Saturday I opened my front door to find a big boxed delivered to my doorstep. Of course, I grabbed a pair of scissors, cut the corners, and opened the brown box. Inside I found a smaller box wrapped in ivy paper and held together with a bow. A card fell out as a pulled the small box up. The card read,
“Congratulations on your engagement! Love, Grammer”
I smiled, and thought, what in the world could my grandmother be sending me? I continued on, and unwrapped the box to find a small rose covered teacup inside.
Now, I know to most a teacup isn’t all that exciting. Honestly, it isn’t all that exciting to me either. But there is more here. Leave it to my grandmother to carry on tradition. You see, teacups are what women gave other women when they got engaged. My mom has 8 or so teacups that she received when she got engaged. My grandmother has close to the same. There are a couple different reasons or myths about the teacup. Something about your teacup will crack if your husband is unfaithful, and something else about teacups were thought to be consolation for spinsterhood. Either way, there is a tradition behind the teacup, though I don’t think very many people give or receive teacups anymore.
That being said, normally I would open the package and think sarcastically, “ooohh a teacup, thanks grandma.” But truth be told, I love my teacup.
By now you know our wedding is untraditional. Our reception is basically a party. And perhaps something gets lost or the traditional value of marriage gets forgotten when you don’t have a big wedding to constantly remind everyone. In some ways, my girlfriends haven’t been the greatest during the last two months. No one knows what my dress look like. They haven’t called to ask where I am having it at; they haven’t called very much at all.
Perhaps it’s because they don’t have to pick out their own dress or shoes. Or maybe it’s because I live in Seattle and the majority of them live in other cities. I don’t know. But truth be told, I have been hurt by their lack of support and interest. I love my girlfriend unconditionally, but it has felt as though, by their lack of interest, they have belittled my marriage in some way, made it less important.
Hence, the reason why the teacup ment so much to me . . . the teacup was a visual and tangible reminder of what the tradition of marriage and value of marriage was all about. I desperately needed that reminder. And the fact that my grandmother gave it to me was even more fitting.
You see, my grandfather died in January and until then I didn’t want to get married. But I spent a week with my grandmother, just the two of use alone, right after he passed. And we had a conversation in the car about how, even after he was paralyzed (long story to go with this), and even after they couldn’t “do it” any more, he still sometimes would ask her to take her night gown off and lay next to him. Because he still loved the way she felt. It was this conversation that made me want to get married. Because I knew at that moment, I want to be 89, unable to do it, and still have TJ next to me.
My grandmother and my grandfather, in his death, showed me the value and importance of marriage. And it was my grandmother, of all people, who sent me a reminder of that when she mailed me my engagement teacup. And I really needed that reminder.
So, thanks Grammer.
(Though, she will never read this because she has no clue how to turn on a computer.)