The (art of avoiding the) Heart of the Matter

So there I am, inadvertently abandoned by my “wedding BFF,” left to fend for myself amongst Date #7’s cousins and wondering, as every woman must wonder at some point in her life, “Should I scrape the mud from between my toes now or later?”

This is because Tyler Arboretum, the native woodland that Date #7’s brother and his fiancé have chosen for their rustic, fall wedding, turns out to be better suited for extreme-mountaineering than for tying the knot.  I know this because I have had just been forced to take off my shoes to avoid tumbling down the hill that leads from the terrace (where the minister and I have been helping enjoying an early cocktail hour) to the field where the ceremony is set to take place.

Everyone is going on and on about how pretty the leaves look and what a lovely venue it is and even though they’re right, I’m sitting there thinking to myself, “Really?  It’s cold as f*ck and now I’ve got mud oozing between my toes!”

I’d really been looking forward to seeing the arboretum, especially because the grounds are scattered with eighteenth-century buildings and I love few things more than a good dose of architectural history, but I’d much rather be appreciating the leaves from behind a pane of glass.  In an eighteenth-century room that’s heated.

It’s not that I’m being prissy.  I camp.  I hike.  I don’t mind mud when I’m properly equipped to deal with it, but the thought of A) shivering through the entire ceremony, B) shivering through the entire cocktail hour (which is, as it turns out, also outdoors) and C) spending the entire night with wet feet is enough to send me into panic mode—especially seeing as I work with preschoolers and cannot afford to take a sick day.

It’s almost November and I am proud to report that I have thus far avoided blogging about tissues, flu shots and Sudafed because I have thus far AVOIDED BEING SICK.

With the number of sneezing, snot-nosed students I have inflicting their germs upon me throughout the course of the week this is nothing short of miraculous.  And I intend to keep it this way.  This year, I’m actually taking my vitamins every day (as opposed to just glancing in their direction every once in a while) and I’ve replaced my sixty-three-or-so daily cups of coffee with decaffeinated herbal teas instead.

So far, it’s working (knock on wood), and I’ll be damned if its Date #7’s brother’s wedding that’s going to throw me off course—especially as I should have never agreed to go to this wedding in the first place.

Nonetheless, there’s not a whole lot I can do about the mud.  It’s not that bad, and going to the bathroom to rectify the situation would require re-scaling the very hill that’s responsible for my predicament in the first place.

So I sit.  And I wait.  And I listen to Date #7 as he reads the Apache Wedding Blessing after the minister finishes with the usual “Love is patient, Love is kind” crap (First Corinthians is SO overdone, don’t you think?  And no, just in case you’re wondering neither the bride, nor the groom, nor Date #7 happen to be Apache, but it’s a nice passage and Date #7 has been practicing all afternoon).

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you.
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years.
May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth.
Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together.

Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves.
When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all relationships at one time or another, remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong.
In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives, remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there.
And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.

Date #7 is particularly taken by the part about focusing on “what is right between you” and gives me a meaningful look each time he recites this bit—a look that means “Get over the hot pockets already.”

I am particularly taken by the line just before that— the part about “tenderness, gentleness and kindness”— and I give Date #7 a meaningful look to say, “I wouldn’t give a sh*t about the hot pockets if I’d ever felt like you’d actually cared about me.”

But this isn’t our wedding, so really it doesn’t matter who did what to whom or when or how or which part of the Apache Wedding Blessing is actually the most important (although if it did, I’d be right).

Date #7, oblivious as always to my presence, doesn’t even glance in my direction as he escorts his designated bridesmaid down the aisle but once we get to the cocktail hour, things start to get interesting.

9 Responses to “The (art of avoiding the) Heart of the Matter”

  1. Brazilian

    ARGHHH, you are killing me! I have to wait till tomorrow for the rest of this story??? Meanie. 😉

  2. Zak

    I’ve come to expect this daily disappointment. By that, I mean I never get all the info, and I’m disappointed, but still just just interested enough to keep reading because I want more, More, MORE!

    My favorite part from the Apache vow is:
    “When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all relationships at one time or another, remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong.”

    Also, I sent an email about the Dress Code Decode idea. If you can’t find it, I can send another… I have a few really good (and fun) ideas. Hopefully you agree with them when you hear about them.

  3. Philly Tap Teaser

    I detest 1st Corinthians! It’s so cliched. That Apache poem is really lovely, though–the last sentence of it hits the nail on the marriage head.

  4. Lost in France

    Wow some much has already happened, and you say it is now going to get interesting. I can not imagine what is next.

    As for the Apache blessing i have to say that is much more meaning than to have and to hold and all that crap.
    I do wonder, with all this fuss on dress code, what is the required outfit for delivering an Apache blessing?


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