This is a vintage ‘Forget Me Not’ earring and brooch set made by Krementz. I wish they were in my jewelry box! I only have the posts that I wore on my wedding day. I’d bought them from Zweck’s Jewelry story in Marshfield.
I leaned forward to look closely at my reflection in the mirror. There were just a few more things for me to do to be ready. White wedding dress lace spilled from my lap to the bedroom’s wooden floorboards. Gazing down at the pretty design, I marveled, “I’m getting married today!” As the baby of my family, I’d watched all four of my big sisters get married. Finally, it was my turn to walk down that aisle.
Smiling, I picked up the earrings I’d wear on my special day and thought about the old Victorian wedding rhyme, “Brides should always wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” My jewelry was little ‘forget-me-not’ flower posts by Krementz. Gold petals painted blue surrounded a pearl standing in the place of a stamen for the blue in my trousseau.
Several things qualified for the borrowed item in my wedding. For instance, I couldn’t remember buying the Muguet Des Bois perfume by Coty. A small vial labeled with a spray of tiny white flowers enclosed the cherished scent of a pure, sweet little flower called ‘lily in the valley’. I dabbed some of the precious fragrance behind my ear lobes.
Earlier this morning, Mom had given me one of her old, lacy handkerchiefs for my ‘something old’ bridal goods. Everything else I wore for the day fit in the category of ‘something new’.
Nervously glancing around, I wondered, “Am I ready? Have I done everything I planned to do?” The pink bedroom I was sitting in had been my sister Betty’s room. When Mom and my sister painted the room pink, the dressing table and mirror frame had been painted pink also. The stool I sat on was nothing more than a small oil can covered with a pale-pink gathered skirt to hide its common origins and topped with a soft cushion for comfort.
How dear and sweet my childhood home suddenly felt to me! I wondered if my soon-to-be-husband Arnie and I would be able to form a loving, sweet home like Mom and Daddy. Although I felt grown up, I recognized how very young and inexperienced we were.
Soon, Mom and Daddy would help me into the family car to drive to the church. The help and support I needed from them on this special day made tears form in my eyes. Arnie. The thought of my sweet groom waiting at the church suddenly made me feel impatient to get going.
Memories of me learning to drive made me chuckle as I got into Daddy’s car. I’d learned to drive in this 1960 black Ford Fairlane with a manual transmission gear lever on the steering column. When I needed to practice driving before taking my driver’s test, Daddy didn’t feel qualified to go with me. All he had done to get his driver’s license was mail a quarter to the Department of Transportation. He told me to practice driving by myself, telling me to only use the side roads around our farm. What an amazing amount of freedom for a sixteen-year-old!
The Victorian wedding rhyme leans heavily on superstition. Having something old, new, borrowed, and blue in your wedding trousseau doesn’t guarantee a happy marriage, healthy children, or long lives. They don’t stop a couple from experiencing illnesses, birth defects or natural disasters. How we get along with people around us, the work we do, and where we live all require making conscious decisions. But these decisions are seldom made as big, one-time deals. They come about one day at a time as we muddle our way through life.
April 18th would have been my 53rd wedding anniversary this year if Arnie had lived. In many ways I am still that young girl who sat at the pink dressing table in my sister’s old bedroom on the morning of my wedding, dabbing perfume behind my ears and putting in my forget-me-not earrings. I have grown up more since then, but have not grown out of love for Arnie, now gone for 16 years.
Such sweet memories for all of us as we look back on our wedding day! Thanks for the memory reminders! Wow–16 years already with your Arnie gone–time does go on despite our sorrows, but good memories help!