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  • I.
    She is testing champagne. Not for the flavor or the sensation of cloud bubbles on the tongue, but for the color. She wants it to match her bridesmaids' dresses. Pink. Pale pink. All I can think of is who wants a pale pink dress? Who drinks pink champagne? Who would even put the two together?

    Another she, an old friend, is planning her daughter's wedding. Just got a quote for flowers: $16,000. When I say I think it unconscionable to spend that kind of money on flowers, or on an entire wedding for that matter, and that she ought to pick some of the beauties in her garden instead (seeing as the wedding would be in said garden), she says that her daughter doesn't want a wildflower wedding and makes it clear I am not to say another word.

    A third she, my husband's cousin, emailed him a couple of days ago to see if he wanted the dress his grandmother wore to his parents' wedding. He looked at me as though I'd know what to say. So I said, Are you kidding? A pale purple billowy bosom chiffon nightmare? Why would someone keep this dress?

    A fourth she, my mother, tells me she is wearing the same dress she had made for my wedding to her grandson's wedding. She's tickled by the idea. Said grandson was a newborn at my wedding. It is a simple, sweet dress of a flowery print. I smile. Great idea, Mom. You still have that dress? I wonder if some day, my girls will be wondering what to do with it.

    Somehow, in one of our many moves, I lost my own wedding dress. Heck, I also lost my engagement ring.

    On Hawk Hill, I watch the Golden Gate Bridge playing hide-and-seek in the fog. Below, at an overlook, a bride and groom stand in full regalia, a photographer directing them here and there, and the wind's blowing so crazily it tries to wrap her veil around and around her face.

    Around a corner in Rome, there on the street, a bride and groom are drinking champagne as cars and bikes and people thread past them. They are just there, in the pulse of the day, in the middle of the city, celebrating. Just there.
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