You know you live in a small town when you go to Garden Club and most everyone starts congratulating you on your daughter's engagement. Now, I say this not because everyone shares in our excitement - they do. And, not because it was a secret - it wasn't. But, she has only been engaged 4 weeks, she doesn't live here, the wedding is not going to be in town, no one in the wedding party lives here, and none of my fellow garden club members are on the guest list. Oh, and I haven't seen or had the chance to talk or visit with any of these fine ladies since before Christmas and well before the engagement.
In fact, I can distinctly remember being asked at the Christmas luncheon in early December, when I thought our daughter would get married. I laughed and, much to the dismay of the lady who asked me, said that I hoped she would elope. Being mother of the bride was not on my "Top Five Things I Want to Do Before I Die".
Unlike so many southern mothers who start dreaming of that day from the moment their doctor said, "It's a girl", I had endured the trauma of two Deb Balls and I thought that should satisfy that check box on the motherhood list of life.
I had already been through the anguish of not being able to find the "right" deb dress, the last minute decision on a date (two days before the names had to be turned into the newspaper), the hair dresser disaster two hours before the photo session, sewing shoulder straps on the ball gown in the ladies powder room fifteen minutes before the receiving line, and the sad sight of a father realizing that his little girl had grown up. Of course, the next morning when I took my daughter and her friends to breakfast, it was all worth it when she said, "Oh, Mama, if my wedding reception could only be as much fun as last night was, I will be so happy." In my mind, I thought, wedding reception? Ground hog day all over again. What was this, the playoffs? But, I digress.
Meanwhile back at garden club, yes, we live in a small town, but I do not run in big circles. Nor, is the wedding of my daughter high society news. Her wedding was not one, unlike others, that everyone awaited with bated breath to see the spectacle and be entertained for a season of parties, gifts, gowns, and a gala. We were small time, off the grid.
When I commented to my daughter on the phone later that afternoon about everyone already knowing about the wedding and how odd I found it. Her reaction was, "Mama, did you forget where you live?" "Well no, but still." Then I remembered that where the rest of the universe enjoys six degrees of separation, down here we have three - at most.