Jane Austen always ended her stories with a wedding. So it seems fitting that the final episode of Downton Abbey closed recently with another wedding. This is the season when weddings abound.
Spring blooms forth, and those of us ridden with allergies reluctantly peek our heads around and venture out to participate in weddings and picnics and walks in the park.
With a wedding in the works in our immediate family, all eyes are on the bride and groom, along with the upcoming shower and pre-nuptial events. There are engagement photos and bridal showers, the catering and flowers, the planning and the all-important dress.
All of these things condense to a point where we are left wondering where the fantasy ends and the reality begins. One of my favorite bits was from an old Bob Newhart show where Bob tries to bring the prospective groom back to Earth with a reality check on the practicalities of day-to-day life for a young couple. To which the young man responds, ‘To heck with marriage, Bob, we’ve got a wedding to plan!”
So apropos is that remark when staring down the barrel at another young couple’s approaching wedding date. No practicalities can match the starry-eyed fantasy attached to a young girl’s Dream Wedding.
If only we had a society where high school and beyond came equipped with classes designed for reality. “Everyday Living with Others”, “Budgeting”, “Compromise in Relationships”, “Learning to swallow your pride” and “Love means learning to say you’re sorry-several times in the course of a day!”
So with great regret we pause and consider the fictional world of Downton Abbey. And then, we consider the fictional world we imagined when we were younger. Then… Life Happens. Jane Austen had it half right. Life begins when you are a young and dewy eyed bride or groom. And happily ever after’s are found in the fairy tales of young children. But for most of us, Life is what you make of it, and at times, you must turn the Lemons into Lemonade!