Last year, Liadan Hynes’ marriage fell apart. She is now working on adjusting to the new reality. In her weekly column, Things Fall Apart she explores the myriad ways a person can find their way back to themselves.
An email drops into my inbox from the shop where I bought my wedding dress, asking me to a fashion show they’re hosting. ‘Absolutely not’, I think instantly. Later that week, there’s a Facebook invitation to a school friend’s wedding this summer. He was my first boyfriend.By which I mean as thirteen-year-olds we spent seven weeks pointedly ignoring each other whilst intermittently meeting at various points around the school grounds to ‘get off’, before going back to ignoring one and another.
A definite no.
But then I think about how much I like the girls at the shop. And that drinks and fashion with a friend isn’t a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
It turns out that another old school friend and her husband are going to the wedding, and I know we’ll get a fun road trip out of it. And I realise that actually, weddings, and my wedding in particular, don’t make me sad. There was a time when they would have. But now, if anything, I feel slightly smug. We had a lovely wedding. It was in a barn in the country, and we had a huge party with all our friends and family and a band, and people still talk to me about how delicious the food was. Well, they did, until recently.
Early on, Himself suggested we just make it about having the best party possible. It meant that we did not have one of those weddings that you sort of get through, something for show, only able to relax the next day when it’s all over and you can begin to enjoy yourself. We loved our day. And that still stands.
When else do you ever get almost all of your people in a room to eat and dance? Whatever happens afterwards doesn’t change the fact of that. So, smug.
My dress was bought at Folkster in Kilkenny. The mother and I had a lovely weekend together. Ambling through the town we came across the shop, came across the dress. It was €130 and we bought it on a whim. I can still remember the easiness of the whole thing, our delight at it.
Now, it’s in a bag in the wardrobe, a slinky beaded evening dress. I think if I had bought the big, meringue, fairy-tale dress, there might be a feeling of a carcass of some sort. How do you repurpose such a thing? If things go wrong, it would need dealing with.
The most recent outing for my dress was during a dressing-up session for Herself. It has what on an adult is a low-ish back, on a two-year-old meant she resembled that actress who once thought bum cleavage on the red carpet was a good idea. The effect was priceless and The Mother and I fell about laughing as she delightedly pranced about in Mommy’s dress.
That is what I think of now when I think of my wedding dress.
The three of us laughing, and a two-year-old’s edible bum. And maybe she will wear it again someday, as a bigger girl as we say. We will repurpose it.
In our wedding photographs, my sister-in-law stands behind the dessert table she helped me create, my great aunt sits amongst family. Both are no longer with us now and I love that we have these pictures capturing them at the centre of things, in their element.
I lost my wedding ring awhile ago, and we replaced it. I’m smug about that one too – it’s not a traditional gold band, but a rose gold diamond eternity.
You won’t believe me when I say that Himself found the original, which I was convinced I had lost at the gym, in the car the night he was packing to move out.
Now Herself likes to occasionally have a little play with the two of them. And I tell her one will be hers when she’s a bigger girl.
They are now our eternity rings.
I am repurposing.
Bar adoring grandparents, nobody has the delight, or tolerance, for anecdotes about your child’s latest like their other parent.
‘She greeted me this morning with ‘Bonjour, comment ca va,’’ I tell Himself. ‘Perfect pronunciation. Heard it on Peppa a few days ago apparently. I think she might be a genius’.
Only your co-parent could tolerate this level of smugness. And there is nothing like watching your child scream with laughter being chased, kissed, tickled and generally thrown about by their father.
It’s the kind of thing I would hate to miss. He is no longer my husband but we are repurposing. We are now co-parents.
This is still a story with a happy ending. Our daughter. The love of both our lives.