Tying the Knot

Three days before my granddaughter’s wedding, my daughter Tammie looked up from her phone and sadly reported, “I’ve been watching weather forecasts all week. Unfortunately, Anne will most certainly have a rainy wedding day!”

“That’s too bad.” I sympathized before adding, “The sun never came out on my wedding day. From time to time throughout the morning icy rain spit fitfully from the gray sky. During the afternoon and early evening, it flat out rained. My wedding was in April, not an end of June wedding like Anne’s. At least the rain on Saturday will be warmer than it was on my wedding day.”

Tammie questioned, “How did you and Daddy happen to pick April 18th?”

Shrugging, I admitted, “Sorry, I don’t have a romantic story. When Arnie and I went to book Fahey’s Ballroom for our reception and dance, Saturday April 18 just happened to be available.”

Arnie had asked me to marry him on Halloween. Within two weeks we set the date. I remembered how cold gusts of November wind had followed us into the overheated country bar. Two guys who had gone to high school with my fiancé were at the pool table. One glanced over at us as he was chalking his cue stick. He bellowed, “Hey you two! I heard you’re going to be tying the knot! Is that true?”  

The other guy picked up his glass of beer. Holding it aloft, he called out, “Congratulations Arnie! I’m glad its you and not me!” Then he quaffed the contents in one, long swallow.

When the bartender checked the ballroom calendar he explained, “April 18th is open, but then there isn’t another Saturday open until in the fall.”

Dismayed, I thought about how I didn’t want to wait all summer to get married. Arnie must have had felt the same way. He looked at me and turning to the bartender requested, “Put us down for that Saturday in April”. At that point Arnie and I had known each other for only five months. Now, in just five more months we would be married.

The rain on Anne’s wedding day started as we left our to attend the ceremony. At first it just sprinkled, but throughout the day the rain steadily grew heavier. Everywhere I looked, there were green lawns, green trees, colorful flowerbeds and happy birds.

At the church, Tammie wondered, “Why do people call getting married, “Tying the knot?” I was curious about that myself, so I resolved to visit Mr. Google to ask him the first chance I got.

The saying is from the sixteenth century and is a mere abbreviation of an original, mixed-metaphor saying. The full saying describes the vows at the altar, “Tie a knot with one’s tongue that one cannot untie with one’s teeth.” In other words, the bonds of marriage are viewed as a knot. If this knot were made of string or cord, it could be easily untied using our teeth.

After Anne and Ethan’s beautiful wedding ceremony, I stood in the narthex of the church waiting in line to greet the newly married couple. Someone near me turned to a friend and said, “It’s said that rain on your wedding day is good luck.”

That was another thing I resolved to have Mr. Google check into for me. I loved that the explanation is linked to the phrase, “Tying the knot”. All knots are hard to untie, but when a knotted rope or cord becomes wet, it is extremely difficult to untie. Therefore, when you tie the knot on a rainy day, your marriage is even harder to untie.

When I told Tammie what I had discovered, she said, “It must be true. It rained on the day of your wedding and you have never stopped loving Dad.”

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