On weddings, and a change of gears | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

It is June. We are halfway into the year. Scary how fast time goes! It takes off on invisible wings, never again to return. It makes no sense to try to detain it, and you can’t slow it down. Nothing has changed. There are still 24 hours in a day, and each hour has not been shortened. We each have the same day to spend whichever way we choose. Why do we squander what we are so freely given?


June is known as the wedding month. I remember as a society editor bracing myself for the avalanche of bridal showers, engagement parties and grand receptions. There was always a scramble for “prime space” on the page.


Why June? The month is named after Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage. It was believed that marrying in June had all the marks of a future filled with prosperity and happiness. If only it were that simple!


Back in the day when men and women were expected to till the soil and live off its produce, they thought that if a couple was married in mid-year, their baby would be born in the spring with the mother fully recovered from the harrowing experience of childbirth and ready to return to the fields for harvest.


And way, way back then, June was the sign that winter was over and it was warm enough for people to finally shed their winter clothing and take their annual baths. Men and women became more attractive, easier to welcome at close quarters, and more enticing, if you will, for intimate moments.


For practical purposes, weddings and other events were celebrated when farm work was light. October’s promise of a bountiful harvest also boded well for the start of a marriage. But June was always first choice.


Today, planning a wedding depends on the availability of an attractive enough venue for the ceremony and reception and on the whims and whimsy of wedding planners. Whatever did we do without them?


For me, it’s travel time. My calendar shows me booked in less than two weeks on a long Delta flight to Atlanta through Nagoya and Detroit. I hope to find low fares to New York. I am in the mood for a couple of plays.


In the course of my travels, I’m excited to see and spend time with a fine young lady who last week gave my heart a happy jolt. I don’t know if her unexpected decision upset anyone’s applecart. For me, it was the answer to prayers I have lifted up to heaven since the day she finished high school two years ago.


Great White Way


Stars in her eyes and her sights on the Broadway stage, she enrolled at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, got a full scholarship, and embarked on a journey that could have led to the Great White Way.


Talent oozes out of her every pore and she was in the right town for it. Las Vegas, after all, next to New York, is “where it all happens.”


My heart stood still for a minute, thrilled for her, but in true lola fashion, terrified by the implications of her career choice. I knew there was little I could say or do about it. But still I worried.


No one asks us anymore our thoughts on matters of this sort. Oh, if only someone would!


I would tell them about lessons learned backstage; of meeting more than my share of dream-makers and dream-breakers.  I have seen this world of illusions and ego up close. I have smelled the greasepaint and heard the roar of the crowd. It is a heady atmosphere, but when the music dies down, the silence is frightening. The glamour of fame fades fast. The measure of your success is based on their money. If you can’t sell tickets or break box-office records, you are bad news. Nothing personal, you understand. And when a new and younger face enters the scene you become yesterday’s washed-up rave review.


It is a rough world even for tough men. I dreaded to see our little girl’s heart broken. That’s why I prayed.


What was in store for her, just fresh out of high school? What obstacles would she have to overcome to see her name up on a marquee? How long would it have taken and at what cost?


It took me by surprise that this young woman, now 20, had the maturity to call a halt to her pursuit of the bright lights. I am inspired by her courage to change gears. It took sheer guts and determination and the same stamina that drove her to pursue her dream, to now do an about face and acknowledge that she may not have the stomach for the life she thought she wanted. Other college kids would have opted to just bum around for a spell and try to “find themselves.” Pretty much on her own in Sin City, she realized: “Hey, this is not where I want to be, there is not where I want to go.”


Soon she will close up her little pad in the desert and head for the lush green hills of Georgia to explore other possibilities. Her options are without limit. Bravo Alyssa! Oh, to be young again!


One more Sunday and it’s Father’s Day. I will be with my sister in Atlanta. We will raise our glasses and drink a toast to Papa, that beloved, wonderful gentleman who taught us about honor and integrity, about setting high standards and living up to them. I look at what surrounds me today, and there is no doubt in my mind that the Captain would not be pleased.