Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bouquets and Widows

The Dear Abby column has had a running discussion (it really is rather like a print blog sometimes) of a wedding where, when the bride set out to throw the bouquet, a widow in the assembly joined the throng of single women waiting to catch it. In this case, the bride took offense at a widow joining a gathering that was supposed to be restricted to "single women", and ordered the widow back to her table, thus ruining the wedding for her. Dear Abby told the bride off, and so far the mail (at least in today's column) is running five to one in favor of Abby and the widow.

The bride doesn't seem to realize that the class "widow" is a subset of the larger class "single women", that is, women who are not presently married; this class also includes "divorcees". If her husband ever dies, this may dawn on her.

What none of these people seem to have realized is that the bride acted as if she believed the superstition. The idea is that catching the bouquet indicates the next woman to be married. People, this is an old wives' tale. (Sorry. But not very.) It's a game, folks, and any resemblence to real life is purely incidental. And yet, everybody defended the widow, not on the grounds that the bride made a stupid fuss over a meaningless custom, but on the grounds that the widow had as much right to be the next person married as anybody. I agree that the widow does, but...


  1. Anonymous9:49 PM

    Hedra, I confess to reading Dear Abby, too. It is sometimes a relief to read about other people's stupidity. It lets you know you aren't alone.

    One thing about the case of the widow and the wedding bouquet, (Sherlock Holmes, amyone?), niggled me a bit. Was there any posibility the bride, through her actions, was saying to the widow, " You've had your chance at a man. Sorry he's no longer around, but let those who've never been up the aisle have a go. No second chances for you."

    A bit psudo-shrinkish, I admit, but that is how I interpreted the rudeness. I also agree, considering that many women outlive their male counterparts, there is every possibility this unecessary rudeness will come back to haunt this bride's dreams at some point in the future.

    Yeah, it is just a game, and one I've never liked. Kinda silly throwing your bouquet over your shoulder. What does the person who catches it do with it? Seems to make just as much sense as putting a slice of wedding cake under your pillow. Even in the little white box, how do you keep it from smushing all over the pillowcase and sheet? Still, for some folks that bouquet may be a symbol of hope, and hope, remember, was the last item left in Pandora's box. As for me, I'm taking that little boxed slice of cake home and enjoying it with a nice, hot cup of tea.

    PS: What is the secret to getting a capital B? Poetry I write. ee cummings, I'm not.

  2. Anonymous9:52 PM

    Okay, here it doesn't give a capital. Here it does. Bill Gates wins again.

  3. Actually, boggart, I think you're right about the bride's nasty attitude, if I recall the original letter correctly. Maybe someday she'll grow up. And very probably, someday she'll be a widow...

    I don't know about the capital B - I just hit the shift key... I rather like it lower case. I often sign myself in lower case.