Journal to Christa— (from April 26, 2009)
Joy, being the self-proclaimed family historian, places these journals each week in a book. I give them to her on Sundays, so they don’t have fold lines. Today as Shane and Jay moved a grill to their back porch, Joy said, “I was going through some things and found this letter I saved that you had written me in college. It reminded me of your journals.” I do remember the letter, but for the life of me, I have no idea whom it was written about (which is probably a good thing); but I thought it would make you laugh this week.
Went to the shower today. I knew I needed to bring a good gift, so I did. It was very formal—at least compared to the jeans I’d worn. I had thought the sweater would dress up the jeans enough. Wrong! Most of the women were in hose and dresses. The bride’s mother was quite nervous; and at one point, I looked around and wondered how I’d ever, years ago, fallen in with such a group. Had they changed? I changed? Or had I been a misfit all along? It really didn’t matter. My Midwestern countrified upbringing on occasion rears up within me. I suppose I refuse to be something I’m not and insist on being proud of what I am, whatever that is.
Everything was, well—very organized. Nobody seemed quite touchable or real to me. I felt appreciative that they’d thought of me but couldn’t quite figure out why they had. It was an interesting morning, but I’d say that—
Bridal showers should definitely be in the summer, preferably where there’s no air conditioning, and I would definitely slouch—
…because marriages are not to be cold, stuffy, or formal. A marriage should be filled with laughter and comfort—like Great Grandma enfolding a small child’s frame into her rather corpulent self.
And the bows on packages should droop, just a little; and it wouldn’t hurt for the bride to have to lean back and wipe away a prickling of sweat from her brow from time to time—
…for marriages don’t come neatly packaged: They’re each a unique and, sometimes, not such a pretty bundle. And, you can’t fully know what’s in the box until you hold it in your hand. Right from the start, it takes some work—sometimes a little, sometimes a lot—but always enough to brush up a little sweat.
And all the guests should wear shorts and kick off their shoes at the door: and there should be lots of people—so many that some would have to sit on the floor—
…for marriages are made up of relationships with lots of folks that simply can’t be ignored. And at times the only way to do things is a little unconventional and laid back. And you just can’t worry about it all—
And there should be music—happy music that makes little kids want to twirl around and round until they all tumble to the floor in a profusion of laughter—
…because in marriage there must be joy—sometimes the frolicky kind, sometimes just the mellow understanding of care. But always remember: the joy must come from within, because you are satisfied with who you are and what God has made you. Joy can only bubble up from a soul of contentment. (It never really comes from the music at all, but from the listening.)
And each wrapping should be fastly secured, so that with sober commitment the bride can open each gift—
…for each day with her beloved is a gift unmeasurable, as a package to be opened with constant resolve. And each gift must be taken out—whether it’s good or it’s bad—and grasped, and transformed into a token of God’s grace.
And so, what should the bride wear to her bridal shower? A business suit, her gardening clothes, or a dress for a ball? Who knows and who cares, but I definitely like showers in the summer—and I think the bride should slouch!
So, Joy, what a morning it was for your dear mother; but you’ll be proud to know that I primly crossed my leg over the stain I noticed on my jeans and sat up quite proper.