Monday, June 15, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake ...

My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday and it couldn't have gone better.

It rained the entire week leading up to Saturday, and then miraculously it was sunny and mid-70s all day during the party, and then yesterday it came in and started raining again.

Like the weather took a break to allow my folks to have a great day before resuming its torrent.

Not much to say about the party itself.

Except that I am so incredibly proud of my wife. She, by far, did the bulk of the work that went into this. She baked a three-tier cake that resembled the original wedding cake; she made three floral centerpieces for each table (12 tables in all); she added sprinkles of seashells - we were on the coast - and she decorated the guest book/gift cards table as well as the cake table. She even arranged a singer to belt out three 50's-era songs for my folks to dance to.

But also...

She endured the caustic looks of my ex...including a complete about-face on a walking path when Corrine was approaching.

She endured the absence of conversation from a few of my family members, who could be seen chatting up the former Mrs. like she was their long lost friend.

She endured the cold-shoulder treatment some of my family gave her own children.

She was fearful of this on the ramp-up to this day. Corrine - because of the divisive nature of my divorce, the inevitability of some to judge the manner in which we fell in love; the completely inane excuses some have used in the past to look down upon her - has worked harder than anyone I know to secure the acceptance of some, and the unfairness of it is palpable at times.

And, remarkably, everyone - to a person - I speak to has said the same two things to me, in various iterations: You Look Happier Than You've Ever Been... and She's The One You Needed.

I know of no one in my past life, before meeting her, that ever championed me, my children, my personal victories, more than Corrine. And it's so fucking obvious that it's difficult for me not to say "No duh. Now you understand why..."

The problem is, she toils in that foggy other-world known as Wife #2, laboring against perceptions fueled by rumors and innuendo and the biting words of the self-righteous.

Let me be clear. It's only a few people. A great majority of my family and friends have accepted Corrine and with open arms. In their own way, they have come around and rejoined the sane world, where adults do not hold grudges and see the beauty and potential of something rather than the ugly past.

But you know as well as I do that it really only takes one person to shred an already tenuous confidence. Especially when that person is in some way related to the one you love, and therefore, through marriage, is now related to you.

I wanted to stand upon one of the tables, crushing seashells in the process, and enumerate for everyone the things she did for this party. And, by extension, all the things she does for me and my children - her step children.

Not to cast a spotlight on her for her own glory, but to chase away those few remaining shadows cast by some who want to dog her for no other reason than to feel self-important.

It was a wonderful day. It really was.

My parents (who are NOT a party to the aforementioned - they visit us more than Corrine's own parents do and they love Corrine) were extremely happy about all that was done for them.

I fear that this post is casting a bad light on the event. I'm not.

I'm merely commenting on the subtext that went on. The pale current that runs through our lives barely noticeably, and getting weaker as the years progress. People are coming around. But a spike in the voltage hits us every so often, like it did Saturday. And Corrine, in her beautiful way, did not let it jump her.

The irony?

People complimented Corrine on the cake she baked. It was devoured. There was none left. I've never been to a wedding, birthday party, anniversary or mass-gathering in which the entire cake is consumed.

Corrine cut it and I served it with my own hands. To people who, in the past, would not even shake my hand. They've managed to come around, like I've said.

There were those who did not get in line, however. Just a few. The usual suspects. And I can't tell you how pleased I was to see that now, they are in the great, great minority. Because life is just too short to not have cake.

If you know what I mean.


  1. I know that people get tired of the sweet sentiments that you and I often exchange here, But O-well....

    Know this, Andy...
    I will endure all the looks the ex can shoot me, all the iciness from you-know-who, rumors and gossip galore, all the attacks on my character FOR YOU.
    You, and "this" is worth it. Our "ever after" was worth the risk. The trouble. The hurt.
    And if you look ahead, I can see blue sky!

  2. Oh... any your cake is breath taking!!! I want a piece.

  3. What is wrong with people!!! Life is too short.

    Corrine!! Stand tall and ignore their petty little minds.

  4. Why was the ex there?

    Just curious...


  5. Corrine is one hell of a LADY!

    Excellent post!

  6. How beautifully written!!

    What a lovely sentiment from Corrine above here!!

    I would say it sounds as if you two are blessed and and I do hope "the ex" and "you know who" and whoever is holding grudges don't choke on their words or a sandwich or if there's poetic justice in the world....CAKE!!!!

    Congratulations to your parents. 50 years is quite an accomplishment!!

    Corrine's cake is BEAUTIFUL!!

  7. I'm glad the event was a beautiful success, and to hell with those who can't move on. Congratulations to your folks.

    Anybody who snubs your lovely wife? Their loss. She has repeatedly shown what a classy person she is. I hope - in private - that you mock them and call them bad names. That always makes me feel better.

  8. ME...Your ROCK!! And, I love you too!

    ps..we do! hehehe

  9. I agree. To snub her and such a lovely event that she pulled off is just juvenile. And really, to turn down cake? Who turns down cake? Those are some serious issues there...

  10. Awesome. We have a very similar situation in my family; a sister with a newish husband that resulted after an ugly divorce. He's been in the family two years now, and we all adore him. Life's to short to be miserable.

  11. Well certainly the ex made a fool of herself and tainted what should have been entirely a celebration of long lasting love. Many years from now, you two will be celebrating your 50th and she will only have crow to eat.