September 03, 2014


Don't hate me, but I snuck in and out of America last week without telling you I was there.

Low down and dirty of me, I know.

But I had to. You see, there was this handsome country boy getting married (who happens to be my big brother) and I only had six days to help him with the wedding, catch up with my dad, giggle with my mom, cuddle with my nephew and niece, have coffee with Lou, meet with my agent, and go fishing on my little brother's boat. I didn't even have time to eat at Olive Garden!

(Shout out to Daniel, who held down the fort while I flew halfway around the world and back again in the time it takes for leftovers to go bad)

But I tell you, the wedding was a down home blast. Horseshoes scattered among the centerpieces, chickens roasted over a pit, taxidermy in the reception hall and the groom in cowboy boots.

The thing I love about weddings is that no two are the same, just as no two marriages are the same. My new sister-in-law Carrie, for example, ain't gonna be tide down by no apron strings. She's a visionary and a go-getter, a real take-the-reigns kind of girl (literally and figuratively). When it comes to horses, she jumps and rides, shows and knows, and seems to live life in much the same way. I'm not going to go so far as to say that she will wear the pants in the family, but she will definitely be wearing pants.

My brother, on the other hand, is more of a behind-the-scenes kind of guy. He's more than happy to shovel crap out of the stalls day after day, enjoying the early morning sky and the breath from a horse, lingering warm and sweet in the dusty air of a cold barn. He's got pants on too, but they're not quite as cute as Carrie's, and he likes it that way.

Me, I'm more like my brother, while Daniel is more like Carrie. That's what so beautiful about marriage. I heard a quote from Downtown Abbey, "There is more than one kind of good mother." How true is that! Similarly, I think, there is more than one kind of good marriage.

I met a guy on the plane from Abu Dhabi to Chengdu the other day, a 42-year-old teacher from northern England who doesn't believe in marriage. He doesn't see the point. He was with the same woman for 23 years and it was "so easy to split up" 18 months ago when she left him for his best friend. She moved out, he moved to China. It was that simple.

Sounds lovely, doesn't it.

That's when I want to say to him, "Buddy, what a waste of 23 years." It's like renting a house for 23 years and then moving out. All that money down the drain. Nothing gained, everything lost. Buy the house, buddy. Invest. How is she supposed to feel treasured by you if you are only in it on a month by month basis?

I saw the movie The Vow. If you didn't see it, you should. I cried, of course, but I watched it on the plane and my mom says the reason we all cry during airplane movies is because of the altitude. But anyway, what I LOVE about the movie is that Channing Tatum (bless him) took a vow and he intended to keep it.

Gosh, if only everybody saw it that way.

Parents of the groom. Still married after all these years.

The groom. Took a vow, and intends to keep it.