Yesterday, I asked my mom if she could think of anything else I needed to get in LA for the wedding since I only have two more weekends here to run errands. She goes, “Like what?” Like paper lanterns people hang in trees or ribbons for center pieces. We have Chinatown and Little India. Did I mention Little Tokyo or the fabric district?
“What for?” she asked. It was then I remembered who I was talking to. My mother, wonderful, loving, caring, funny mom, is not the party giver in my family. She always made the house look pretty for my birthdays. She used to layer three different colored square cloths (emerald green, fuchsia and golden rod) from Japan on our long wooden table. She put bright yellow branches of forsythia in a big vase. It was more natural, and I loved it. She is not into the minute details of weddings or large events even though she has an amazing eye.
For my brother’s wedding, she kind of freaked out. Actually, she completely freaked out. She sprouted horns and a crazy look in her eyes. They kind of glowed with hysteria. At the time, I was working as an event planner in Colorado. I threw weddings as a career.
My brother’s wedding was in the middle of a July afternoon on top of one of the Smoky Mountains. It was decided we should have water for the guests during the ceremony so I suggested we get small water bottles, fill a tub with ice and let people grab them. To which, my mother replied, “Sarah, I don’t want to hear another word out of you.”
Um, okay. Sorry for the completely ridicules, off-the-wall suggestion. Next time I’ll suggest digging a well and making people lower a bucket and haul their own water.
Needless to say, I approached the planning of our wedding with my mom with some trepidation. As the months passed, mom proved the horns a creation from her past boyfriend (luckily out of the picture). She realized that I like spreadsheets. That I make lists of questions. That I am slightly insane when it come to planning. Let’s be honest. I don’t make the big bucks as an executive assistant without some planning. With my brother’s wedding, she felt like she did everything. This time, she feels like she isn’t doing anything, which isn’t true. She follows up on the emails I send her (email! My mom! Checking it regularly!), she calls the people I ask her to immediately.
People look at me like I am crazy when I say that my mom is doing a lot to help me. Like, hello! Moms live for this shit. Most moms might, but not mine. Mine prefers a quiet afternoon canoeing on the lake, floating on our backs in a cove. She prefers a yoga class followed by a night of contra dancing. She prefers going to the movies with me and eating a dinner of popcorn and Junior Mints. But she’s happy to help because I am happy.
Now, if we can just find her some sassy shoes for dancing. She’s not looking for Manolo’s or Jimmy Choo’s. She’s looking for good shoes that will turn and flex and support her feet while looking pretty. She said she’s not wearing her black contra dance shoes with her pink dress, but I said I didn’t care if they made her happy.