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The Cardboard Sign
Today we are celebrating! Precious? That would be our Silver Wedding Anniversary. Twenty five years? We have been married for more of our loves than ever we were single. Two children, three houses, quite a lot more stuff than we started out with...
...and something which says August instantly, every time I catch a glimpse of it peeping out from underneath a stack of keep-it-flat magazines. It's a simple piece of cardboard. Look closely and you'll see it's the inner packaging from a shirt: the bit you are left with after you peel off the cellophane and take out the pins. Just married it says. And on that August day, as we waved our wedding guests good bye, we discovered it tied to the back of our car. Is that a tradition in your part of the world? It is here. Most honeymooners find their car a riot of toilet paper, balloons, signs and shaving foam. We drove off, tin cans tied to the exhaust, rattling our way towards a dinner of Pot Noodle in our new little house, before our trip to England. We untied the sign as soon as we could, of course, and we set it on the shelf and I've been carrying it from house to house ever since.
It was made by our friend Tony and I'm thinking that he got up that morning and put on a new shirt, all the better to perform his duties as our Bets Man. maybe he peeled off that cellophane and picked out the pins and wondered what the day would bring.
You do a lot of that, getting ready for a wedding. Unpacking, unwrapping, unpicking. All those gifts: carefully chosen and cushioned in tissue paper, set out on display, used until they fall apart. Clothes, for the big day and beyond: bits of froth in fancy bags mixing with favourites brought out of a suitcase carried from one home to another. Lots of layers, lots of packaging you need to lose before it all means anything.
i remember the flowers arriving that morning, lifting them out of their cardboard box and wondering how they could possibly be for me. I remember stepping into the vestry to sign the register and the man who had just married us threw his arms round me, my new Father in Law, and everyone laughed because he didn't usually hug all the brides and I thought how lucky I was. And I remember the confetti tumbling to the floor, out of my own new clothes later on in the day. More unwrapping.
You won't be surprised to hear, because you know me well enough by now, that I brushed up that confetti and saved it, picked out the dust and stuck it in our wedding album. I have all the cards we were sent, too, and we're still using the gifts, beautiful things we were given and I'm still holding onto a piece of old cardboard. I think I know why. I think it's because we're twenty five years down that road of peeling back the layers, deciding what we want to keep, and if what we keep is the basic, every day stuff for most of the time, then so be it. Sometimes you don't get to Pick what's Precious.
And, with that in mind, I'll put my piece of cardboard back on the shelf. We have a small party to go to I talked to Little E on the phone about it. He said Auntie Sian, we got cake - chocolate!- and heart shaped balloo- and then there was the sound of a hand being clamped firmly over the mouth of a small boy and the line went dead..
Have a great Sunday, whatever you are up to, but don't forget to Pick Your Precious. I'm ready and waiting.
Write your post, introduce it as a Storytelling Sunday story and then come back and link us up. You won't regret it! Everyone meets someone new on Storytelling day You have a full week to add your story, and the rest of the month to come back and read your choice of the others. No big rush! Have a think, take your time. And then? Sit back and enjoy the rest.