Today I read a piece of Juliette’s history, her past… which involves long years, decades, and even centuries. I never had the courage of asking her how many of them… but one day, she’ll tell me, I’m sure. I felt like sharing this article with you, just because I simply love it. Thanks for sharing, Juliette.
My eldest brother Max (10 years my senior) had asked his best friend Teddy to escort me home from the theater one evening. It was 1874. I was 15 years old.
“Your hands are so cold,” he said as he helped me up off of the muddy street onto the boardwalk.
I gave him a coy smile. “I have a cold heart sir.”
He laughed. I never called him sir. He offered me his arm.
I gladly took his arm. “Your hands are positively burning. What sort of fire stirs your soul tonight?” That was pretty forward but I didn’t care. I was floating with the joy of being a flirt and having no brothers or parents around to stop me.
“You’re not like the other girls.”
“No I am not.”
“You’re an impish little thing. It will take a man with a quick wit and a good sense of humor to woo you Juliette.”
“Ahhhh, but you forget I have four older brothers. I pity any man who would have to deal with them.”
“They’ll love any man who is truly in love with you Juliette.”
“I doubt that Teddy.”
Then he stopped and faced me. “I have some news. A secret if you can keep one.”
“Your secrets are always safe with me.”
Teddy had a large smile on his handsome face. “I’m getting married.”
My young Vampire heart literally stopped dead. My head started to spin, but I managed to smile because like all Vampires, I was a natural liar. “Oh Teddy. I’m so happy for you. She really is lovely.”
I suspect we all know the touching moment we waited for after we were going through the adventures of the romantic couple. We smiled with them when they found each other. We were happy with them when they fell in love. We cried with them when they lost each other because of some horrible misunderstanding. And, of course, we celebrated when they found each other again, kissed and ‘lived happily ever after.’
Don’t we ask ourselves how their wedding looked like? How are their families, how their friends? Don’t we wish sometimes we could play a ‘fly on the wall’ seeing how their relationship develops when challenged by marriage?
And that’s when my imagination runs wild.
Of course, it would be amazing and heartwarming to see their wedding. Because weddings are always touching and celebrating and viewing the ‘good’ in everything and everybody.
And then our couple moves in with each other. Both go to work… every morning she makes her favorite coffee, every morning he tells her that this particular brand gives him bad reflux. Then they climb in their own cars and drive off, only to see each other late at night, due to overtime and traffic jams.
She cooks, but he’s not home. Disappointed, she covers his meal and puts it away in the refrigerator, leaving him a note before she goes to bed. He comes home late, makes himself a sandwich because he can’t stand that particular dish, and never dared to tell her.
The weekends they often spend with their in-laws’ camping or in the one or other backyard with a barbecue. They can’t go on vacation… because they can’t get off the same time – and of course, they cannot stay away from work longer than a weekend.
Even though everyone waits for them to announce that they are expecting, that never happens because both are too busy to make money and soon buy their own house… Unfortunately, they don’t realize they are waiting too long until she’s in her forties and finally decides it might be too risky to have a child now.
Occasionally they’re going out for dinner, but mostly they don’t have to say much to each other unless they discuss the job… and then it’s Monday, and the routine starts from scratch.
They might buy the house everybody expects them to buy. It’s a breathtaking museum, but they’re too busy with their job to enjoy it… it’s not a home, it’s just a status symbol. And they both continue working.
And at one point they realize… they don’t have that much to say to each other. They don’t know, do we actually know each other? Or did we just rush into our marriage because everybody expected us to; our families, the readers…
Basically, their marriage is the wrong coffee, and a woman who cannot cook… it’s everything everyone expects, but to them, it’s just routine and boredom.
And that’s why a romantic book usually ends with the kiss and the ‘happily ever after.’
Lately, I heard about the wedding of one of my former boyfriends. Well, it took him quite long to decide, even though his new fiance/wife was not exactly innocent… considering she got pregnant just before his famous ‘level 4’.
Well… the groom and I were… once… you know… quite close. We liked each other – just at one point, he needed distance. After about two years, the distance was that big, we decided not to continue the relationship. It didn’t make sense.
Now… what are some weddings nowadays? 150 guests. Like a mass-wedding, I am indeed glad I’m not part of. However, once invited you can barely stay away since, of course, the newlyweds expect many presents… or presents in monetary-form, of course. Even though once I read on a wedding announcement, “Money presents are uninspired, particularly small ones.”
Why not just giving the account number where we can transfer the money to? Then the guests can do that… for the closest family member, a few breadsticks and a glass of cheap bubble water – and then the couple can take the money and go to their honeymoon.
But no… it always has to be something like a Hollywood wedding but a wedding somewhere out in the countryside, where the utmost symbol of ‘good taste’ is the several thousand dollar-bridal gown which, according to the bride ALWAYS is very modest! While it’s created with Wite-out colored hundreds of yards of tulle and a huge bow on the bride’s ass, which makes her look like a mix of a Barbie doll and a Bavarian beer tent.
Of course, there are a few other things that cannot go missing like white doves, flower girls with lace dresses, bows in the front, and frills in the back… and I’m asking myself why the entire effort? In five years, they’ll be divorced anyway.
But however… one has to go – which makes me happy I now live too far away to participate in that feast of waste. I know the woman… she’s a living nightmare in bows – but he doesn’t need my help – one day he’ll find it out anyway.
I can’t stand this kind of wedding. Whenever I went to one in the past few years, there were always this handful of old aunts and their second and third cousins around, elbowing me in the ribs and winking at me “You’re the next – you’ll be the next.” That behavior only stopped when I started doing the same thing at funerals.
Now, I found out that there are things on Earth that are simply a ‘fairy tale.’ Downright lies. Like the big and only love… A made-up story by Hollywood to make sure we true believers in true love are running to the movie theater to watch Pretty Woman or Titanic…
You know… maybe there is this true love – but it’s rare – very, very rare. There might be the one or other couple that loves each other and rarely ever argues or discusses something. – Lately, I saw an interview with a couple that had celebrated their 50th anniversary! That is quite an achievement! They asked the husband if he never ever considered a divorce – and he said: “A divorce? No – but murder – yes.”
That’s reality – and not three-story wedding cakes and chubby-cheeked flower kids. One day, the bride wakes up and realizes, the wedding cake is gone, the chubby-cheeked flower kids have turned into a bunch of snotty junkies, and since the wedding, the husband has never given her flowers – or compliments anymore and what they now laugh about most are his burbs… or other body functions, and she asks herself if that is going on like that for the next thirty years.
A smart woman once said: “A good man knows to die on time to make sure his wife has at least a few years she still can enjoy. The advantage of a widow is that she always knows where her husband lies.”
Oh well… I figure at times I’m glad I never was a bride. Maybe I just got my expectations too high and my imagination of a wedding too low. LOL
However – after writing this very sarcastic blog post – I might consider going around the corner to that Italian restaurant I discovered, with the singing guitar player… about 106 years old – but still smiling (or at least trying to smile). The waiter is not the sexy Italian dark-eyed romantic girl everyone expects, but a Neapolitan former docker, about as wide as high with so much chest hair that you have to send a search party for his gold chain…
Just one more thing… don’t take it all too seriously, have a good laugh and an amazing day.
Lucy Mitchell published a very helpful post on her ‘Blonde Write More’ blog. The post is mainly helpful to a writer’s better half and I think she gets a few points that not only made me smile but nodding enthusiastically. See for yourself. Thanks so much, Lucy!
It’s not easy being married to a writer. We are strange creatures.
Here are some useful tips on how to survive being married to a writer:
1. Accept the fact that you will spend a lot of your marriage talking about people, events and locations that don’t actually exist.
2. When your writer wakes you in the small hours with an amazing new idea for their next story you need to wake up, switch on the light and let them talk it through. Moaning about what time it is, how tired you are and what you have on at work is not going to help your writer. This is a big moment for them, it’s the birth of something wonderful. Your support is needed 24-7.
3. Marital relations and their writing ‘ups and downs’ will become interlinked. When their writing is going well you can expect good times, kisses and smiles. When their writing is not going so well you can expect tension, tears and tantrums.