I feel like Iím finally relaxing for the first time this week. Life and work has been way too crazy and stressful, lately.

I had an extra busy working Friday, and during lunch, I had to run to Bed, Bath and Beyond to pick up a shower gift. Another wedding shower tomorrow. People just need to stop getting married. This is getting way out of hand. Tomorrow afternoon, I have the shower, and then tomorrow evening, the bachelorette party.

All I can say is, thank god for being snubbed by pseudo-friends that never really liked me very much, otherwise, Iíd just be way too over extended with wedding stuff, right now.

This evening, Adam was asking me what we do at wedding showers, and for the life of me, I couldnít remember. I ended up saying that itís kind of like a birthday, except weíre not celebrating anyoneís birth. Thereís cake, and the guest of honor opens presents.

Then I off-handedly said that I thought that maybe a lot of people follow these strict wedding traditions because of superstition. Like, doing otherwise would be telling the world that they arenít taking their wedding seriously, and maybe itís tempting fate, in a way.

I was remembering Moonstruck when I said that. You know how Cherís character thought she had bad luck because she didnít have a proper wedding?

Most people scoff at the idea of superstition today, but I think that human beings are inherently superstitious creatures. Weíll figure out a way to work it in, even if we refuse to call it that. We have our rituals. Donít mess with humans and their rituals.

So, Adam started asking me what I thought were the good parts of the wedding tradition and which I didnít like. I told him that I thought all of the pre-wedding stuff was unnecessary. Showers, bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, itís just way too much. Itís enough to make a person RSVP to one event, clear the day, put it on their calendar, get a gift, dress up, get there on time, etc., for one event, let alone several.

I told him how I donít like how the actual ceremony is downplayed, and the reception becomes the big deal. It turns into a status symbol based on what a couple can provide to their guests. I can understand having something like that catered, but I donít like weddings where the atmosphere is one of trying to mimic aristocracy. Being waited on hand and foot; the best of everything. That feels cold and impersonal to me.

So then, all the attention is put on the reception and the wedding ceremony itself becomes more like an after thought. I always think itís kind of sad, too, when a couple has a civil ceremony, and a huge overblown reception, and yet, didnít even bother to write their own vows.

I told him that I really liked how one couple we know did their wedding. They had a destination wedding in a place that was special and personal to them, with just family and a few very close friends. From there, they went on their honeymoon, and when they came back, they had the reception.

We werenít invited to the wedding, but we were invited to the reception, and I respected that. It makes sense to have the party with a large group, and share the more intimate, personal stuff with just the really close and special people.

They kept the reception casual and festive. There was no program. There was no specific time to eat. The food was actually good because they made it themselves, instead of paying an exorbitant amount of money for mediocre fare. There was no stiff, awkward or choreographed dances. The only wait staff they had were clearing dirty dishes, and there was a bartender.

Anyway, speaking of rituals, along with the cooler weather, one of my rituals returns. Thatís the post shower moisturization ritual. Itís not always a ritual. Sometimes I just slap on whateverís handy and hope for the best. Other times, when I want to take some time and get good and oily, I slather myself in pure shea butter.

When I first started using shea butter, I thought it was the most impractical moisturizer ever. The stuff is solid at room temperature. There are various recommended ways for using it, such as heating up the jar with hot water or sticking it in the microwave. I hold clumps of it in front of the space heater that I have in my bathroom. Iíve also used a blow dryer the same way. When Iím feeling warm enough, I just use my body heat. If you hold it against your skin, it will melt, eventually.

The longer process of melting a little bit at a time, and then rubbing it into specific areas has become ritualistic, in a way.

It takes time and it takes attention. Itís a tangible display of me nurturing myself. Me, paying attention to my body and taking care of it. Perhaps that itís something that we can all use on a regular basis.

I enjoy the sheen and texture it gives my skin, too. Itís not exactly a natural looking sheen. It looks more like Iím about to run off to do a photo shoot for a men's magazine.

When I was doing my feet, I remembered that Iíve never had a pedicure. Iíve had a manicure once (for a wedding). I think Iíve always figured that Iím perfectly capable of painting my own toenails, so why would I pay someone else to do it?

Of course, someone else could ask me why I would pay for a facial when Iím perfectly capable of washing my own face?

My feet are looking a little bit rough after the long summer. There is not a lot of leisure time to be had, right now, but it's something to consider.

1 comments so far

Friday, Sept. 16, 2011 at 11:59 PM