On Second Marriages…What’s Inside the Big Box?
I have found myself staring at the unopened Priority Express box. I know my wedding dress is inside.
What happens if it's ugly? (Note that it wasn’t ugly when I picked it out weeks ago.) Or what if my now menopausal body can't slither my Spanx self into such a dress? Is it too much? Is it not enough? I certainly don't want to be Carrie Bradshaw when Big left her at the altar. (Wait…why would I even say that?) Will Old Spice be terrified and grab the first boat off the island. Is he going to be the row-away groom? (Nantucket is an island. No easy escape.)
I picked the dress out all by myself. I had no committee...no outside opinions...just me and the dressing room mirror that always makes you look skinnier than in real life.
And now, here it is: the unopened box. And here I am, days away...five to be exact...and the box is sealed tight.
Since I am in my post Yom Kippur--New Year’s—pre-wedding--contemplative sort of mind...
This is what I am thinking about, staring at the box that remains tightly taped together:
What if what is in the overbearing box is not the perfect dress or even a dress at all?
Shipping errors aside, I actually know the dress will be "fine enough." The dress designer has kindly already sewn in cups for my somewhat drooping "boobs.” No worries there. I have bought every kind of "SPANX- like" garment of varying degrees of elasticity-- that menopausal pouch in the tummy is a continued hassle! I have comfy shoes…sort of. I am good to go.
What if what’s inside the unopened box is much more about an unopened future?
What lies ahead for a middle-aged couple who have already filled so many boxes of dreams and hopes and unanswered expectations? Old Spice and I have already filled our own separate boxes of lives well lived. Can we possibly collect all of our "stuff" and fill a new box? A box filled with new beginnings? Can we make our own box?
What if what’s inside the unopened box is a new chapter in an exciting adventure book?
I realize in this moment it has nothing at all to do with a dress. It has to do with the stuff in the box--and the possibility that true happiness might actually be buried in all of the bubble wrap. (Like that Marianne Williamson quote on our deepest fear and embracing that we are deserving of the light.)
Weeks ago I asked my good friend Dr. Tamara Sher, Tammy, who conveniently is also a relationship and family therapist, how do you know if it’s right? “You don’t” she had said. But “does he respect and honor the things that are important to you? Does he bring out the best you?”*
When you put it that way, it’s easy.
I never imagined a next chapter. I never envisioned there would be another box. Another wedding. Another moment when I could love and be loved so deeply. I never imagined a moment when I knew everything seemed right.
Like a child who approaches every wrapped box with delight and pure abandon, sometimes you just have to open the package. I am excited to unwrap it all -- and with the blessing of all of our children move on to see what's inside.
Thank you for all the good wishes and love.
*p.s. Dr. Tamara Sher also shared some great tips on keeping your relationship sexy post-50! Maybe Carrie Bradshaw should have had better friends.
p.s.s. I’m off to Nantucket myself this week for the big day…see you in a couple of weeks!