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Life Lesson Hits Again. Ouch!

By LC Van Savage

A snob? Moi? Impossible. I am accepting of all things, open-minded, kind, a liberal thinker, ecumenical, balanced, fair-minded. Or so Iíd always pretended to be.

No, thatís not quite true. I wasnít pretending. I really absolutely knew I was all of those things. When it came to the behaviors of others, and if they werenít hurting me or anyone else, I accepted everyone. I was perfect.

Especially when it came to weddings. Then I really laid down the Law of Tolerance; mine. When one attended weddings, it was my granite opinion that everyone should dress the part. Men should not show up in T-shirts, shirts with no ties, shirts with no jackets. They should show respect by cleaning up, dressing up, shoes shined, pants pressed, hair trimmed, hands clean, freshly shaved and having the right attitude. Females should appear in clean, perfect dresses, stockings, proper shoes, hair coifed to perfection, glittering jewels, perhaps a hat, the right attitude, and full, but understated war paint.

Yes. Thatís how it should be. Weddings are the time to dress properly and show respect. Do it right.

Last weekend I went to a wedding. The brideís name is Jane, the groomís is Tom. I know the brideís parents well.

I walked into the small and charming church in Portland and what I saw there was just simply not PC. Definitely not correct. I myself had dressed up, to a point, although haut fashion has always somehow eluded me. But, gasp, people were there in all manner of dress. Shocking! The brideís father was splendiferous in a dazzling tuxedo, as was the groom and best man. Everyone else had clearly dressed in any way theyíd pleased.

The brideís mother was beautifully outfitted, as she always is, her family ranged from casual to dressy, and all looked just fine in spite of my exalted standards. There were lots of beautiful grandchildren there, as well as Janeís terrific siblings. Her stunningly classy ninety-something grandparents nearly stole the show. What a great family!

I smiled, felt superior. I knew how weddings were supposed to be and this wedding wasnít doing it right. Not at all.

There were people of all colors there, and that was fine. There were handicapped people there too, and that was fine. But not everyone had dressed properly for this occasion, and that wasnít fine. As I sat on my Cloud of Supremacy, I didnít know I was soon to have a new Life-Lesson thrust at me, hard, and it was to be a memorable one.

Then Jane came down the aisle on the arm of her good father, and suddenly, guess what? That Life-Lesson slammed squarely into me and I had to accept the fact that these were all loving and good people, funny, amiable, nice, and hello, it didnít matter at all how they were dressed. No one cared! They were not there to display a great wardrobe, but to honor Jane and Tom, to show them their love, to celebrate the fact that these two people had found each other after many uncertain years, and to watch them pledge their love and devotion to each other forever. I watched those "incorrectnesses" simply vaporize as I got to see all this happen, and I became frankly ashamed at my narrow, nasty, snob-choked intolerances.

The music was nice, the food was picnic food, delicious, wonderful. No booze. Everything simple and sweet, good and nice and I had the time of my life. I began to realize I was really having more fun there than I had had at many of those "correct" weddings.

It was all done so well with such fun, low-key and good, and I had a fabulous time. Iíll never forget Jane and Tomís wedding. Forgive me if I sound all, "Iíve seen the lightish" and "Iíll never be the same againish." But see, thatís the deal; I have and I wonít.  

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Reader Comments

Name: John I. Blair Email: blair@airmail.net
Comment: L.C. I am so glad you had this epiphany! My wife and I also attended a wedding recently at which dress was "whatever you feel comfortable in" (within the bounds of decency). The bride and groom and their immediate families were formal, but the guests wore everything from formal to T-shirts and jeans. Many modern weddings have gone this direction, recognizing that lots of good folks just don't dress up any more in an era of almost universal "business casual" at their jobs. I personally don't even own a suit (and can't fit into any of my beautiful old sport jackets, I'm afraid). The wedding we attended was incredibly beautiful, not affected at all by the "casual" dress code.

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Name: tonya Email: Unlisted
Comment: This is not something i thought i i would find on a poetry type site .i was in shock that it took this woman to see how others were dressed to see that no it dosent matter what you wear in life it is the purpose behind the meaning of the celebration .so forget the so called correct way and enjoy every ounce of love and fun in life there is to have .

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