Sometimes it seems to me that the world runs on a sort of ironic, stupid, taunting level, one at which we get the opposite of what we really want.
Take teenagers, for instance. I just glanced out the window next to me and noticed a small herd (i.e. four) of the little buggers, crossing the road in front of my apt. They were crossing at the point where the road curves, but at a diagonal, effectively taking the curve out of the road—they were in the street for about 50 ft. longer than necessary to achieve their apparent, chickenesque objective (to get to the other side). Why did they do it that way? Why not just go directly across? Why not, even, cross at the corner, thereby slowing traffic no more than necessary, rather than requiring cars to come to a complete stop in the middle of the road for no good reason less than a block from a four-way stop?
Oh, nevermind. They’re teenagers.
The primary issue that brought this to mind was weddings. Coworker T just drove by (she was driving one of the cars stopped for the baggy-jeans-clad, shaggy-haired jaywalking teens), wearing her Wedding Outfit and driving toward a reception hall near here. It made me realize that she and her husband, if he’s available, go to weddings and/or receptions at least once monthly all summer and well into fall. I haven’t been invited to a wedding since my divorce.
I adore weddings. Given my current, er, ‘situation,’ I could certainly use an infusion of happiness and love. The whole hoopla surrounding weddings thrills me—the flowers, the music, dancing, candles, dresses, glossy shoes, rings, loopy little kids who have no clue why they’re dressed up, teary older people who realize that they’re seeing hope against hope, cake, presents, shiny paper, ribbons, foofy hair, photographs…. I love all of it. One summer not too many years ago, I was invited to seven weddings. That was about two too many, given my state of mind and financial situation (it was the summer between second and third years of law school, so I was freaked out and broke), but I went to them all and can still remember something special about each one.
Coworker T, on the other hand, isn’t that fond of weddings. She sees them as somewhat tedious, repetitive, exhausting, just another thing to fit into her weeks that are already jammed full of soccer, volleyball, choir, band, confirmation, youth group, book club, and her own and her husband’s irregular work schedules. I’ve no doubt that come Monday, she’ll tell the story of the same sort of food served at the same reception hall, seeing the same locals doing the same sorts of stuff they do at these things.
And I’ll be jealous.
I’d love to see a wedding right now. The triumph of hope in the face of experience. But life doesn’t work that way, does it? And there’s a new pack of teenagers across the street, the boys in overgrown shorts and the girls in tiny hoodies with their sleeves three inches past their fingertips, boys whooping and bounding in circles around the preternaturally sophisticated 12-y-o-ish girls.
Life waits for no man.