Not too surprising that I’ve been thinking about weddings and how we are usually focused on the couple or a blended family. But weddings are also about disparate family and friends being brought together. My two Comadres meeting and getting to know each other is a case in point.
I met Sylvia in high school in East LA. I met Cecilia almost a decade later when we were attending UC Riverside; very different points in my life. Met Sylvia when I was truly a young innocent; met Cecilia when I was a young mother going through a divorce. One Comadre had been involved with the Walkouts in East LA, the other a “Military Brat”, who’d spent her senior year in Panama. One loved words, the other music; party, soulful chats.
As I recall Cecilia and Sylvia first met at the rehearsal dinner. Cecilia was housesitting near the church so Kate, Sylvia, and I spent the night before the wedding with her. Less distance to drive, less worries to have about being on time. The less one drives in the Inland Empire in August, the better. We especially felt this way because folks had come to the wedding from LA and Orange Counties, as well folks from New York and Colorado. Truly a case where less is more.
Saturday, August 17th I we awoke and found that Cecilia had been quite the hostess. Bagels, doughnuts, orange juice, coffee, hot chocolate, and I don’t remember what all else was ready and waiting to be devoured. What a joy to see and experience. My two very, very dear friends and I had the best time together. Cecilia, Sylvia, and me. Each of us so different from the other, but each of us richer for being together.
We sat, we talked, we ate, we laughed, we ate some more, we talked, we laughed.
We lost track of time.
This is not the ideal thing to do when you are going to a wedding.
There was a comedy of errors that followed. Had to wake up Kate and get her ready. Had to borrow a car I didn’t know how to drive to get the flowers. Had to try and figure out how to restart the car to get back to the house to get in the shower. Had to get dressed. Uh oh. Dress doesn’t zip closed.
Cecilia took Kate to the church. Someone had to let James know we were running late – no cell phones back then.
Sylvia stayed with me. Must get in dress.
Tried exhaling, tried leaning over, tried lying on the bed, tried exhaling – oh, wait, we already tried that. Did I mention that we were staying at someone else’s house and the two options available were a house robe or jeans? Tried lying on the bed again, lying upside down. My view of the room was rotating – I sort of saw the floor, ceiling, closet, bed, floor. In the midst of this all what I really saw was the look on my relatives’ faces as I walked down the aisle with my wedding veil, my very high heels and a borrowed blue robe. Not a good image.
After a while I had sweated enough or the zipper had decided to give in, or something; I was in the dress. We were on our way. Sylvia drove.
Our friends, being our friends, began to laugh about the whole experience as we waited to enter the sanctuary. Disaster averted.