In October, I attended the wedding of my dear friend’s daughter. It was beautiful – quirky, irreverent and filled with humor. The bride’s dress was straight out of a fairy tale and covered all her tattoos. She and the groom wore sneakers. You see, that bride is quirky and irreverent and filled with humor, too – just like her mom and just like her groom. The reception was an extension of the ceremony – but with dancing!
Getting ready that day, I experienced surreal moments of not being able to find my lipstick, my eyeliner or my blush – things that are usually right at my fingertips. Meanwhile, the bride was realizing that she had forgotten to bring her vows. At the reception, it occurred to me that I didn’t have my gift with me, but the bride’s aunt had forgotten hers too.
Despite the little goofs, we all felt great that night, and I danced even though I didn’t have a date. Who needs a date these days, especially at a wedding like that where people feel like your own family? We held hands while dancing in rings, failed to synchronize our kicks and at one point a shoe of mine flew off. We laughed so hard at what was imperfectly perfect.
And here’s the thing: I didn’t have any of the work or stress of planning that wedding. I had only to show up with my gift – and even then, I made mistakes. Yet I managed to have fun.
The work was left to others who probably also made mistakes, things I never noticed. And still, they managed to have a great time. They pulled together, planned the flowers, planned the dinner, planned the cake and even planned the vows that were later left behind. And they planned a great party to dance at when all their work was done.
Now it’s November and we’re coming up on the holidays, a time that’s a little like a whole batch of weddings strung together. If you’re entertaining this holiday season, why not enlist the aid of people who love you and are happy to lighten your load? Consider asking a few of them to bring a side dish, tablecloth or appetizers.
Be your own guest, a forgiving guest. Be the guest who isn’t bothered by the dust bunny you missed while cleaning the house faster than a human rocket; the one who is unperturbed when the flatware doesn’t quite match; the one who deserves to have a good time just as much as everybody else – maybe more – because she did most of the work; and the one who dances at her own party until one of her shoes flies off.
Be the one whose celebrations are perfect in their imperfection.