When my sister Lindy got married, our mother was nowhere to be found. She was living in California and pretending to be a carefree single girl. During her period of California Dreaming, she had revised both her age and her responsibilities downward. She pretended that she did not have a family and she certainly was not old enough to have a daughter who was getting married.
On occasion, when I would visit Mother in southern California, she would tell me not to mention to anyone that I had a son since she had also revised my age downward. I think for awhile I was supposed to be a teenager which it was easy for me to pass for in the dingy lighting of the dive bars she frequented.
Anyway, when my sister got married, Dad and our stepmother Beatrice were the parents of the bride and our step-siblings Kevin and Sissy, along with me of course, were all included. I remember at the time my sister Lindy and I both commented on how much easier it was to have our mother gone and not present at Lindy’s happy event, where Mother would no doubt have been pulling her strange and terrible antics.As sad as it seems, we were delighted that Mother was so far away and not involved in any way.
Dad agreed to pay for all the wedding expenses including my bridesmaid dress, which I could never have afforded on my beginning teacher’s salary. The day was lovely (although very hot) and everyone had an amazing time. The pictures still make me smile: we were all so young then. Of course, I was not as young as Mother was pretending I was in California, but you take what you can get.
The next wedding was Kevin’s and it was memorable for several reasons. First of all, I was planning to get a divorce, so I was not in a good state of mind. Sissy sensed my mood and told me to take one of her “calming down medicines.” We still do not know if it was a Valium or a Vicodin, but it was something you should not take with alcohol.
At the pre-wedding party, I had enjoyed a few drinks. And at the wedding reception I had enjoyed a few more. The mix of whatever sedative Sissy gave me with this made me so sick. Sissy felt terrible for providing the drugs. Dad and Beatrice told her never to give her meds to anyone again. They also told me not to take her pills since she was “used to them” and I was not.
Up next in the nuptial parade was Kevin. At Kevin’s wedding, my son Taylor was the ring bearer. He liked wearing the tuxedo so much that he asked if we could rent it for his school pictures that year.
And finally came Sissy’s happy day. When Sissy got married, there was great jubilation. Dad and Beatrice were thrilled that Sissy had finally made the commitment. Sissy’s mother Beatrice used to say that she would wear a cheerleader outfit with pom-poms when Sissy got engaged, but I don’t think she did. Sissy had said that she would never have children and Beatrice thought that was pretty cool.
Beatrice used to say if you were walking down the street and you saw someone with a big smile on their face, chances are that person had no children. Such were her feelings toward children.
Unfortunately, Lindy and Charles are the only original wedding couple still married. Sissy, Kevin, and I have all moved on to “greener pastures.” But today Lindy and Charles celebrate their anniversary, and we all gather in a hearty “Congratulations!” to them.
In our family, it is amazing that anyone stays together considering we had Mary and Beatrice for role models.