When she was in college in the late 60’s, early 70’s, it seemed all of her friends were getting married. Several of her high school classmates had met their future husbands while still in school, went to proms with them, graduated with them, and the next step was naturally walking down the aisle in that white dress and lace veil with a bouquet of white roses. Walking into their forever.
She thought she’d be one of those girls as well. But then the boyfriend she’d had her junior year moved away, although he’d promised they’d stay in touch, and he’d be back to see her; they’d still be together. Then the letter came explaining he’d met another girl in his new city and crushed her dreams.
And she wasn’t interested in dating for a while.
It was different in college. Everyone was spending time with groups of new friends rather than becoming couples. For a while. Then those college friends started finding that special someone they wanted to spend their lives with. One day they were college girls hitting the books and studying hard for that degree, and the next they were wearing a shiny diamond and pouring through Bride’s Magazine.
And she met a young man as well. They didn’t have that much in common at first, but he was interested in her, and she became comfortable with him, and eventually decided she loved him. And since everyone else in their group of friends seemed to be getting engaged, eventually they did, too.
Yes, she was excited, and proudly showed off her ring to everyone. They made plans for their wedding in her hometown. She selected bridesmaids and chose their dresses. She and her mom selected a beaded satin wedding gown with a matching veil. She was excited and loved the dress, and all the other arrangements. It was going to be a beautiful wedding.
But the closer it got, the more nervous she became. She began to question her choices, and began wondering if she was doing the right thing. Was she ready? Was this guy really the right one? But all the arrangements had been made. They’d rented an apartment near the college to finish their senior year. Their new furniture was there waiting for them.
But what if….? Was she really sure? What if she called it off? What about the invitations, the gifts, all the people they’d invited? The dresses? Her friends? And the embarrassment to her family. The wedding was a week away Surely this was normal wedding jitters.
The uneasiness continued all that week. Her fiancé arrived in town, with his parents and brother. Yeah, it would be a mess to walk away from everything now, wouldn’t it! But still…there was that nagging doubt. And a little fear.
Still, she just couldn’t get up the nerve to call it off. She knew she was just nervous and everything would be fine.
So when the wedding day came, she took a deep breath and walked down the aisle into her future with her new husband, with the song “We’ve only Just Begun” playing in her head.
And then, some three and a half tumultuous years later, that beginning ended. The white lace and promises in that song became a distant memory.
Be sure to read White Lace and Promises, Part Two, to be published on February 7.