News And Views
My Catholic Marriage
I had been reassured countless times by my family and friends that “you’ll be fine,” and “you’re going to have so much fun.” Nonetheless, I arrived at my bridal shower last Saturday feeling extremely tense, having allowed my nervousness to slowly build in the week leading up to the day itself.
Marie, my maid of honor, and my bridesmaids had planned an afternoon tea party for me, to be held at my aunt and uncle’s house not far from where I live. Between thirty and thirty-five of my family and friends were there (female only, of course), as well as Daniel’s mom, one of his sisters, and his niece. It was a good-sized group, and a good-sized pile of presents waited for me in the great room.
When I arrived about ten minutes late, since I assumed people would be scrambling to finish things up at the last minute, guests were standing around in groups in the kitchen and great room, and Marie and my friend Laura (another bridesmaid) were in the living room assembling something that I was not supposed to see. No one told me what door to come in, though, and I walked in the front door from where Marie and Laura and what they were making were perfectly visible—had they not yelled at me to go away the moment I said hello. I quickly turned away and yelled back that I was sorry as I walked through the foyer and into the kitchen.
My grandma on my mom’s side was immediately there to greet me with a hug, but everyone else remained in the conversations they had already been having. I said, “Hi, everyone,” to anyone who could hear me, then stood uncomfortably for a moment before deciding that I should be greeting everyone individually. So I proceeded to go around hugging every woman and girl in the house, just because it gave me something to do. I had to be doing something. They were all there for me, after all. It was horribly awkward; at least it seemed so to me.
Once all had been hugged, I perched myself on the couch in the great room near where a group of my college girlfriends were chatting. Thank goodness, Laura came out of the living room where she had been secretively working and sat next to me. After what I’m sure was less than one minute, someone asked me if I was ready to eat, and I wholeheartedly replied that I was. I fixed myself a cup of tea in one of the pretty teacups that Marie was borrowing from my grandma (it was a tea party after all), and Maria (my roommate from freshman year of college, whom I’ve mentioned before) offered to fill a plate for me. The food looked delicious, and in this case, looks were not deceiving! My wonderful bridesmaids did a wonderful job. I only wish I hadn’t been so nervous—maybe then I could have eaten more than half of what was on my plate. Still, the fare did a fairly good job of relaxing me. I no longer felt as tense as I had upon first arriving.
When a little while later attention was turned to the mountain of gifts, I was sent to the great room and told to sit in a chair in front of everyone else. Many people even sat on the floor, accentuating my “guest of honor”-ness. I felt like a reluctant queen.
The discomfort I felt at having a roomful of people watch me open my gifts one by one was not enough to stifle the inevitable enjoyment and excitement of receiving a whole bunch of new things for Daniel’s and my life together beginning in May. It’s impossible to avoid the thoughts of, “this clock will sit on the mantle next to our wedding picture,” or “this is the griddle that I’ll use to make pancakes for my kids on Saturday mornings.” Who knows, really, if this griddle will still be working by then… but like I said, the thought is inescapable. Finally, regarding certain other traditional bridal shower gifts, I am told that I did not blush at all!
All in all, (surprise surprise) I did have a fun time last Saturday. And all of my friends assured me that they would feel the same nerves and awkwardness when their own bridal showers come along. I’m just glad to hear that for the most part, I did not appear awkward. See, there was nothing to worry about after all!