The Bride Wore Black

I was leaving yoga today when I happened to glance into the dance studio on the first floor. Some guy was twirling a girl above his head and it had "first dance" written all over it. The wedding industry is out-of-control. Last night a perfectly sane girl, a future math teacher, told me she was having 350 people to her wedding and she refused to consider that big. People are getting married and dancing like professionals and reproducing and getting divorced so fast they can still remember the flavor of their cake.

 I am addicted to the TV show "Say Yes to the dress." What is more fascinating then these brides standing on platforms, their strapless "Nina Pina" (who is she?) gowns squishing their boobs while their entourages frown and the gay man who is an expert on such things informs her how hot she is? You're getting married, honey. It's time to tuck that rack away! And the cost! Thousands and thousands of dollars of dress, a dress that you definitely won't wear again, a dress that may be the only thing you have to cry into after you realize you will never be THE BRIDE again and the marriage is a hell of a lot less pretty then those lacy accessories the gay guy convinced you to buy.

I'm also slightly addicted to another show called "Mob Wives" which features these crazy mob girls married to mob men who have been sent to jail for life, men who demand care packages filled with Italian delicacies and sexy pictures of their abandoned women. These gals spend tons of time talking smack about each other and fighting about who said what about whose jailed for murder husband or ex-husband or ex-boyfriend. All these women were brides once, dancing to whatever mob wives dance to, Frank Sinatra? Lady GaGa?

I've had three weddings. The first one, a total mistake featured my mother consulting the Martha Stewart wedding book, a tent, a hurricane, quite a few people, the Mayor of Princeton and the bride downing a bottle of champagne just before she got married and nearly being strangled to death on her honeymoon. I had a wonderful Betsey Johnson milkmaid dress that laced down in the back and was all stretchy and sexy and adorable. I was adorable. And completely bonkers. We married in September and I left him at Christmas. We divorced for $75.00. Jacoby & Myers advertised divorces and since I had an order of protection (he had thrown me down the steps of the Brooklyn subway) he was served and after a year we were divorced. I remember once beginning to tell my sad story to one of those cheapo lawyers and he said, "For $75.00 we don't listen." By the time people heard I was married, I was divorced. My mother kept bemoaning the fact that she had made such a nice meal for "that jerk." My ex-husband. 

My next wedding took place in New York City at City Hall and I was truly, madly, deeply in love. After years of solitary life, some bad boyfriends, getting sober, going to therapy, I  met a handsome, smart, talented man from Kansas who found me irresistible and asked me to marry him. It happened fast. So fast I was 6 months pregnant, married, moving out of my apartment and moving to London when one of my bad boyfriends, the worst one in fact, ran into me outside of my apartment and said, sadly, "I was going to call you." 

I was a little pregnant when we got married but I didn't know yet. I was still skinny and wore a gray jacket over a beautiful white pleated skirt with flowers in my hair. It was cold and sunny and my sister's ex-husband, a crazy Italian photographer made us pose in front of a mural depicting Castro and Cuba, something communist. The ceremony had been brief but the guy who married us looked like Fred Flintstone and I got the giggles and could barely choke out, "I do." But I was very happy and totally in love. We had a reception in my parents place in Chelsea, catered by Zabars and I was very, very happy.

My last wedding took place nearly five years ago. I wore a white lace shirt and a black miniskirt and my sister made some bitchy comment about my outfit and my mother sat in the bride's chair and my father had rice thrown on him by our Buddhist minister. There were many Buddhist bowls and wonderful food cooked by an Italian chef. I had arranged the flowers and bought the vases and I had driven like a bat out-of-hell that morning to get my pre-nup notarised and signed by my lawyer. 

We had taken dance classes but ended up fighting over who led and everything we did looked like a polka. We had dated and split up and dated and fought and he had three kids and I had one and I refused to move in with him because I liked my house better. After three months I had to cross the street to his house and it was okay but it wasn't anything like what a bride might expect.

In The Mayor of Casterbridge the main character sells his wife and daughter for a bowl of boozed up porridge. Marriage is hard and Hardy makes sure you understand that and don't get any notions of eternal happiness. I think those Mob Wives on Staten Island might be happy but their husbands are in jail so I don't think that counts.


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