They do. They really do.

We had the most amazing week-end. We stayed with my friend Zarah and her two kids in her charming old wood-floored sparkly-lamp luxuriously-curtained house and the kids were loud and happy and silly and every few hours we pushed them all outside to run off some of the loud silliness. Saturday night we went to the wedding party (pictures to follow) for two amazing people who waited quite a long time and went through quite a bit of strife before they found each other (Zarah introduced them -- I tell you, she is to be praised).

There's something a little different about a wedding for people in their forties. Not to say that I didn't love my own wedding and feel like it was a special night where I was making an important committment in front of a lot of people I loved. Not to say that I didn't feel honoured going to many of my friends' weddings around the same time to see them make that same committment. But a lot less is taken for granted when you marry later, for the first time. You're not just doing things in the approved order. You're not just admirable and adorable because you're young and open and hopeful. You've lived a few more years and realized that love is a wonderful thing, but it often isn't actually enough -- that you have to rely on other qualities in order to maintain a relationship. I felt this when we went to my husband's graduate supervisor's wedding when he was in his fifties, and I felt it on Saturday night. It's something that I think of when I'm writing letters or Christmas cards talking about my family. When you reach this age, this point in life, these things start to feel more and more precarious. And very precious.


Pamela said…
That makes sense - you're much more sure of yourself in your 40's. Not that I wasn't sure of myself when I got married at 28 - I actually thought I was so mature & had married "older" (although compared to some friends who married at 22 - I guess we did wait longer:)
I haven't been to too many weddings and I think the last wedding I went to where the people were older was when my step-grandmother was married. I was 15 and I am pretty sure I didn't bother to think about anything more than the reception meal.

I'm glad to hear that these two people have found each other. Here's to years of happiness for them.
Mary Lynn said…
Glad to hear it was such a lovely wedding. I think you're right--when you get married later, you have a much better idea of who you are and what you need in a partner, and it's not just about all the head-over-heels stuff (though that is nice, too).
Pam said…
Nicely said. Definately a different sort of celebration later in life- more wisdom than whimsy. One of the most precious weddings I went to was to an "aunt" getting remarried in her late 60s -full of pure joy.
Nicole said…
The man across the street from me - he's around 80 - to his much younger - i.e., around 65 - girlfriend and it was just the sweetest. They both had grown children and were widowed. It was so nice to see people happy together, at a time in their lives that they probably thought they would be alone and lonely.
Shan said…
Sounds like a lovely wedding!
Anonymous said…
I'm so glad that they found each other.

I often think of just how differently I would do things if I got married now. Even in my mid-30s, a wedding is a much different thing that it was in my mid-20s.

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