Love in the Ruins

I’ve been off the grid for most of the last week, performing a mission of mercy and hanging out near the muddy, majestic Suwannee River:


Mr. Cracker, who is no cracker at all and is in fact from New York State, claims that the Suwannee is one of a handful of Florida rivers that is worthy of being called a river. With the same tone in which many New Yorkers claim you can’t get a decent pizza outside the Empire State, the mister relegates most of our Florida rivers to “crick” status. But even he has to admit the Suwannee is somewhat impressive.

On its banks, it’s easy to lose track of civilization as we know it. I came home to find that Sarah Palin is currently pretending to be a biker chick and Andrew Breitbart has engineered a wingnut media inquiry into a phony scandal involving Representative Wiener’s wiener.

As compelling as these topics are, this morning, I’m indulging in rank sentimentality, remembering instead a morning about a decade and a half ago when I woke up worried about the weather because I had been foolish enough to plan an outdoor wedding during the beginning of the rainy season.

My luck held that day. There were a few hitches in the ceremony. My bridesmaids came under attack by fire ants, but they were a stalwart trio who refused to break ranks until the vows were said, at which point they kicked off their shoes and hopped around scratching their feet furiously, a moment that was fortunately captured on film.

My nervousness about the whole thing was subtly captured on film: in every photo, the flowers in my bouquet are blurry because I was shaking so badly. Then there is the photo of the mister and I returning from the chow line to our table, he eying my plate to determine what morsels he would sample from the items I had chosen that he hadn’t taken for himself, a pattern that continues to this very day.

There isn’t a photo of the town drunk (I didn’t invite her!) confiscating the band’s microphone and delivering a Scotch-fumed version of “The Rose.” There is a picture of my then-teenage brother unlawfully smoking a big fat cigar and illegally drinking a Cuba Libre cocktail.

So what’s the point? I don’t think there really is a point, not to this post, and not to life. I believe we live in a pitiless, pointless universe in which pain and loss and death are the predominate features for us struggling life forms.

But there can be love and laughter along the way, and sometimes it continues for far longer than we think we deserve. If our luck holds.

Posted by Betty Cracker on 05/31/11 at 07:25 AM • Permalink

Categories: Messylaneous

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Suwannee, how I love ya, how I love ya…

Happy anniversary to you and Mr. Cracker, Betty.

Lovely post, but I have a couple of nits to pick (or fire ants to crush):

1) It is a well-known fact that you cannot get a decent slice of pizza outside of New York City, except perhaps in New Haven. And I think Kevin K. and Mrs. Polly will back me up on this. (New York STATE?! Puh-lease.)

2) Come on, we all know it was you who sang “The Rose.” ;-)

Welcome back to insanity, Betty. That superb view makes your hangout look very civilized in comparison, and gives the angler in me itchy fingers (and that’s not down to fire ants).

What sentimental claptrap. Quit woolgathering and blog about the penis!

Happy anniversary to the Crackers! And as a Zora Neale Hurston fan, I knew about the Suwanee, but never saw a picture until now.

Touching post, reminding me (at any rate) of what is important, especially as Mr. Aimai and I head up to the big 16th anniversary.  I can barely remember our wedding but I do remember that food, or the lack of it, played a huge role since we didn’t realize just how difficult it would be to eat anything at all at the wedding itself.  The caterer, who was more experienced than we were, had arranged for a waiter to be standing by with a whole tray of canapes for us to eat at the moment we dashed off from the actual service for the ritual moment (Jewish ritual) when we were to be consummating the marriage before going back out to greet our guests.  Mr. Aimai grabbed a handful of the treats for us, triumphantly thinking that he was doing something he wasn’t supposed to do, and left behind the majority of the snacks politely for the guests. That was pretty much the last thing we got to eat until midnight when the b and b we were staying in had left us a split of champagne and a few biscuits.  If I ever were to get married again I’d not only eat dessert first, I’d eat the whole damned wedding dinner first.

Congratulations to you and Mr. Cracker.  Marriage is wonderful when its with the right person.

aimai (Mrs.)

Happy anniversary to you! Thank you for a moving and heartwarming post with which to start the week.

A lovely entry, at once touching and reality-based, and free of sappiness.  And because the river wasn’t Blingee’d, I know you meant every word!

Thanks a hell of a lot, Betty. You go romping through the goddamn woods on some sort of memory-time-capsule jaunt and we’re left here with Strange, Palin-Monster and repeated shots of someone’s underwear.

I now admire and adore fire ants.

Oh come on, no pics?

Happy Anniversary!

I want to know more about this “Jewish ritual.”

Happy Anniversary to the Crackers! I’m glad to hear that you had a nice break from the horrors of politics for a while.

Our 30th wedding anniversary is coming up at the end of June. We haven’t had a get-away since our 25th, so maybe we can swing a nice, small trip.

Happy Anniversary, Betty.  Loved this post, especially the second-to-the-last paragraph (and the last, I suppose).

And because the river wasn’t Blingee’d, I know you meant every word!


meep, if it weren’t for the realization of how unimportant it is in the Giant Scheme and whatnot, and not comparing with holding your nearest and dearest close and letting the little things slide, I might take some exception to the notion that my Blingees aren’t heartfelt, time-consuming little offerings placed before our readers in the name of A Little Fun Before The Meteor. Vissi d’Snarking, Vissi d’amore. If you prick me, do I not say, “Not now dear, the wedding guests are waiting?”

Glad I didn’t know about that little custom at the time; I was having enough trouble coordinating a wedding brunch for twenty. Every time the lady who ran the restaurant wanted to know when to serve something, I felt like bursting into tears and saying, “Why are you asking ME?”

We also had a larcenous ukuleleist. I don’t want to talk about it.

(Welcome home, Betty. A very happy Anniversary to you and Mr. Cracker. Just ignore me.)

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