Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Bride's Keepsake Book

Squeeze and I were married 6 years ago, approx 2 months before I turned 23. I had just graduated from college and thought the whole wedding thing was pretty sissy.

I did, however, buy a vintage 1976 (the year before I was born) copy of The Bride's Keepsake Book. I found it at a thrift store the very summer we were married.

I updated it with pictures and some stories, swatches of cloth from our dresses, and the song list from our Wedding Soundtrack. I'm glad I did - it is fun to look back on. However, I had always looked at the Wedding Gifts section of The Bride's Keepsake Book and thought, "Who has time for that?" Funny, since just within the last year, I relished going through Squeeze's maternal Grandmother's bridal keepsake book. I loved looking at everyone's names, seeing what gift they gave, and figuring out their connection to the family.


I updated my copy of The Bride's Keepsake Book. I just finished today.

It all started last week, when I pulled out the old standby How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. It was a wedding gift; one that I've used quite a bit. I like how he talks about the recipes before going into the details, like, "The US must be very removed from the kitchen to have allowed pancake mixes a hold on the market, because they are ridiculously easy to make".

As I opened the cookbook, I thought about its status as a Wedding Gift but I had no idea who it came from. What a shame! I stated such to Squeeze, then wondered out loud about all of our wedding cards in the big plastic bag stored in one of our cupboards. Squeeze promptly went to the cupboard, pulled out the bag, and began going through the cards until he found the Cookbook Giver. Harley S. (& family): one of my beloved professors from college. That makes the cookbook twice as nice! He even wrote in the card of his fondness for it.

So. I brought out my 1976 The Bride's Keepsake Book, found the very blank Wedding Gifts section, and began transcribing all of our gifts and the givers, divided between our MN reception and WA reception. It has been so much fun. First of all, being able to connect various household items, kitchen tools, and other miscellany with the people who actually gave them to us: very cool. Now I can think of these people as I rinse peas in our colander, or weigh myself on our bathroom scale. I love it!

The other thing that struck me is all the life changes amongst my kin and acquaintance since the year 2000: death, divorce, marriage, and children. Death stands out the most starkly, followed by divorce. Jack and Peggy L. are no longer Jack and Peggy L. - it is now simply Peggy L. My heart aches with the reality of life (death). Entering both of their names on the registry felt so normal, and yet - he was gone as I wrote it.

9/11/06 conclusion:
Re-reading this post is like falling down a waterfall. It just ends; hacked. I don't have the time to edit into coherence, yet I don't want to delete it either. Therefore: it is what it is. A waterfall.


purple_kangaroo said...

How neat . . . that makes me want to see if I can find the list of who gave us what at our wedding 7 years ago.

Wouldn't it be neat to write notes again to the givers of some of the gifts, telling them how much we still love and use the gifts from so many years ago?

A. Borealis said...

That is a *very* good idea - right up my alley! I might just do that. It would be fun to mystify a few people with some surprise thank-you notes.