Then I saw the photos. And there she stood, wearing a long purple gown and a brilliant smile. Surrounded by 10 bridesmaids, this woman fulfilled her promise to herself. Long ago, she decided that if she hadn’t met the love of her life by her 40th birthday, she would just exchange all of the “I do stuff” on her own.
Because I happen to be one of those women with wash-and-wear bridal attire, the idea initially seemed kind of quirky. But the more I thought about it, the more I respected that new bride’s view of her heart and who she trusted most to take care of it.
If I had had even half of that chick’s common sense and at least a few sprinkles of her awesome self-esteem, I probably would not have enough divorce decrees to wallpaper a bathroom.
Foolish women like me got stuck in a rather pitiful mindset.
We thought to ourselves, “Well, no one is perfect. At least this guy is nice to me most of the time. I’ll go ahead and marry him so I can at least say that I have a husband, even if he’s a sorry excuse for one.”
But this woman wasn’t willing to settle. Not one little bit.
If she couldn’t have a true prince, she would not just go ahead and marry a guy who flirted around with other women, snorted in the shower and scratched his private places in public. Nope, that woman in the purple gown didn’t give in and marry the lazy guy, the liar guy, the low-down, no-good guy.
She married herself.
That action meant a lot of things to me.
And big, fat tears filled my eyes.
I imagined her interacting at the altar with her soul.
“I promise to continue to take care of my heart. I promise not to allow a self-centered man to step in front of my dreams and tell me that his needs should always come before mine. I promise to remind myself that I should always get back what I give to other people, that I don’t need anybody to try to tell me what to do. I promise to remember that criticism is not love and neither is a controlling, manipulating person who tries to turn me into what they want instead of cherishing me for who I am.”
When that amazing woman threw the bouquet, I hope none of the guests even tried to catch it.
And I hope that when she enjoyed her solo honeymoon to Cambodia, Laos and Dubai, she promised to start every day with a sentence like, “Today, I will celebrate my heart by wearing purple. Because purple is the color of royalty. And I am the queen of me.”
A former Southsider and an award-winning journalist and humor writer, Sherri Coner resides in southwest Florida. To learn about her books for women and to join her on Facebook, visit www.sherriconer.com. She also speaks to women’s groups.