Conscious Aging: M.O.B.

No, I’m not referring to the 20th anniversary of the great mob drama on HBO, The Sopranos. I’m referencing the fact that I’m about to become Mother of the Bride. Sara invited me to go with her to find a wedding dress, and we had great success. I have a pic, but no reveal until the wedding day. The whole experience was joyful. She is going to be a beautiful bride.

We went to an outstanding off-the-rack place here in Seattle that has a very organized experience: you make an appointment, are assigned a consultant, and that person leads you through a process of trying on gowns and winnowing down what you like and what looks best and what is available by the time of your wedding. Bridget, our consultant, has been in the business for 21 years. She approached Sara with an ebullient attitude which said, “Picking a bridal gown is a wonderful thing, and we are going to find just the right gown for you.” She nailed Sara’s body type and size without measuring, asked Sara a number of questions, and went off to find dresses. One after the other looked just beautiful. Sara finally narrowed down to two, and then one. Sara asked for my input, and I have to say I loved both of her final choices. I couldn’t decide.

I’m not a great shopper, and I imagine the bridal gown search could be daunting. This was not that at all. Bridget made it fun, because it’s an exciting thing to have choices and everything she brought could have worked.

What I think is a most beautiful bridal gown, worn by the most beautiful daughter, did work. What a precious experience, to be part of this. 🙂

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I Do Bridal, on 85th and Greenwood, just in case you live in Seattle and are looking.

Looking for Wedding Attire

I’ve started looking for wedding attire, and found this — very light fabric, loose and flowing. I don’t see it for the wedding ceremony itself, because the print is far too busy, but for one of the other events. Sara thinks the colors are dark for the tropics — the pants are eggplant — and I agree the MOB attire for the actual wedding should be light and neutral. But I like this and it feels very good on, so think I will keep.

 

Cousin Adrienne’s Estate

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, my cousin Adrienne died at the end of 2018, without a will. A high school graduate, Adrienne nonetheless amassed a substantial estate. There are 19 first cousins who are heirs, and a niece by marriage and her husband who are wanna-be’s. The court will have to appoint an administrator, which will be a contested process.

What’s happening of necessity is that the 19 cousins are re-establishing contact, and updating each other on our lives. We all knew each other as kids. My mother’s siblings for the most part lived in Kearny, NJ, and raised their families there. Some came in and out, like Uncle Gene who was in the navy. Some, like Uncle Vinnie, made an early move to the Chicago area. But for the most part, we were in regular, face-to-face touch. That changed over the years, as our careers and relationships moved out of Kearny as a base, and as families grew. Having Thanksgiving around one table was no longer possible when cousins married and had families of their own.

Aside from the legal process, which will unfold on its own track, we’re finding how different our lives have been. We’re all “of a certain age.” My mother was dead center in the Halpin family of ten, so we have cousins older, and cousins younger. Some of us have stable health, stable finances, and what seems to be reasonably good lives. Others have fallen on very hard times. Religious believers often say that God has a plan for each of us, and would attribute relative good fortune or the lack thereof to God’s will. I don’t believe that, remembering all of us as kids, tumbling around together. I think it’s part of the randomness of life. I think we all tried, all the Halpin cousins. Some of us arrived at or near our 70’s well at the front of the pack, or at least in the middle. Others fell out of the race entirely. I’m sure that happens in all large families, but in this case the hard luck people have faces and names and memories attached.

Life is difficult.