Bride Elect (Evolution of a Bride-zilla)
Chapter Sixteen—Sister of the Bride
My sister is beautiful—glamorous even. Growing up, it was an established truth—she was the pretty one. I am not saying that in any kind of resentful, or ‘psychologically scarred by my parents’ kind of way. My sister has that kind of true beauty that transcends beyond the pretty face. She is charismatic, kind, witty, intelligent, good natured, and naturally kind of glamorous. Receiving her hand-me-downs growing up was so much more than a rite of passage, it was a kind of a cloak of honour.
We are more than just a couple of years apart, and there were times over the years where the age difference felt more like a huge generation gap. I was not quite thirteen when my sister got married. During that time we had both age and distance contributing to the gap between us. I was one of her bridesmaids, but because of my age I was considered a “Junior Bridesmaid”. I was too young, and living too far away, to be involved in many of the things most sisters share when one is getting married. For my sister, her gown shopping, veil shopping, and the whole selection of the “Something Old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue” were matters taken care of in my absence. In any event, most believed at the time I was too young to be of viable input in these matters any way.
I was in grade seven, living two provinces away from all the flurry of events, and like many girls that age, I had other concerns claiming the lion’s share of my attention anyway. My body was doing all kinds of whacky shit as it navigated its way through adolescence. If I was shy to begin with, these changes did not help reduce any proclivity I may have had toward feeling self-conscious. Zits, boobs, and all sorts of body hair cropping up in the darndest of places, had me wondering just what kind of bridesmaid I would be.
Now, nearly thirty years later, the zits almost all but vanished, the rogue body hair situation was under control, and I had made peace with my boobs. I was the bride, and my sister, the resplendent survivor of divorce and single parenthood, was so very excited to be involved in my upcoming wedding. She understood, and supported my choice in maid of honour—to her thinking the choice was obvious. My sister was absolutely thrilled to be sole owner of the title “Sister of the Bride”. Next to my mom, she knew me just about better than anyone else. She was not surprised that I needed to find and purchase my dress, veil, and accessories on my own without any entourage. She also knew, that it would not be long before I needed to show her everything, and enlist her input regarding what kind of jewelry is befitting a goddess bride. She understood that accessorizing a goddess bride was a process and would require more than one consult. I am not sure if she suspected specifically that I would turn to her for my “something borrowed”, but she was brimming with ideas. As for me, I was all but six years old again and so excited that my sister might lend me something awesome for my big day.
As a bride elect, to have any kind of peek into my sister’s vault of personally selected stuff for me to borrow was a reminiscently sweet treat. After much discussion and a little dress-up, we had decided that earrings would make an ideal “something borrowed”. My sister had seen my whole ensemble and knew the whole “no pearl” edict at play. She also agreed that silver tones would work better with the existing palette of things.
While Palucid was developing a certain talent for bridezilla whispering, the whole talk of bridal jewellery seemed to prompt a kind of narcolepsy. I felt very fortunate to discover this fact at a time when Palucid wasn’t driving. After all, the first few times my sister came over to consult, Palucid was not at home. I only discovered this fact upon providing him the post-consult recap.
The night of my final “something borrowed” consult Palucid toddled off to his “somewhere safe” and fell deep asleep. My sister and I shared a cup of tea and we got down to brass tax—or more specifically, sparkly, silver earrings. It was a little challenging making the final decision without having another round of preening and dress up, but we soldiered through and I was able to make my final selection. Short of finding the silver sixth pence for the bottom of my shoe, I was good to go—at least if you don’t count the bouquet…