I’m on a horse. I’m on a white horse, clutching the bare back of my Spartacus warrior – my gladiator hero. And we’re riding off into the sunset.
Warning: All cynics and realists, you may now leave the room before you reel with nausea at my sentimental stirrings. I am going to write about love. I’m writing about LOVE!
I love weddings. Maybe it’s because I grew up on an awesomely sweet diet of Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Or maybe it’s because when God was handing out the die-hard romantic genes, I stood there with a pick-up truck. I can’t help it. I love weddings because they make love so visible and blatant. Sure….Life’s silent moments and painful trying moments give true love the opportunity to reveal itself but I like weddings more because weddings make love obvious and unashamed. Weddings offer you the chance to believe in good, old-fashioned love again.
In this generation, love is a little damn scary. It is unstable and complicated and easily given up on. Love in this generation doesn’t require the title of marriage, the ceremony or even grand witnessing by the Lord above. It can be fluctuating and impermanent, constantly questioned and under threat and sometimes, it won’t even last the seven steps around the marriage fire. But we all need something to believe in. And while a wedding doth not the marriage make, the purity of the moment is something to behold.
As I watched my gorgeous cousin exchange vows this weekend, I was reminded of the reason that people gather to have a wedding. I don’t think it’s because you get to walk around @Home choosing items for your new love nest with that supermarket-scanner device. I don’t even think it’s because you get to voice the tear-jerker speech you’ve always held somewhere in the recesses of your mind, collected from all sorts of inspiration spanning across “You had me at hello” and “Is it still raining?…I hadn’t noticed.” I think it is because you get to promise to love somebody with all your heart in front of all the people that matter to you.
The counter argument is that you can promise to love somebody with all your heart privately, quietly and without public announcement. But where’s the fun in that? Where’s the Dilwale Dhulania in that? Where are the high stakes? (For now…I have no better arguments, so let’s digress.)
Somewhere in the evening, I took a big bite of soji and the not-so-soji-sweet moment of the nuptials arrived – the hurling of the bouquet into the snatches of the available ones. Surely a die-hard romantic would love this time-honoured tradition? Contrary to popular belief, this is the single girl’s nightmare. No, it not a declaration of your cool singleness. It is a loud, embarrassing proclamation of the fact that you are still sitting on the bloody shelf like an awkward vase. I tried to lift my arms to catch the bouquet but they just wouldn’t budge. And I wondered why…
Let me just take this moment to step down from the white horse. If I have to really challenge my fantastical love-princess vibes I can be a little honest and say that I don’t really have to have the marriage. But what I really have to have is the love.
There were two impeccably beautiful standout moments in this marriage I witnessed. In the first, the priest barely completed his question, “Will you take this woman to be your wi-” when the groom shouted with unbridled enthusiasm, “I WILL!!” The next was a quiet moment between new husband and wife sitting on the stage. She asked him for his handkerchief and delicately wiped her nose with it. Later on, he reached over, took the same hanky and wiped his face with it. And that was the moment that sealed it all.
Weddings give you a chance to uncrumple your heart. It’s time to say thank you to the believers – the newlyweds, the ones who would walk 500 miles and the ones who will love each other in this incarnation and the next. You allow me to dangle my legs over the shelf and to believe that one day the realistic man of my unrealistic dreams will find me…and be willing to share his hanky with me.