Friday, February 13, 2015

Preparing to Be a Help Meet: The Wedding - Part Two

Debi gives us a rundown on how she felt about Yetta's wedding.  Yetta is interviewed later in the chapter, but Debi gets her two-cents in first - with plenty of incorrect verb tenses, misspelled words, and floating commas.

Here is what one wise young woman did for her non-stress (sic), joyful wedding.

When I attend (sic) Yetta's wedding, I was struck with its personal style and sheer simplicity.  It was clear that everyone, including the bride and groom, was relaxed and having a good time.  The people attending will look back to this wedding and think, "Wasn't it wonderful?  They looked so happy."

That sounds like a nice wedding.  Debi could stop right here....

What a testimony!  So Yetta's wedding was chosen to gain notoriety in the pages of this book.

I don't think "notoriety" is the right word there.  "Fame", "renown" or "glory" would all be better choices.

Debi's words to the bride about her observations of the wedding:

Wait.  Why does Debi need to give her observations?  

"Your wedding was so joyful.  I saw several people crying and laughing with absolute delight."

That's sweet.

"Even though it was a simple wedding, it had a touch of pure grace."

That feels a bit back-handed, but Debi always sounds a bit back-handed.

"Your dress was wonderful, so becoming.  It was so regal, yet very modest."
"Often brides dress in such sexy looking gowns no one would think she looks virginal (sic).  It is in such poor taste to dress scanty on the most special day of your life.  I say, save the sexy for later in the evening, when it will be appreciated (sic).  Anyway, it was refreshing to see your choice was one of a born-again believer with fine style."

Most people say "Oh, your dress looks so pretty!" or "You look so beautiful" without dragging down every other bride they've ever met.

"Another thing I liked was that the entire focus was on the bride and groom rather than elaborate flowers, lots of extra people and fancy details.  I thought not having a maid of honor or bridesmaids was an excellent idea.  Just the bride and groom up front seemed to make the whole affair simply elegant.  Plus, I didn't hear the usual conversation at the reception about the quality of the girl's (sic) dresses or the nonsense chit-chat of who was the best looking bridesmaid."

A small wedding is hard to pull off with 23 aunts/uncles + 50 first cousins on the bride's side.

Say what?  I've never heard anyone talk about the quality of bridesmaid dresses OR who was the best looking bridesmaid.  Ever.  Everyone I know uses the time to catch up with old friends or family.  

But I'm not Debi.

Well, for the sake of clarity, let's take a look at Michael Pearl's memory of his youngest daughter's wedding.  To me, her wedding sounded like fun time - but it sounds the absolute opposite of what Debi describes.

Our last daughter, Shoshanna, 20 years old, has joined the ranks of her married sisters. She is now Shoshanna Easling (husband James). There are weddings, and then there was Shanna’s wedding.
Some called it a production, others an experience they will never forget; everyone said it was the only three-hour wedding they ever attended that they were sorry to see end. 

Please let that include the reception because a three-hour ceremony sounds horrific.
Shoshanna was beautiful. But that didn’t help the groom any.
I don't know what that means.
 The groom’s father addressed the wedding attendees, disclosing to them that he had invested in his son, extolling all his skills of mountain climbing and rappelling, airplane piloting, wrestling, martial arts, etc., which no doubt ably prepared him to marry Shanna. It was funny, because it is so true. It took a MAN to win her.

(Thankfully, he's not much like Mikey-boy.  See, Shoshanna wrote a heart-breaking post about coming to terms with a husband who genuinely wants to know her opinion. See, she expected to be a doormat and got a husband who respected her and this caused severe disequilibrium until she rationalized it all.)

She and her friends produced her wedding—an expression of all her dreams come true. Our weddings are never conventional—no two the same, little to nothing of tradition in them. But this one took the prize for originality. None of us knew the agenda, not even the groom and I. And I was so surprised by all that transpired, that I forgot my entire message and ended up speaking only about four lines before we actually pronounced them “man and wife”.

A nearly silent Michael Pearl is an unexpected blessing.

To begin with, it was outdoors at 7:00 in the evening, a cool day in June, situated on the very top of what we in middle Tennessee would call a mountain—actually just a tall ridge overlooking miles and miles of beautiful timberland, lakes, rivers, and pastures—not a house or road in sight. The guests, about 250 in number, sat among the wildflowers scattered about, some under the oak trees, others on the sloping hillside itself with the sun to their backs, looking into the ever changing backdrop of evening colors—a breathtaking panoramic view. 

Debi wants simple venues where the bride and groom are the main focus.  An outside wedding overlooking a gorgeous nature area doesn't fit that.  Two hundred and fifty guests is a medium to large sized wedding attendance especially since they probably invited at least 300.

James, the groom, and James senior and I stood under an arbor that Shoshanna had made from small trees with vines twisted around them, beautifully and artfully covered with wild flowers. It looked like the forest in which she grew up—something almost medieval.

That arbor sounds beautiful!  It also sounds ornate.....

James’ siblings were playing stringed instruments, the violins dominating. It sounded like a cross between Celtic battle music and a love song, nothing that you would ever hear at a church wedding.

A cross between Celtic battle music and a love song gives Irish drinking song!  Many of the hymns at our wedding were set to melodies from Irish drinking songs so it really depends on what weddings Mike's attended.

We waited for fifteen minutes, and still the bride did not come out of her large tent set back in the trees.

Wonder how the guests amused themselves during the 15 minute down-time?

As the sun lowered, a stirring in the forest drew our attention, and there, silently emerging from the dark green of the tree line was a prancing horse being ridden bareback by Elizabeth, Shanna’s best friend and cousin. She came out of the forest like a phantom, her flowing, silky gold gown trailing in the gentle breeze, blending with the clouds behind her, and her long golden hair gracing her shoulders and back. The horse and rider as one glided across the ridge top toward us, and then, picking up speed, she swept past, seeming not to see us, as if we belonged to two different times and dimensions—an apparition, surreal, like something riding out of a story book. Many were now standing to their feet in wonder and awe, watching her silently pass. Ghostlike, she rode under an oak tree and disappeared into the deep foliage beyond.

That sounds lovely!  It also includes a bridesmaid and the description of the dress of the bridesmaid.  I'm impressed that anyone could ride bareback in a long dress.

The violin music picked up pace as if preparing us for the finale, and we all turned back to the tree line from which the first golden maiden had emerged. At first, we only caught a glimpse of flickering light passing through the deep green, and then out of the woods appeared a white horse carrying Shoshanna, also mounted bareback, her full white dress shimmering with the golden colors of the now-ebbing sunset, and falling across the hips of the prancing horse. Her head was crowned with a wreath of wildflowers, and her face glowed with the wonder and pleasure of the moment—her moment—the epical journey that divides life into two parts. It was magnificent, fabulously magnificent! But she did not slip past us as did the first rider, whose ethereal appearance seemed to have come as a silent announcement. The barefooted bride kicked her horse in the flanks and put him to a gallop, reaching up one hand to secure her crown and then urging the horse again. The only sound was of the hooves pounding the grassy ridge and kicking up sod, accelerating as though there were an urgency to reach a long awaited destination. She raced past the awed assemblage without regarding us, past the groom and the two fathers, and back into the woods where the first rider had disappeared. But then the horse and rider reappeared out of the trees on the far side and circled behind the audience until arriving at the head of the flowered aisle—the path that led to the arbor where the grinning fathers and groom awaited. The rider slid to the ground with the grace and ease of one raised to it. She looked like a gift from heaven, of which Eve would have been jealous. I sensed James starting to bolt—to run to her and scarcely restrained him with a quiet “Just stay here; she will come to you.”

I don't know who planned this wedding, but someone in the family has a flair for staging things!  The wedding has a beautiful setting, timing with natural lighting, dramatic entrances, and magnificent costumes.  Her wedding sounded lovely - and the complete opposite of Debi's "perfect" wedding. 

As she reached the head of the aisle, she helped her two old granddaddies to their feet, 80 and 89 years old. Neither one of them are steady on their feet, and she is taller than both, so with one on each side, holding them up, she started down the path to the groom. I was looking into the most radiant face I have ever seen. Her walk and carriage were absolutely regal.

I'm happy she walked down the aisle with anyone besides Mike Pearl.  He doesn't deserve that honor.

When they approached the arbor, I asked, “Who gives this woman in marriage?” The two granddaddies and I said in unison, “We do.”

My church doesn't give anyone away in marriage, so I find the question embarrassing to Shoshanna.  She's giving herself in marriage.

Signing our marriage licence
 Shoshanna stepped forward and took the groom’s hand. I think everyone there must have felt as I did, that we were looking in on something very private and wonderful. I had a good and long message ready, but suddenly I felt like the tour guide at Niagara Falls or the Grand Canyon: No one wanted to listen to me. So, within three minutes, after an exchange of vows and rings, we two fathers pronounced them man and wife. James’ granddaddy brought forward the marriage contract and the glowing couple signed it in the presence of all. Then the parents and grandparents all signed the covenant of marriage.

Were the parents and grandparents acting as witnesses or is this a multi-generational marriage contract?  (Side note: They aren't legally married by the government because Mike is a raging homophobic jerk who doesn't want his children sullied by sharing a licence with married homosexual couple.  Charming, isn't he?)

After kissing…and kissing…and…you get the idea, the two of them rushed back down the aisle to their waiting steed. They mounted together. This time she was folded in his arms and they rode out before us against the now crimson sky. At that point, all I could think about was, “Don’t fall off the horse! What could be worse than a slipped disk on your wedding night?”

Off the top of my head......

Being on the receiving end of Mike Pearl's attempts to out ejaculate his friend on his wedding night would be worse than a slipped disk.   Much worse.

 But they stopped some distance from us, and there, still mounted on their charger and silhouetted against the dimly glowing sky, they kissed again.
But the celebration was just starting. As the light from the many lamps began to replace the fading sun, we could smell the barbeque cooking. After we had all eaten, there was a pie auction with a real auctioneer. Everyone got into it. Some of the young guys paid as much as $95.00 for a blueberry pie. They raised several hundred dollars to help pay for the honeymoon.

I'd pay that much for a good pie. :-) 

After the cake cutting and more picture taking, when we all thought it was all over, Shoshanna persuaded James to sing a love song to her while she slowly danced around him. Now, you know we don’t believe in dancing, as is commonly done at weddings, but this was beautiful. After James was well salivated, she reached up and passionately threw her flowered crown from her head. 

I like dancing at weddings - but since the Pearls are anti-everything, I find it hypocritical that Shoshanna dancing at her wedding - in a sexual manner!  - is wonderful while wearing a dress without sleeves makes anyone else a slut.

Hand in hand they ran across the hill to their waiting…no, not steed…car this time. And away they drove. We all stood there as if we did not want it to end. And it hasn’t. They are now back from their honeymoon, glowing all around us, a wonderful couple of good-for-nothing newlyweds. And me, I am already waiting for more grandkids.
That is now the last of my girls, all well married. What a blessing! What a joy! If life were any sweeter, I would be a jar of jelly.

I'm glad Shoshanna had a joyful, fun, memorable wedding that expressed her personality.  After growing up with her parents, she deserves all the joy she can get.

But unless the elder Pearls have had a massive reversal on their beliefs in wedding protocol, they are raging hypocrites.  (Again.)

AntiPearl: The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It's a choice you make - not just on your wedding day, but over and over again - and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife.