This past Saturday, my dear friend, Julie, was a 59-year-old, first-time, bride. No less lovely and ebullient than a decades-younger bride, she was beautifully gowned in sequins, her hair was uplifted and curly; her smile an eight-hour ear-to-ear. Her whole self sparkled. And the party, thrown on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, was a celebration for the ages.
The room of 100-plus people, who ranged in age from 5 to 90, pulsed with love and gratitude, topped off with an unspoken, all-inclusive aura; an acknowledgment that to have all these people gathered together in the same room — Julie’s and Steve’s closest friends and families — was a gift.
A self-professed worrier (a sampling from the weeks before: “…the logistics are making me so nervous!” “I’m checking weather every hour!”), Julie was engulfed in the moment on her wedding day and impervious to any intrusion of anxiety. (“How is she?” I had texted our friend Laurie, who was helping her get ready. “Incredibly calm,” wrote Laurie.)
The weather was as bad as it could be — pretty much a notch or two below Hurricane Sandy. Many of us walked (some of us galloped in high heels) the two blocks down the boardwalk from the hotel to the restaurant while battling double-digit wind gusts and slanting sheets of drenching rain that undid hair; ran make-up. But the storm was not a wedding crasher. It, instead, escorted an intimacy and warmth into the room. Mazel Tov! C’est La Vie! Bring It On!
I’ve often said that Julie and Steve are the most solid couple I know. Together for just under ten years — independent, both, but purely devoted to each other. They are in love. And simply by virtue of the wisdom that comes with being middle-aged, no doubt, they know what to do to remain committed and in love for the rest of their lives.
This was also the first marriage for Steve. Unencumbered by previous marriages, children from other marriages, and the uncertainty that may accompany a marriage at the age of 20 or 30, he and Julie both exude an air of settling in for the long haul. A comfort level that can only come with an awareness that there may be less days ahead than behind, so let’s get at it! An all-knowing, we’re-in-this-together comfort. True companions, who, as Julie has said, “will forever have each other’s backs.”
(And that middle age, laugh-it-off, don’t-sweat-the-small-stuff insight was tested the next day, when the caterer for the post-wedding brunch for 70 people didn’t show up.)
So, because there’s no such thing as too many “Mazel Tovs,” Mazel Tov!
And never stop laughing: