Please visit my blog as I write my first book, the authorized biography of Leonard Pennario.
Monday, May 9, 2011
I was Web logging in a hurry yesterday and I am worried I sounded as if those little girls at church were overdone, overdressed, overcoiffed. They were not!
They looked very polished, is all.
And it stands in my mind in sharp contrast to my wedding which, I was flying by the seat of my pants the way I am with everything in life.
That princess-y picture, it's hilarious ...
... but I got it off of a kids' gear site called, ahem, Butterfly Kisses. It was not a Catholic site or anything. I have to say, I did not see any hairdos like that at St. Anthony's. St. Anthony's where Leonard Pennario was baptized is a very conservative church and the kids there looked sweet and not spoiled.
It is just that at church yesterday, honest, I was awed by the how divine these little girls looked. And there is a definite parallel, let us admit it, between First Communion outfits and bridal outfits. There is supposed to be. There is that image that Scriptures gives you of Christ as the bridegroom. It is not just a Catholic thing. There is this duet by Bach that is supposed to be between Christ and the soul. It is this erotic love duet. Listen, hear for yourself.
Anyway, yesterday I started looking at these impeccable little girls and brooding about my wedding and how I did not ... well, this is embarrassing to admit but I did not even have a hairdo planned. My sister Margie French-braided my hair.
I am such a goof!
That and, I had not tried on my gown at all in the year or so preceding the wedding. It almost did not fit me! I had put on a couple of pounds ... other brides lost weight, I gained weight! Since then I have taken the weight off but that day, I was like Scarlett O'Hara, holding on to the bedpost. Squeeze! Suck it in, as they tell us in Zumba class.
That wedding day! I mean, I am glad it happened and everything, but boy, was it stressful.
At church we blew the opening procession. There was a mix-up and the priest, Father Butch, he gave the signal too early for the flower girls, my nieces Rosie and Millie, to start walking down the aisle. I followed, clinging to my Uncle James Phillips who was giving me away. Thank God for my Uncle James and Aunt Marce. Were it not for them I think I would have died.
When we reached the front of the church, that is a moment I will never forget. My brother Tony was playing the organ and he was mad over the mix-up so he just kept playing and playing. He was going to play the music the right length even if we were all just standing there.
So we all stood there looking up at the saints and angels with Father Butch rolling his eyes. Ha, ha!
This all happened at St. Gerard's Church ...
... which has been in the news because it is being moved piece by piece to Georgia. Gerard's is in a bad neighborhood so the bishop closed it. That reminds me of something else. The morning of my wedding, the church was robbed. Someone ran off with the collection basket, if I remember correctly. The good news was, they got it back! Church ladies pursued the robbers down Bailey and nailed them.
Howard said all he can picture is righteous African-American church ladies persevering and winning the day. That was about the size of it!
Speaking of the size of it brings me back to the topic of my wedding dress. That night at the reception, a wild affair at my house, someone spilled chili down the front of it. I had thought I was the one who did that but just the other day my friend Lizzie said no, someone else did. Well, whoever spilled it, there I was with this huge chili spill down the front of this beautiful white gown.
But here is the miracle: Somehow it came out! A group of my girlfriends got into the bathroom with me and worked on it and made it disappear. That still seems a little funny to me, you know? How in the world do you get a gigantic chili stain to disappear? But it did.
Ah, the memories!
They all come flooding back whenever I see a white veil!