September 8, 1964
Forty-eight hours ago I wouldn’t have believed I could have such a change of heart. I got up this morning, feeling more discouraged than ever about Vonnie. Then Bob’s mother called. She said the kids have just told her they’re getting married and of course it’s a shock, Bob is her only son, and she knows how disappointed we must feel, too. It isn’t a very good way to start out, but after all, what was done was done. After the wedding, she and her husband were going to have a little reception so all Bob’s relatives—“and we have a flock of them!”—could meet the bride
“If you and your husband would care to join us, we’d love to have you—and anyone else who might like to come would be most welcome. Our doors are always open.”
This warmhearted person changed my point of view completely. I knew changing Ed’s would be a tall order, however.
“Now honey, before you fly off the handle and say no, will you listen to me for a minute? I just had a nice long talk with Mrs. Crosby and—“
“Mrs. Crosby. Bob’s mother. You know, Vonnie’s prospective—“
“Oh. What did she want?” (Growl.)
“Well, she sounds like a very nice person. She and her husband were disappointed just the way we were, but she says what’s done is done, so after the wedding they’re having a reception and they want us to—“
“No! I won’t go! I positively won’t do it!”
He didn’t hang up, though, so I kept talking and he said, “Boy, have you changed. What’s come over you all of a sudden?”
“It’s Bob’s mother. Don’t you see how right she is? Sure, maybe all our gloomy predictions will come true, maybe they’ll be fed up with marriage inside of a week, but it isn’t going to help them if we turn our backs on them.”
“Okay, okay,” he finally said in his I’ll-never-understand-women tone of voice. “I’ll go. For your sake. Why should I make things any tougher for you than they’ve been already.”
It's a busy day. Vonnie asks if her light gray suit and my white blouse would be appropriate, and I say I think it would be fine. Mother decides to wear her teal blue suit and a flowered hat. I choose my green wool, the one Ed doesn’t like but everybody else does. We take turns using the iron. Vonnie sets her hair three different times and still isn’t satisfied. “Why can’t it look the way it did yesterday?”
She came down to the kitchen with a sheaf of papers under her arm. “My drawings,” she said, spreading them out for her grandmother and me to admire one last time. “There won’t be room for them in the cottage. Where shall I put them?”
“How about one of the cupboards on the third floor?”
“All right.” She gathered up her sketches. Then she added, “Will you go up and look at them once in a while?”
The justice of the peace, Mr. Christianson, performed a brief but beautiful ceremony. Weddings are always beautiful if you really listen to the words.
At 8:00 P.M. the “clan” began assembling at the Crosbys’ house. Ed and I could hardly believe what they accomplished on such short notice. Aunts and cousins, contributing platters of lobster rolls, sandwiches, and homemade cookies, had decorated the table and placed a three-tiered wedding cake (made by Aunt Gert) in the middle. All of Bob’s relatives were delightful, outgoing, down-to-earth people. I was happy we didn’t miss the event, despite all the misgivings.
When we made our farewells, Ed kissed Vonnie (to whom he had barely spoken for the last week) and shook hands with Bob.