I missed a great opportunity last night.
I had the chance to be Grace Kelly, and I blew it.
I was offered a regal, romantic moment to display elegance, grace, maturity and charm; and what did I do? I responded like a Fraggle.
Allow me to explain.
Last night at W.I., we were treated to a music performance by “Lazymanz Flute” – an acoustic, folk duo consisting of my darling D.E.B. and his whistle playing chum, Ewan. The boys gave a stellar performance!
I was very proud, of course. I enjoy their music immensely, and without a doubt, I am very familiar with their repertoire. Still, nothing could have prepared me for their closing number.
I had advised/requested the boys end the evening with a rousing ditty, and offer the ladies a little sing-along, but to my surprise, the D.E.B. instead introduces a beautiful love song, “Who Knows Where the Time Goes,” and dedicates it to me.
“I love playing this song to my wife,” he said. And there, before the assembled gathering, he thundered unashamedly and unreservedly, and declared his pride and joy at being “lucky enough” to be my husband; and he waxed lyrical on the wonder of finding true love.
I was stunned, but returned his loving smile.
But then, all at once, I found myself surrounded by a sea of dewy-eyed women – all looking at me.
I became uncomfortable.
Suspecting that there may be some in our group, who, cut from the same cloth as the character “Miss Deborah” from Cranford, might find such a public, out-pouring of emotion abhorrent, “not the done thing”. Very un-British.
And, so, dear Reader, I failed.
In a moment wherein I could have been extraordinary, I chose to be ordinary. I pulled a face, and uttered a noise not unlike the sound of someone quietly choking a fraggle.
(I feel the urge to cry, and resist big, salty tears, as I think now on how I had responded.)
“Don’t you worry, Alycia,” my friend, Frances, called out to me, sensing my blushing awkwardness. “We all love the romance of this, we’re with you!”
Thankfully, I regained my composure and sense of ‘the moment’, and blew the D.E.B. a kiss at the end of the song.
I have wrestled with myself over and over this morning, trying to tweeze and uncover the source of my Fraggle-esque response.
For one thing, I find that I am always so staggered by the D.E.B., and his incredible love for me; in some ways, I feel so completely unprepared for his frank and bold passionate-ness (Is that a word? It should be.)
In my defense, I have never known anyone like him before; nor have I ever been loved as I am by him before.
Public displays of emotion, like public displays of affection, were always discouraged quite soundly by my staunchly Southern Baptist-quasi-Catholic family. Take for example, those infamous and dreaded “Goodbye” moments at the airport. On those occasions, lengthy or dramatic scenes of dewy affection were avoided at all costs.
A solid pat on the back, a firm handshake, or a swift, terse half-embrace were always considered more than sufficient. “Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve,” my father would admonish, routinely employing Shakespeare to add lofty credibility to his own discomfiture with public displays of affection.
Whenever he quoted that line, I would think to myself – but of course never say to him – that it was also Shakespeare who depicted, ever so romantically, the parting of loved ones as “such sweet sorrow.” In these terms, it seems the choice is one of restraint or indulgence.
I, for one, am determined now more than ever before, to allow myself to be more ‘indulgent’ in future.
Last night, I also fulfilled my first W.I. duty as “Flower Hostess”. The Flower Hostess is responsible for creating and providing a floral arrangement to be displayed on the top table during the meeting.
I treated myself to an afternoon at the Charlecote Park Nursery, and bought two dozen orange parrot tulips. Lovely!
I spent the early evening cutting and arranging them in a sweet, emerald green vase that the D.E.B. inherited from his mum and dad – thought that was a nice touch sense he was going to be performing at the meeting that night.
Everyone said the flowers looked lovely. So, at least I got one thing right!