April showers bring May flowers—or so the saying goes. While I can’t wait for the flowers, I’m looking forward to another kind of shower. Next weekend, my daughter, granddaughter and I are giving a bridal shower for my niece.
Showers are a tradition when women gather to share in the happiness of one of our own. In our family, we always invite the young girls, too—mostly so they can share in the fun, but also so they’ll know how to carry on the tradition.
I love showers. They’re like birthdays and Christmas rolled into one. There are games that make us laugh and learn more about the newly engaged. And presents. Boy, are there presents! Often the bride-to-be encourages the little girl(s) to “help” open the gifts. We ooh and aah and enjoy the bride-to-be’s enthusiastic thank you’s. We tell her how much use she’ll get out of this appliance or that. We’ll share our experiences using such-and-such.
That’s something women do—share. It’s how we relate to each other. Last year, I blogged about how women are different from men. I shared insights garnered from a workshop done by Eileen Dryer at my writers’ retreat. (If you want to read that blog, click here for the link.) From the beginning of time, women have shared their experiences with one another as a way to help the next generation—at first, for survival then as a method of connecting.
At a bridal shower, we share in the bride-to-be’s joy. When I look at my niece, happiness just seems to radiate from her. When she and her fiancé are together, they look so thoroughly in love. To some, this may sound sappy, but then I write about happy ever after.
Our books, where the romance is essential to the story, usually end with the engagement or at least the declaration of love and promise of a life together. That is just the beginning of a couple’s life together. Those of us who have been married for a while know that marriage isn’t all happiness and bliss. Problems spring up that have to be worked out together. Habits become irritable. Children change the dynamics. Selfishness spells disaster.
Though we know all that we still have great hopes for the newly engaged. Perhaps it’s because we see in them ourselves many, many years ago. We remember how in love we were. I wish there was a device that could capture a moment of pure happiness. Then, in times of trouble, the device would allow a person to “see” that happiness. Oh, wait. We already have that device. It’s called memory.
Next Saturday as I watch friends and relatives share in my niece’s happiness, I’ll remember how happy I was at my own showers. Because life added some weird twists to the journey Hubs and I began forty-plus years ago, that happiness has changed. It’s gotten stronger. I hope my niece will find that to be true for her and her fiancé.