My parents are off for the weekend, gone to a wedding. I started to worry early this week when my mother said, ``You do remember we're going to the wedding this weekend,'' that they might have planned for me to come along. The wedding is actually that of a cousin, although she's one of those that I haven't seen in at least a decade and mostly remember from when she was about five years old. Given our very tenuous connections I wouldn't feel right going to her wedding, and I'm fairly sure she wouldn't have invited me or even particularly remembered my existence. But now and then my parents will get odd notions of family togetherness into their minds. It's only been vague excuses of responsibilities to graduate school (until I was able to use being in Singapore as a solid excuse) that kept me from being drafted into the annual family retreats in coastal North Carolina. This year they didn't plan the retreat and I could have used ``work'' for it.
In fact, I'm not positive that my parents were explicitly invited by the party getting married. But the wedding was arranged with an eye towards containing location costs, with the result that it's actually a classic-style backyard wedding, with the mother (sister of my mother) holding it in her yard. As I understand it, she used the leverage of ``you're holding it in my yard'' in order to ensure that her sisters would come. My mother and her sisters are quite close, socially and geographically. (The brothers are more scattered, going down to the Deep South, and I don't know if they're invited. I hate to encourage dreary cultural stereotypes, but we do see more demonstrably poor judgement in the farther-south branches of the clan.)
The novelty about this wedding, and part of what's driving for economy in site selection, is that it's to be a Renaissance Faire-theme wedding. The bridal party is to appear in various Vaguely Medieval garb, princes and princesses and courtiers and all that. Guests are allowed but not required to dress in character. My mother, when she found out about this, was delighted and said she would leap eagerly at the chance to dress as a wench. As she pointed out, there's no need to diet to fit into a robe. Me, I'm thinking of what wearing heavy wool outfits in coastal Virginia in late summer is like, which my mother admitted crossed her mind too. I'm looking forward to hearing how it turned out.
Trivia: The New England Confectionary Company -- NECCO -- introduced profit-sharing for its employees in 1906, and life insurance in 1920. Source: Sweets: A History of Temptation, Tim Richardson.
Currently Reading: A History of the United States Weather Bureau, Donald R Whitnah.