Another bride, another June, Another sunny honeymoon

Margart O. Tipper

June 17, 1993|By Margart O. Tipper

JUNE is the month for weddings. Juno, the Roman protectress of women and marriage, will smile; the weather will be perfect. And brides all over the land will live out a lifelong fantasy of the beginning of happily ever after.

When I got married, my mother and I had definite ideas about everything, and, believe me, the ideas were different. That's why mothers and daughters have so many conflicts over weddings: We have each created them in our minds so differently.

I thought it odd at the time that my fiance had no opinion on any of the decisions I thought were so critical: roses or carnations, rice or confetti? Now I understand that he really didn't care. As a little boy, he hadn't thought about his wedding, and he was completely overwhelmed by the depth and breadth of the women's investment.

I understand all this now because I have a son and a daughter. My son played school, house, firefighter, even doctor, but he never played groom. My daughter, on the other hand, has tied her ragged blanket around her head and skimmed regally across the upstairs hall ever since she could walk.

When my brother and sister-in-law got married, my 3-year-old daughter whined all through the ceremony because she wanted to be up at the altar with the beautiful bride, and she is in the middle of every wedding picture of the bride and groom. (Think of it: Have you ever heard anyone say "groom and bride"?)

You would think that in the 1990s, when women's achievements occur as often in our work as in our relationships, the allure of that romantic walk down the aisle would have diminished. You would at least hope that the statistic -- half of the marriages in Baltimore this year are likely to end in divorce -- would give us pause to think about the marriage vows more than the corsage bows.

All this is not to say that women are superficial or cavalier in our relationships. In fact, the opposite is usually true. However, our culture has twisted the focus of the marriage ceremony into a Hollywood production, and women get caught up in it. It's like what has happened to that holiday on the other side of the year, Christmas -- all glitz and no Gloria.

And like the disappointment of so many Christmases, what real-life marriage will ever match the wide-eyed hope for the perfect life wrapped up in the storybook wedding?

Margaret O. Tipper is a Baltimore writer.

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