Observing from the Sidelines

My Handsome Husband and I

I was in a wedding on Saturday, and I was sick. Like, sweaty, woozy, pukey, sick. Try that one on in heels, jewels and formal wear. It wasn’t pretty, only, yeah, it kind of was. I looked fabulous (just saying),like every other smiling attendant (there were 8 of us). The bride, a dear friend and unbelievably amazing woman. No way was I going to bring her down, if I could avoid it, plus there were paparazzi. Seriously, three camera men and a video guy followed us around from 9 am until after 10 that night. No self respecting woman wants to go in a wedding album looking flushed and sulking.

Enough about me being sick. The writer’s point here is that feeling bad slowed me down. I have been referred to as “high octane” by my friends, and me as a bridesmaid would have had me flying all around the church and reception at 900 miles per hour, talking, bouncing, dancing, squealing, and generally being a cheerleader for the bride. This was not how the day unfolded.

Because I was not myself, I was forced to sit on the sidelines. I have heard that expression, but try to avoid sidelines. I’m just not a side line girl. However, I discovered that on the sidelines, a whole other world is waiting. From the sidelines, I saw things that I never ever would have noticed from the game. The most obvious thing was that a wedding and definitely a reception make for good fodder.

These were my observations from the sidelines…

1. The bride was stunning. Hear me out. Her hair was held elegantly in place with a beautiful flower, soft blond curls settled all around it and a crystal studded veil brought it all together. Her skin was tan and glowing, from nerves, from August heat, from emotion, excitement, love and absolute joy. Her voice, her disposition, her posture, were in line with that of a queen. I would not have really considered this if I were up bouncing. That day, sick or not, I felt like royalty for just being part of her chosen court. I won’t even begin about the dress. This is a blog not a novel.

Beautiful Bride & Sister

2. Emotions. Hundreds of people were giving off dozens of vibes and they came in intense, heated, waves. I would have missed those too, if I were bouncing around giving off my own crazy zing. Friends were ecstatic. Siblings beamed. Parents teetered between joy and pride and some mixture of the two with a little sadness peppered in. You could see it on their mothers’ faces, hear it in their fathers’ voices. A very pleasant and awkward tension hung over the day … until the limo bus took us away to party.

3. Church. From my vantage on the alter, I busied myself thinking about what I saw instead of how I felt – sick. The church was grand with huge arching ceilings, enormous century old stones, stained glass windows, a balcony, huge golden horns that carry music from the organ into the sanctuary. I heard every sniffle in the silent prayer. Saw tears on grown men, watched babies sleeping. I would have missed that too.

Party Time

4. Transition. Without a doubt would have fluttered past in my wake of giggles and perk – if I were well. The transition following the ceremony is something I know, but hadn’t pondered. Saturday, I saw it. Once the couple, headed out as husband and wife, every one took a collective breath. Jackets came off (among other things) and hair came down, sometimes literally. It was as if the official announcement “husband and wife” made it so. Period. Life had just changed. All the nerves and tears – gone. It was time to party.

5. Another wedding. Sitting alone in the limo bus, planning route to the nearest bathroom in case of further nausea, I watched another wedding party leave the church across the street. The girls wore pink with orange belts. The bride was dressed in one of those obnoxious ballerina-esque ENCHANTED with Amy Adams dresses (um, I had one. That’s so me). Her limo bus was a white horse and carriage. Her new husband wearing a white tux and top hat held her wrist gently as she climbed inside the carriage. More than 1 life was changing.

6. Way more than 2 lives were changing. There were hundreds of people, dozens of families on each side of the street that just gained another sister or brother, aunt or uncles, “cousin” or friend. Marriage is so much farther reaching than those two kissing on the alter. How profound a thinker I am when I’m wondering if I’ll make it to the reception without getting sick again, or if the bride will notice I’m not wherever she is right then because I’m hiding in her limo bus.

My Sweetheart & I

7. Reception. The hall was amazing, The head table took up two levels. I couldn’t even see the people seated at the tables near the bar. They were too far and the room too full. I noticed that champagne, even in a toast can make you gag if you are already sick. I learned that yummy food always smells yummy to me, even if I know I cannot eat any, or get any closer to it. I saw lots of crazy dancing, Italians hoopla, and love.

My Gorgeous, Fabulous Friend & Bride Extraordinaire

8. Most importantly, notebook filled with feelings and sights and sounds for future novels and musings, I learned that when you love someone, and I mean my dear friend, not my hubby who I would gladly do anything for, when you love your best girlfriend, you don’t care how bad you feel or how often you puke in formal wear. You won’t leave. You will starve to fit into a dress you bought too small. You will smile for ten-thousand-eight-hundred-and-forty-five pictures, more if she wants, because, she wants. You will bring coffee at 8am, get your hubby to take a day off of work, plan babysitting for three small kids allll weekend long. You will dance and laugh and answer “Oh, Great!” “Oh, no, no I’m just enjoying the day” or “Isn’t she beautiful” to any stranger who notices you looked peaked. You will stay to shut the joint down if you think it will make her smile one more time. You learn that it doesn’t matter how often you see her, if you know that you love her. Also, I learned that I would do it all again, anytime, anywhere, for my dear DD, eh, I’m sorry, that is now, officially, Mrs. Denise Rosaliti.

Love you Denise!

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