East Meets West

The Parent’s Dinner last night turned into a Family Dinner.  Carrie and the future Mr. Carrie were great sports about the lengthening list of dinner guests in the midst of their excitement and utter exhaustion from having a house full of people for days.  They just pulled out more food and spread out the Ahi by making extra side dishes. Mr. Carrie is a great cook!

Dinner was great and not as big a challenge as you’d expect despite it being Lent.  Even with Carrie’s family being devout Catholics and Mr. Carrie’s family being lapsed Lutherans, it all came off like clockwork.

It was so much fun watching these two families interact. Carrie’s family all came in from North Jersey.  Mr. Carrie’s family was in from Riverside, California and, I heard this a lot last night so it’s got to mean something, Orange County.

Having lived on both coasts I’m a little in the middle myself, so I kind of dug both cultural perspectives.  But, when one of Mr. Carrie’s sisters made a comment about how Jenny McCarthy had found a cure for autism, I heard Carrie’s mother ask who was Jenny McCarthy and Carrie explaining that she was an ex-Playboy Bunny, I had to look over from where I was sitting on the couch with Carries brother and his fiancée to see if Carrie’s mother’s head would spin off her neck and explode.  Too funny.

Both these families are made up of wonderful, interesting, intelligent people.  They’re just a little different, is all.


Lots to do today.  We went out to the wedding site, this beautiful old plantation.  It’s gorgeous.  Carrie, her friend, Jenny, and I put together all the centerpieces and set up the tables. Then, Carrie and I ran out to Michael’s to pick up some finishing touches before heading over to another Mexican place for a late lunch.  I swear I’ve eaten more food in the last three days than I have in a year.  I’m definitely going to have a hard time squeezing into my dress today.  Well, I might get into it if I don’t mind holding my breath for four hours…

Carrie and I had a long talk about how to handle that overwhelming feeling you get sometimes when you just can’t figure out what to do first or next.  And she told me she prayed.  Maybe it’s my own Catholic upbringing or maybe it’s just nostalgia for that feeling I always had as a child that I could always rely on someone or something bigger than me fixing everything that was wrong – from scraped knees to bruised hearts – but that made sense to me.  The praying, I mean.

And by the time we’d pulled into the parking lot of the Dollar Store where we bought the coolest matching flip flops for $3 a piece, I’d come to the decision that I was ready to do some of that myself.  Not that I have a lot of problems.  I’m blessed in many ways.  But you really don’t want to reconnect only when you need something fixed, right? You’ve got to ease into a relationship before you unpack your baggage.

I try to keep religion out of my public life, but I guess it can be hard to hold on to faith when you don’t embrace it.  And sometimes the only thing you can do when you don’t know what to do next is just let it go and hand your problems over to a higher power.  It’s not so much about failing to take responsibility as it is acknowledging that you can’t do it all yourself.

None of us have all the answers.  And whether you believe in Budha, God, Zarathushtra, or nothing at all, sometimes the smartest thing you can do is just to let go of the idea that you do.

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