bill's a nice-looking man with a job, he'll go searching for the next 28-year-old ...

Susan, As a woman who got married in the living room of a small house in Tennessee, I couldn't agree more about wedding craziness. So much energy (and $$$) is poured into one ceremonial event, and then life doesn't offer up the fairy tale ending and that's that. Off to look for another fairy tale!

Tracy, sorry to hear you and DH are dealing with a divorce in your midst. It's so hard on everyone, not just the couple involved. It really changes the fabric of the extended family. It's like a death, really.

Angela, What interests me in this situation is that Wife #1, who was waking up to the fact that Bill was not the god she thought, wanted to work the marriage out, go to therapy etc, but Bill said no. What ever happened to "for the sake of the children"? I think we've really bought into the notion that our personal happiness is what's most important ... and people like Bill spend their whole lives seeking the next thing that will make them happy, despite the cost to others.

Dulce, I was shocked by this request, too! This woman is clearly a Bridezilla and needs to be stopped.

vgeerling said...

That is brilliant - the 28 year old sending a 2 page letter of rules and requests for the bridal party - I have never heard of this before!! Well, it will be amusing to read your account of the festivities when they happen anyway..
p.s. I love your fame with the librarians, that is very cool.
from Victoria (dear meagan)
hey - email me your book titles, I want to read them!!