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Brewer Burns

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Fates

What is it about weddings that make people fucking insane? I really don’t know, but they do. I’ve been spending a fair amount of my free time lately reading stories over at Etiquette Hell. Do go there. It will send shivers down your spine.

Moving on, I have finished the first of Mike Ball’s socks, and am working on the foot of the second. It is all going well. Maybe a little too well?....We brewed this weekend with the fresh hops that we received on Friday. The wort is bubbling nicely in my kitchen. I did not pickle anything last weekend. I was too tired to start in on it on Sunday.

On Friday, I had the most surprising lunch hour ever. Stephen has Fridays off so we decided to meet downtown and have lunch at a restaurant that I like, but can’t afford to eat dinner at. We arrived, ordered, and then sat there for 45 minutes. Yes, 45 minutes. When the food finally came Stephen’s order was wrong. The waiter was very apologetic, however, and said that the food was on the house and he would even buy us dessert. Fantastic. The food was good and the dessert was incredible (handmade vanilla bean ice cream with sugar cookies.) After leaving a tip (because that’s what you do when you go out to eat, right? You all out there tip don’t you?) we headed back to our cars. Since it was Friday at lunchtime we had both parked in a pay lot as there were no spots on the street. This particular parking lot has a real, live human attendant and so I stopped at the little shack on my way out of the lot, intending to pay. When I stopped, the attendant told me not to worry about it and to just go! I have no idea why. None. So, I got lunch and free parking on Friday.

I am pretty certain that the universe was trying to make up for the fact that we’ve been told by the people who are supposed to be fixing our stereo receiver that they won’t even look at it for a week!

I have started making lists of my christmas knitting and planning for it. I already know that there’s no way I will finish all of the things that I would like to finish, but it’s nice to dream, right? In case you were wondering, I’m currently plan to knit gifts for: my three nieces and one nephew, my sister, mother, mother in law, father in law, two brothers in law, one of my sisters in law and possibly the other as well, our friends Kevin and Emily, their son, possibly Mike and Lori, I am knitting for Mike and Lori for their birthdays (middle of this month and beginning of next month), and possibly several other friends. Oh, and my mother’s birthday (beginning of December), and my niece Gwendolyn’s birthday (but her gift is already finished) and my niece Anna’s birthday (middle of January.) Clearly, I am not going to make it. All that remains to be seen is which gifts get the axe, and in what order (also, what will I replace them with?) Did I even mention Stephen? Yeah. Stephen. Of course, he likes socks.

So, in short, yes, I am insane, and yes, I will only become more insane as the season progresses. Did I also mention that I’m a godless heathen? And yet Christmas is still kicking me in the ass?


At 11:33 AM, Anonymous John Hanscom said...

I know the first paragraph is actually in passing, but, having been the celebrant at four weddings and been involved in many, I may have some insight.

In some way, it has to do with our discussion earlier about Little Women.

Originally, a marriage was a property issue, wherein the property (the woman) was transferred from one owner, the father, to another, the husband. This is merely to state a fact; it is not to do as some wish, to abolish the institution simply because of its historical roots. Biblically, as one can see in the NT story of Mary and Joseph, the property transfer was entered into at bethrothal, and was finalized at the wedding, assuming it was consumated (which raises issues about the Mary and Joseph story, but that is another post).

Now, as it always happens, over time, things changed.

One of the changes which occurred was, though lip service was paid to the woman and man entering into a union, the oft-stated and oft-repeated dictum is that the wedding is "the Bride's Day."

Having said that, it is not the Bride (in other words, this is not an anti-female screed; Steve can tell you I am not like that) only who turns into what the TV has recently called a "Bridezilla." The Groom also tends to overreact at times to call attention to himself in a system where he seems more as a prop.

What happens is both persons, and those around them, forget it is about a union of a couple, but act as if it is about that person. Both, not just one, essentially compete in a contest of, "Look at me!"

Though weddings and the subsequent marriage are meant to signify mututal joy and help and comfort of each to the other, it turns into a competition for one or the other or both of the individuals, not only with the other, but with others around them. The reverence for what is occurring is greatly diminished. The vows of union become secondary to the individual in the event. The marriage starts out in disunity rather than fidelity. The symbolism of the event is hardly one of sharing a common life, and, as you are a knitter, of being knitted together.

Some of my best friends are godless heathens, by the bye. As to Christmas, perhaps you are closer to what it is supposed to mean than others.

I did not know about Steve and socks, but he was once in a band called, "Old Shoes."

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Marj aka Thriver said...

I am so glad you got to enjoy a free lunch and free parking. Life IS sweet sometimes. Thanks a lot for stopping by my blog and leaving a kind word during my dark time. I appreciate that a lot!

At 8:37 AM, Blogger brewerburns said...

Marj-- Of course. I understand what it's like to be unable to escape the depression.

John-- I agree. And that is really what I was alluding to. Weddings are no longer (for most people, anyway) about the joining together of a couple in marriage (you know, preparing to share a lifetime together) but about the bride's dress, and her matching bridesmaids, and matching her bridesmaids with the groomsmen, and showers, and getting the right cake and throwing this fairytale-type party. I do not understand this. I especially have no understanding of brides and grooms who go so far as to insist that members of their wedding party or family or friends put their lives on hold for the wedding (one story at the site mentioned retold the account of a bride who told her sister (a bridesmaid) to stop attempting to get pregnant until after the wedding.) I also don't understand the attitude of other people, guests, who feel that the wedding must be conducted so as to suit their feelings on the subject. Why, for instance, must a bride and groom include such things as a wedding cake? Or bouquet toss? Or the long white dress? None of these things are necessary to ensure the future happiness of the couple or legalize the marriage, so if the bride and groom don't want them, why should they do them?

I actually have two favorite descriptions of a wedding from literature: the first is in Great Expectations. When Pip's friends in the city (whose names I don't remember) decide to get married, they tell no one and instead invite Pip on a walk with them. When they get to the Church the groom says something to the effect of, well, here's a church, shall we go in? and they do and when they all enter Pip finds that the priest is already in attendance and the groom's "aged parent" (his father), and so they have a wedding. It is funny and simple at the same time.

The other occurs in Emma. When Emma weds Mr. Knightley, we are told that it is done simply, with only family and close friends in attendance, and that Mrs. Elton (the minister's wife) felt that there was a "shocking lack of satin." Perfect.


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