ceremonies goblets

Ceremonies ~ The one where I do the jilting

I have been avoiding writing this story. But this weeks prompt really got me thinking.

Religious ceremonies were part and parcel of me growing up. Always wearing white. Committing to something or someone. And of course some ceremonies invite a name change.

The first one I was involved in took place when I was too young to remember. Dressed in a white robe, water was poured on my head and I probably cried. All of a sudden I was initiated into a religion I had no understanding of and gained a few more prospective guardians to-boot.

At seven I put on a white dress and made my first holy communion and got to eat a bit of the body of Christ! Seemed cool but then I had to confess my sins. I didn’t know I had any.

At ten I became confirmed and acquired an extra name. A saints name. In the name of Jesus – I was his bride, in white, as I committed to the catholic church.

Ceremonies for Jesus

All that before I was even at big school! Which happened to be a convent, run by nuns wearing various styles of habit.

And of course there is that final time that we get to wear white, add or change our name and commit during a ceremony. Marriage.

It seems funny how I managed the first three but the forth time I cocked it up.

Background

So lets go back to when I was young. I’d been dating Seb for almost a year and we decided to marry. I think I simply got swept up in the whole saga. Everybody being happy for you. Searching for the special dress. Deciding on whether to have a church wedding. Then there are the flowers and such like.

Now a-days I don’t recognise that young woman. She is so removed from who I am. I wanted Seb to be the one. I trusted him with my heart. And even though later in our relationship he really dug the knife in and twisted it – at the start he was very loving towards me. Yet deep down I knew, even as I said “yes,” that I should never have agreed to marry him.

Why? Well, I wasn’t at all sure I was over Vic.

Vic and I had been best friends from fourteen and then lovers in the truest sense of the word. We’d split up about 18mths prior and remained close. He had heard the wedding news from a friend and sent me a cassette tape of our songs. As soon as the music played memories flooded back of the times we’d spent and tears trickled down my cheeks.

I needed to see him face to face. We arranged to meet in a wine-bar. The following is what happened. Set in present tense,  so you’re there with me…

Wine, words and  reminiscing

Vic’s late. Why doesn’t that surprise me?  I sip my wine and recall why we’d split up: I knew  even if I’d remained faithful he was too weak-willed and easily lead for us to create a solid future. Two peas in a pod. So I had to move on. I needed to be grounded. Seb could do that.

“Sorry, gorgeous.” He sits down and his pale blue eyes twinkle in the dim light of the bar.

I forgive him. That has been the template of our friendship right from the start.

“Did you get the tape?” He asks.

“Yeah. Thank you. It made me cry.” I’d always been honest with him. I even told him when I cheated. It was just the once.

Reaching over he clasps my arm instinctively. My mouth becomes dry. Pulling away I take the last sip of my wine and hand him the glass.

“Another. To make up for you being late.” I command, my pulse quickening.

I watch him up at the bar. His long, dark corkscrew curls halfway down his back. Took him years to grow. The years he was with me.

My eyes begin to fill with water wondering if our relationship was meant to last and I’d got it wrong. Everyday I miss him  and often marvel over the familiarity and bond we had – no have – between us.

He returns to the table with a bottle.

“It’s lunch time you know.” My words chastise him for being indulgent but my heart leaps because once again I get to enjoy his hedonism.

Ignoring my words he pours us both a large glass and we chat about fun times. Giggling. Every minute becoming a little more  tipsy and high on thoughts of our past.

As I talk I throw my hands around, gesturing.

“I love your hands. So feminine. Such long fingers. And it’s great that you hardly wear any make up. I can see your skin.”

He’s comparing me to his girlfriend. She likes to wear heavy foundation. It makes me feel a little uncomfortable. Guilty. Should we be sitting here talking like this?

Leaving the table I search for the toilets at the end of the bar. The light’s very gloomy but I find the ladies and open the door.

Once inside I splash my face with cold water and comb my hair, telling the reflection in the mirror it will soon be time for us to go home – no matter how much she’s enjoying Vic’s company.

With a toss of my blond waves I exit the bathroom and turn into the corridor to head back to the tables.

What the…

Vic is waiting outside. He traps me up against the wall his body heavy against me. His hardness against my thigh.

Then, looking me directly in the eyes he exclaims,

“Never.. Never underestimate my love for you.”

Momentarily his lips are tasting mine and then as if it never happened he disappears and I’m alone, out of breath. Shock and elation cruise through my veins and I’m painfully aware I can no longer trust either of us without a chaperon. I have to leave right now.

Back at the table I gather my things when suddenly he appears, back from the men’s room.

I rescue my bag from the floor, down the last drop of wine and stammer,

“I’ve, eh… Got to go.”

“Don’t.”

He pulls me close for a hug and I melt…


Two weeks before the planned wedding date I cancelled. But stayed in a relationship with Seb.

Vic and I mis-behaved now and then but never got back together. I still love him dearly as a friend. The choices I made that summer led me to where I am today.

#390 Ceremonies

 

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21 thoughts on “Ceremonies ~ The one where I do the jilting”

  1. The bit about not knowing you had sinned at 10 made me laugh. Religion is just so uuugghhh in so many ways but when you look at it through a child’s eye it seems more abusive than ever to me

    Mollyx

  2. The line about being a bride to Jesus made my eyes widen. How bizarre – as someone raised in an anti-religious environment I can’t relate at all but I find it fascinating how much those ceremonies seem to mark time in the catholic faith.

  3. There was a time in my life when I had a ‘Vic & May’ relationship as you describe above. But that’s a story for another day. Enquiring minds want to know: which Saint were you named after? Mary?

  4. We all make our choices, and we all – as a result of those choices – pay our consequences. Beautiful, terrible, and otherwise.

    As children, choices are made for us… And sometimes – because we are only children – we suffer the consequences of choices that are not our own.

    But the wonderful thing about being an adult (mature or otherwise) is that we alone make our choices. We alone are responsible for what we choose, and for the results that come from those choices. There is power in that.

    Sometimes we make choices that others don’t agree with or understand.

    Sometimes we get it wrong.

    And sometimes, no matter how circuitous the path to find Our Way, we get it right.

    Regardless of the good, the bad, the ugly, and the in-between… If we are diligent (and lucky, and willing to work on ourselves), no matter what our choices: we learn.

    And if we are willing to apply those lessons to our lives going forward: There is power in that.

    1. Oh yes Feve – I agree. I have made many wrong choices but always because I felt I was being true to myself. But I am happy to own and take responsibility for them and indeed I am who i am because of the choices I made x

  5. Another glimpse at the building blocks that make you who you are today May. I’m sorry you had such a dilemma, such temptation with Vic. I feel your regret at how badly it went wrong without Seb – although I know without him you wouldn’t have your girls so you wouldn’t change that decision.

    I love how you set out your stall with the indoctrination of you as a girl into the restrictive bounds of catholicism, before drawing us into your meeting with Vic. Your storytelling style is wonderful, I could see it as if it was a play. Thanks so much for sharing such a personal post.

    1. Thank you Posy – I am so happy you understood the build up… – and Vic – well, he was out of order that day. We both knew it – in fact looking back he has often been out of order lol but usually charming with it x

      1. Yeah – Vic reminds me a lot of a fella I was once entangled with who’s motto was “God loves a trier’ – it made him rather dangerous to know!

  6. Perhaps this isn’t my place to make this comment and it’s never that black and white anyway, but reading your account of growing up in that religious atmosphere… I think it shows why I don’t think it’s good for parents to put this on their children. It feels like brainwashing to me. It isn’t the child’s choice and children already don’t have many choices and freedom simply because they are children and need to be cared for.
    I thought it was really interesting and sad to read, as well as the latter part of this post. I could really feel what you were trying to bring across which is a testament to your writing. Thank you for sharing

    1. Thanks for your comment. Damn right it is brain washing. But it was a difficult situation as far as my family were concerned. I was adopted. A catholic society was the middle man. My adopted parent were bound by the papers they signed to bring me up as a catholic until I was of age, or eleven or something like that. Strange but true …

  7. By ‘eck, you are great at constructing a post to pull the reader in. I’m still trying to get my head around the young May wondering what sin is.

    ??

    1. That made me laugh – of course in my eyes children are without sin – there is plenty of time for sinning as an adult and I made sure I have done my fair share lol xx

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