I saw an ad the other day announcing that “June is Knife Month.” Whatever, as they say. I can recall when June was designated as the month for weddings, and for sloppy songs that seemed to equate June with moon, and croon, and even spoon. As in spooning = courting. Maybe that still holds, but I imagine not.
I know a couple of young folks getting married this month, but weddings appear to be a four season sport these days and I believe October has a distinct edge, at least in New England where nature provides the décor. I understand that June may have been popular back in the day because as soon as you graduated from whatever level you were graduating from, getting married was the next logical step. My kids would gag. Actually, I might myself.
It is difficult to accept that these days. I did know a few people who married the summer after high school. Our senior class version of home economics was basically a prep class for marriage. Meal planning, child care, how to buy insurance, how to nurse the ill. Banking, I think, writing checks, budgeting. My friend and cohort, Julie, and I were literally told we should take either home ec or typing. That’s it. It is true there were few electives, but those were our choices as young women – what we wanted, as I have written before, was mechanical drawing. But, alas, that was a boys’ class, so home ec it was. And I am sure that class was extremely helpful if your next step was marriage, and some of it, especially managing money, would be great for all students. I am also sure I have benefited from it over the years, although I wasn’t what you’d call stellar at choosing life insurance.
When I was younger, there was an absolute craze for bride dolls. I suppose it was some kind of a reaction to the war years. Possibly an encouragement for baby-booming, although no one would have even hinted at that. I don’t recall really wanting a bride doll, but my mother’s cousin from Connecticut brought me one on her yearly pilgrimage to Vermont. It was a kindness, though I preferred the years she brought books. I said thank you, of course. But after she left, I had no idea what to do with the doll. A toy in white satin is really pretty useless – either you leave it on the shelf in its snowy perfection, or you take it out and play with it until it looks like the “before” version of Cinderella. I didn’t find it a particularly charming possession, but I can’t fault Cousin Margaret’s heart. It was perhaps a doll she always wanted, but was prevented, as a child of Depression, from ever having herself.
Along with gifts of pristine bride dolls, we were often fed the idea, by social agreement, that our wedding day would by “the happiest day of your life.” I recall distinctly thinking, when I was about to be married, that if my wedding – accompanied by jitters, insomnia, pressure to finish up the details, tears and more – was my happiest time, it would all be downhill from there. I mean, I was so tense I had a fight with my father – we never fight! – over beer, which I don’t even care much for! The wind persisted in blowing over the tent, the garden was a bit weedy, and so on. Of course there was a lot of fun, and it was a big deal to me, but as the high point of the whole rest of my life it lacked a few things.
I wish to all, married or un, older or younger, June bride or not, many, many happy days to come. My your tent always shelter, your friends find reason to celebrate you, and your beer be properly cold.