“What if they get a flat tire, what would they do?”

That friends, if you haven’t heard the report posted online, is just one comment coming from a Saudi Arabian male who finds the idea of women driving to be outlandish.

It gets much worse of course. Did you catch the cleric who claims driving will somehow mess with the internal lady parts?

Yesterday Saudi women showed what they are made of and what is at stake for their equality.

Some took a stance and got behind the wheel and drove, even with the fear of retaliation looming.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57609473/saudi-women-take-drivers-seat-to-protest-unwritten-rule/

Small steps indeed.

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A wedding brief

This is a quick post tonight just so that I can put a few random pictures up of the wedding yesterday. I think that I have had about 7 hours of sleep in the last 48 so when this post closes I am off to bed.

The wedding was wonderful. The bride was beautiful and the groom was amazing and suddenly seemed to take on a new maturity.

I cried here and there, especially during the vows, which the couple wrote themselves. We had the greatest and most helpful bartender and an outstanding group of caterers. If you ever come to Washington State and are out and about around Puget Sound you must take a ferry ride over to Vashon Island (think hippie arts colony if you prefer not to follow the link) and stop by the Snapdragon Bakery and Cafe. The staff of three began work at 11 AM and turned out assorted cheese and toast platters, olives, and fig/goat cheese crostini. For dinner they served roasted butternut squash enchiladas, cardamom black beans and a fantastic slaw salad. The crowning achievement though was a pear strudel. No wedding cake here-simply flaky, fruity heaven.

The bride and groom have a few friends who are really into craft beer brewing so we had an assortment of beers as well as wine. The beers knocked you on your butt if you weren’t careful.

Even my Miss G had a fantastic time. She loved the photographer, posed for picture after picture, is a saxophone enthusiast, and danced up a 1 year old storm.

The couple is off for a brief honeymoon to another Puget Sound Island with the true honeymoon coming as a cruise next year.

So a few random pictures, some with sketchy quality, but at least you can have a glimpse until we get everything from the photographer.

There was a quaint park right next to the venue so the big reveal was done there. This is just after Jeff see’s Meredith in her dress.

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Opening greetings and welcome by Claire. She knows the couple well and her words were beautiful.

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The first kiss.

 

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The first dance.

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Wedding day

Look over at the ticker–the big day is here!

It is all still very surreal even after a very long day yesterday getting the venue set and ready to go. I do mean a very long day, and today will be even longer.

There’s always the last-minute things: “oh we forgot…” “this won’t fit in my car, can you come get it?” “does anyone have…” “time for the Costco run” “who has the…” and probably the most common comment/question of the day “where do these go?”

We had grand ideas for an even earlier than planned start to set up yesterday and as anyone who has ever had a wedding knows, we didn’t succeed very well in that area. I had to meet the groom to retrieve components of a sound system that really should have arrived at the venue by commercial truck lines. We barely got them in my SUV. They never would have made it into his VW Jetta.

The venue  is a very historical cultural and fraternal hall in one of the original parts of Tacoma Washington. The bride and groom used to live just a few miles from this area. It is old, quaint and what you might expect from this sort of facility. The caretaker and rental manager is an older gentleman. One of the reasons things got off to a late start is that this nice, but I believe rather lonely old man, had to give an endless tour and tutorial regarding the use of the venue. Think every light switch, every possible corner and crevice, every place we aren’t allowed to go, etc. That set the initial early start back about one hour.

I don’t think we will relive all the glitches here. I did that enough last night, for about three hours in fact, which means that I got about four hours sleep. I’m sure there are others who will be just as sleep deprived so I have decided not to whine about this and move on.

Long story short, we put up decor, we took down decor, we replaced and reconfigured decor, we have dance music, we have tables ready and waiting for the caterer and a very, very well stocked bar with multitudes of craft beers created by some of the couples good friends.

I plan to be there just a tad early today, prior to the picture-taking session and will try to get a few shots of the tables and such. I took a few brief pictures of some of the set up yesterday, but was too tired to even find my camera by the end of the night. The theme is sort of country-farmy-outdoorsy-casual. The bride grew up on the eastern side of our state where farming is king so think wheat, harvest, that sort of thing. At the same time, they have stamped their own unique signature as true Pacific Northwest bride and groom.

We did a little rehearsal as well which tugged at the mom heartstrings for a moment or two, especially as we practiced walking the groom down the aisle and releasing him to his groomsmen.

I don’t know how many times, amid all the hustle yesterday, that I looked at the groom and saw the child who will forever be about twelve in my eyes, holding a faint but distinguishable saxophone to his lips, wearing yet another endless pair of cargo shorts and hearing a jazz standard echoing in the air around him.

No matter how handsome he looks today in his blue suit and bow tie, no matter that he is now almost a foot taller than me, no matter that he won’t be pulling out his saxophone today, no matter that, of all the people present with us today I am the only one who can claim to be his mom-the tears will spill as they verge right now writing this post- when my little boy steps into his new role as husband.

Standing outside looking in

Do you notice the counter over there to the right? Six days until my son weds.

This process has been surreal and it’s not hard to admit that I feel more like a simple guest planning to go to a wedding next weekend than someone who’s son is the groom.

Do all mothers of the groom feel this way? Is their role less defined because they don’t have the all important bride on their side to plan with, shop with, stress over things with?

I have this strange illusion that I will be watching everything unfold from a vantage point somewhere outside of the real process, going in the direction to which I am pointed, sitting where I am told and generally being a bystander.

I wonder if I did this myself, put myself in this position or if it truly is sort of the way things go when you have a son. I know that I didn’t want to be the person who had to worry about schedules on “the day” but I’m not so sure that this message didn’t somehow get transferred over into “well, she doesn’t want to do anything.”

I suspect that idea is just my imagination, as I have offered many times to take on tasks and have had my input and suggestions asked for. I think the reality is that this bride and groom have undertaken a simple ceremony, have worked together as a couple and have utilized many ideas and aspects from the recent wedding of the brides sister.

Quite possibly I’m just feeling more of that pulling away as my son creates his own family and I’m not ready to let those early, wistful childhood days go.

I’m feeling much more of a sense of loss with this wedding than I ever did with my oldest daughter. There is a finality about all this, an odd sensation that things will never be the same between myself and my son, even though I haven’t really been able to define who and what we are to each other in quite some time.

I foresee a difficult week ahead as conflicting emotions are rather overwhelming right now and the sadness I feel seems disproportionate to the happiness I am supposed to feel and the joy I am probably supposed to display.