As is expected every spring, we’ve had an outbreak of impending weddings in the area.
While we experienced a fresh strain of the pervasive bug from as far as Australia lately with no immediate reactions, this year’s version is wiping out entire communities.
Concerned citizens are urged to use whatever means necessary to contain the epidemic.
It’s a subject that must be faced square on and not whimpering from a corner of the couch, buried under three cushions and all that’s left of a bag of Cheetos.
We must remain calm.
I’ve been thinking of my daughters in particular, the ones just this side of college completed, and while I have nothing against the dating scene particularly, I hover in the background reminding them that rainbows don’t necessarily have wedding cakes at their ends.
Sometimes they land on careers or world travels or quiet coffee shops with a scone and a good book.
Who am I to pass out advice when I, their own mother, married at the tender age of twenty? (pause while audience gags and spits out mouthful of corn nuts)
How can I prove that it’s possible to live a long and glorious life as his/her own beautiful person completely without a soulmate? (pause while audience throws bag of corn nuts at monitor)
I can see there is no holding back this tide, but surely you noted my eye-rolling.
Wedding plans are highly contagious, some girls catch the bug as early as eight years old, twirling around in old wedding dresses and naming their unborn children by nine.
If you parent teens (or “tweens” which are, for the uninitiated, twelve-year-old-going-on-twenty-five-year-old girls)…(stop! yes, the girls are who I’m referring to here because pre-teen boys could care less about romance because they are fighting over the last Pop Tart in the house; they have priorities)…wait…where was I?
If you have weathered the ages from infancy into the teens, you are to be congratulated.
And handed a cattle prod, some barbed wire, and some horse tranquilizers.
Those last are for you personally. You’re welcome.
You saunter into the laundry room, find those hidden M&Ms, and eat them in colored patterns like worry beads.
But be comforted, the Dating Twilight Zone passes in a blur because the girls have been practicing for so long.
Oh yes, it’s all fun and games until they hit their twenties.
Spring time takes on a whole new air.
It’s the scent of fabric softener and something zesty involving burlap and origami.
Pinterest breeds wedding-envy like mosquitos usher in malaria.
Symptoms in your child may include moony-eyes staring into space, feeling a little under the weather, perhaps they feel a bit “less than” their normal brilliant self; you may discover a secret stash of fat wedding magazines hidden under the bed.
I tried to inoculate them with adventure books and road trips and sports and magic gardens when they were little.
But where do we go for their 20-year booster shot?
I’m asking my daughters to stay at least fifteen feet away from all bridezillas.
They know the signs to watch for, when a fevered bride approaches: wildly exaggerated smiles from too many selfies, arms open wide in the hugging position, cake frosting on one shoulder as bait.
Don’t fall for it. Run.
And once your kid has the wedding bug, all the antidotes in the world aren’t going to help.
Just hand over your credit card, call in the professionals, and wait for the virus to pass.