I’m coming off a fun, yet tiring weekend. You know you’re getting older when having a good time takes longer and longer to recover from.
On Saturday, my husband and I helped celebrate the wedding of two sweet young folks we know through our parish. I consider it a milestone wedding since this was the first time we attended a wedding for one of our friend’s children, rather than a friend. While my husband and I were not old enough to be the parents of the bride or groom, we were a generation removed from the bridal party and all their friends. But I tried not to go into this with a matronly attitude. I could go, partake in Mass, then mingle respectably with all ages over cocktails and dinner. My goal was to be a shining role model for the young ladies and an entertaining companion to my peers.
It was a beautiful ceremony ( a Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form), complete with dabbing at my eyes when the bride got choked up during the recitation of vows and my husband elbowing me during the reading of “wives being subject to their husbands.” It quickly snapped me out of my “I remember the day I was married and how much I still love my husband” handholding/snuggle up close spell. No, I don’t want to share your missal any more, thank you very much!
I was happy when all the festivities moved to the well air-conditioned reception hall. With an open bar, lavish food, a competent DJ and the company of good friends (plus no children) Tony and I were like giddy teenagers given the keys to the car and an extra late curfew. Despite the fact that my son was horrified by my makeup (You look creepy with a capital ‘C’ or ‘K’. You sound like my Mama, your hair is like my Mama but your face is someone else.), I thought I cleaned up well.
I felt young, attractive and ready to PAR-TAY like it was 1999. Seriously, because that’s the year I turned 21 and every time I get the opportunity to get on a dance floor, the years melt away.
(I’m reminded of my younger days every time I’m driving alone and the latest pop dance tune comes on. Yeah, I’m the middle-aged lady in the huge 15 passenger van that just passed you, singing and gesturing wildly with her hands to Flo Rida.)
Once I realized this wasn’t going to be one of those really hard core trad weddings where chanting monks are the after dinner entertainment, I got excited.
Then I heard LMFAO come over the DJ’s speakers and it was on. Forget the discussion about liturgical music, favorite preschool curriculum or recent stomach virus. I quickly excused myself from the table and got right down to the business of busting my groove.
The young folks shuffled, sang along and generally went wild and much to their surprise (horror?) I did too. I was shuffling, jumping, fist pumping and, honestly, trying not to think about how I looked doing all those things. I know some of the other moms were a little surprised I knew all the words to a Tao Cruz or Maroon 5 song. Perhaps they were wondering if my kids knew the words to those songs too. (The answer being no, however listening to the Irish Pandora station has taught them some colorful language.)
Tony and I also managed to get in some slow dances where I could catch my breath, and a drawn out version of ‘Cotton Eyed Joe’ meant I had plenty of time to get a drink and visit the ladies room.
By the end of the night, the wee hours for me now being around 10 p.m., I was exhausted and glad to head home to my bed and fussy children (who decided my prolonged absence necessitated their insomnia. ) We said our good byes and I tried to smile when some insisted on mentioning my dance floor spasms. “Yes, I had a good time, but didn’t you see the crazy antics of those young folks. Oh, to be young and foolish again.”
As opposed to being old and unable to know when to call it quits. I wore the ugliest, most comfortable shoes to Mass on Sunday in a frumpy cotton dress with no makeup, hoping the reappearance of my old self would help leave all memories of craziness from the previous evening in the past. There were a few casual references, but thankfully nothing has made it to Facebook…yet. I’m creeping on all the pages of the young folks in attendance to make sure some hideous photo of me entitled, “Old Lady Mantoan gets wasted and acts the fool at A’s wedding!” isn’t being shared.
Because I was not intoxicated! Those herky-jerky motions, subdued gyrations and lackluster footwork were all fueled by adrenaline. It was me, the music and the dance floor together for one last encore performance. It was magical, it was spellbinding, it was the last thing my children would have ever wanted to witness.
Thank you A&A for allowing me join you on your wedding day. I did my darnedest to stay out of any photos. May you carry some of the joy from that day with you through your marriage. I will treasure the memories of that day for some time, the blisters, hopefully for only a week.
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