This Is Bliss

To this day Mother has been asking herself, what made her do it.  Not the marriage itself – not why she married my Valentino-esque dad, but why she wore grey.  She knew that she wanted a Ceil Chapman dress (a chic name at the time, and now worth up to $1,300 on eBay) – she and her best friend both agreed vehemently that Chapman was far superior to Edith Head – but why she chose grey she doesn't understand.  Even though the color and fabric turned to solid light in the sun; even though it became like living silver as she walked down the steps into that bright February afternoon in 1951, she can't accept the color.

She tells me that the only thing they got right was the bouquet.  Lush and cascading with ribbons and flowers, as she held it the final white blossoms nearly reached her ankles.

I'm looking at old photos, hoping they will help me piece together what I've been told about this day.  I know that the wedding was simple but crowded with families and children:  all different, yet all possessed of the same nobility of goodness.  There was warmth and celebration and a joy that held its loved ones close in its strong embrace.

The facts about my parents are these:  Mother came from a Russo-Jewish family, her parents immigrating from Russia in the late teens. Father's family was Italian-Catholic.  His mother was from Arizona, his father was born in a town called Lago, located in Calabria, Italy.  Mother is fair, Father is dark.  The contrast was striking and outstandingly handsome.

I don't know how they met:  whether it was via frirends, or whether their paths crossed at work.  The latter seems unlikely:  He was a DJ:  playing jazz and wearing razor-shouldered jackets, and she worked behind the counter at Robinson's, abiding by the – in my opinion wholly respectable and understandable – company rule of always wearing white gloves to work.

However it happened, they met, and though their backgrounds were quite different, they quickly found that they had something in common.  They were both as mad as Hatters:  eccentric, buoyant, unconventional, special and beautiful.

My parents' wedding anniversary was three weeks ago.  And, sadly, I completely forgot about it.  I was oblivious to the faint scent of orange blossoms as it circled by for the 57th time.  (Boyfriend didn't know the date in the first place, so he's excused.)

So I wrote this, as poor a gift as it is, to show how my roots grew, how they became bonny trees and bloomed, and were fine and would forever turn their faces upwards to the sun.

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20 responses to “This Is Bliss

  1. Happy Anniversary, Givers of Aubrey to the World!(and thank you!)

  2. What a lovely story.It is a beautiful gift..I'm sure you're parents will agree.

  3. Even in black and white I can see the shimmer. What a beautiful couple. They could have starred in West Side Story. the bouquet is awesome. What wonderful memories to have. Great story. I love the mix of people who came to this country. ahhhhhh

  4. These pictures are outstanding. And what a sweet tribute.

  5. I loved this post, thanks for sharing! And happy anniversary!

  6. That third picture is remarkable. I'm fully supportive of the right grey, which goes with just anything.

  7. I LOVE the last pic. HOT!

  8. A wonderful tribute. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  9. This is a lovely story and the pictures are so pretty. Thanks!

  10. This is Beautiful! The dress is amazing! So modern! That last picture kills me, it is Gorgeous! I love it!

  11. this is a FANTASTIC post and what a great "gift" to give them… Your mom's dress is wonderful, doesn't matter the color. all i see is her beaming smile.That last photo is straight out of Hollywood!

  12. They look so gorgeous together.
    I think your mom's dress is so beautiful.

  13. It's like a story from a film. I'd love to make a post like this: a wonderful homage to your parents.

  14. Beautiful writing about incredibly beautiful people !!! OMG….how attactive…..I mean reallllllllllly attractive !!! Those beach party stars only wish they looked so good. And lets be real…..that Just for Laughs pic is HOTTTTTT !!!! Congrats to your parents !!!

  15. agreed, a beautiful gift of prose.

  16. Good good good stuff! Most heartfelt congratulations to your parents! Mad as Hatters is the best compliment of all!Yes….Just for Laughs is HOTT.

  17. I'm sure everyone will want to know that the dress still fits her!

  18. What fantastic images! Big hugs and hellos to your parents from me. Happy anniversary!

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