Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Monday, January 28, 2008

Waiting in the Wings

"How much of human life is lost in waiting!"
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

During my recent interval in Ireland Spouse and I officially became Spouse and Spouse. Shortly thereafter I was left alone on my side of the globe and Spouse on his, each to wait out the interminably slow year of horrific paperwork and fervent hope that accompanies the issuing of a visa to the United States.
Because our marriage took place in Ireland my wedding dress was with me. It hung forlornly on the outside of Mater's closet, waiting for the day- as we all were- when it could be packed gently into a suitcase and taken home.
I did not know how much time the process would take. I roamed around the house aimlessly. In short, I was stranded. The year seemed, at times, to be an extended sigh of pity.
One morning I awoke and noticed that there was something wrong with my wedding dress. I inspected it more closely and reeled back in fright. I dashed into the kitchen to tell my mother. It was awful.
"My dress- wedding dress! Horrible!" I babbled incoherently. Mater went with me to the bedroom to see what on earth was the matter. Sure enough she saw it for herself: there were particles of dust on the garment.
My wedding dress had dust upon it.
My wedding dress was dusty.
I was sure, too, that I saw a cobweb.
It was ghastly. I had never once contemplated the possibility of living out my days as a Miss Havisham figure but there it was. I had something in common, after all, with Charles Dickens' notorious character from 'Great Expectations.'
The jilted lady with the skeleton face and waxen skin who shared a dusty, cobwebbed room with a crumbly, ancient wedding cake and a myriad of clocks which had once and forever stopped at twenty to nine: was this, then, to be my life?
Horror of horrors.
Mr. Havisham, meanwhile, was feeling just as miserable trying to sell our home in Texas, find a suitable job in another state and somehow bring me back home- and all while going through the ordinary troubles that life brings without such extravagant hurdles as ours.
So here I am, and here we are, and the next time, the very next time that I mumble anything about the fact that our upstairs neighbours appear to have a popular bowling alley above our heads, or anything of the sort, I ought to take out my bridal gown and be thankful that it bears no dust, and that our wedding cake was heartily eaten by a crowd on a happy Spring day almost two years ago.

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