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Joy and Sadness and Other Feelings

May 24, 2005

Monday would seem like the appropriate time to do a weekend recap, at least of a standard two-day Saturday and Sunday weekend like the one I just had, but yesterday got away from me. There was work and work and work and then dinner and then it was pretty much bedtime, so here I am on Tuesday with weekend stories still piled up in my brain trying to get out.

Friday night was work and work and dinner and then it was pretty much bedtime (sense a pattern here?), so my weekend didn’t really get started until Saturday morning, when I got myself out of bed at an unreasonable hour and went to quilt guild. (I was supposed to meet Erica there, but she didn’t get out of bed until three minutes before the meeting started and left me a voice mail instead of rushing and getting there late.) I was glad I’d made it, as the speaker, Billie Lauder, was excellent. She was funny and brought lots and lots of quilts to illustrate her lecture. By the time she was done, I was energized and thinking I needed to buy a few of her books and maybe even sign up for one of the quilting cruises she does.

I had to leave during the show and tell portion of the guild meeting in order to get to Nia class a little early so we could experiment with getting my Global Unity DVD set to play on another student’s laptop hooked up to the instructor’s speakers so we could have practice when the instructor is gone the next three weeks. As it turned out, the laptop had a CD-ROM drive, not a DVD drive, so our experiment was not successful. (We did work out a plan B, so we will be able to have practice.)

After class, I went home and got ready to go to our friend Hank’s wedding. Mr. Karen was in the wedding, so we had to get there a couple hours before kick-off, which meant I didn’t really have enough time to paint my toenails, but I did anyway, removing the last bits of polish from my skin on the drive to the church. (Someday I may manage to give myself a pedicure without getting color places it doesn’t belong, but that day was not Saturday.) While Mr. Karen did whatever the groomsmen do before a wedding, I went to a nearby Borders to spend some time in a comfy chair with some quilting books, as there didn’t seem to be anything I needed to help out with at the church and it was a bit too hot to sit in the car and read, especially since I had on a not particularly breathable foundation garment so I could fit into my fancy outfit.

I did not get lost returning to the church despite my route taking me through part of Birmingham, a city which has a tendency to confuse me despite its small size. I’m sure if I spent more time there I’d learn my way around, but I don’t have the money or the wardrobe I’d need to do that. The ceremony went off pretty much without a hitch. The bride’s daughter did have to elbow the bride’s mother to get her to respond the minister’s question about who gave the bride to be married, an act which everyone saw because they were serving as the bride’s attendants and standing in full view of the pews, but it’s not like that ruined the whole thing. They had three hymns as part of the service, and I found myself thinking that Mr. Karen’s dad’s was right when he advised us not to have the congregation sing when we got married. Very few of the wedding guests seemed to familiar with those particular hymns or confident about singing in general, so the ceremony felt like it was just struggling along during those musical interludes. But again, that issue didn’t ruin the whole service. The elbowing and hymn singing did not keep me from the quiet, joyful weeping I always do at weddings, even weddings where the couple made their real commitment to each other months or years ago.

There were pictures of the wedding party and family members in various combinations taken after the service, so we got to the reception at the happy couple’s house a bit late. Faced with mostly empty serving plates and mounds of discarded shrimp tails, I started to get a bit cranky, thinking the early arrivals had eaten all the food and I should have stopped at Burger King on the way over. Fortunately the serving plates were refilled soon after I made my initial survey and I did not have to go hungry after all. Whew. Good thing, too, because we were among the very last to leave and there’s no way I would have lasted past midnight with only mints and wine and cake to keep me going. As it was, I barely managed to brush my teeth and wash my face before collapsing into bed after we got home. I am seriously out of shape when it comes to staying up late. I blame my job. Better that than blaming getting old.

Sunday I slept in as late as I could, which was not late enough to feel particularly rested when I woke up. I had two weeks of laundry to do (including all that fabric I wasn’t going to buy but did) so I got started on that and didn’t ever finish even though the dryer ran pretty much the entire day. I got online mid-afternoon and found an e-mail from my Nia instructor telling me another instructor had a heart attack and collapsed at a Nia event Saturday afternoon, was taken to U of M hospital, and could not be revived. I was, and still am, stunned by the news. I’d only met the woman who died a couple times, but she was the kind of person who makes a big impression. She sparkled, she filled the space, and now she’s gone. If she’d been unhealthy or very old I could make some sense out of this, but she wasn’t. She’d just announced she was leaving our area in August to head up a new program at the University of Chicago–she still had things to do. A memorial fund has been set up in her name to fund scholarships, and I’ve contributed to that, but it feels like I should do something more in response. What, I don’t know yet.

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