Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dr. West The Wedding Planner - Part I

Dr. West’s long absence from the Maidenhood and Motherhood (circa 1886) lecture series is due, he explained, to a recent and prolonged overabundance of nervous disorders and the treatment thereof. He was kind enough to take a break from dispensing laudanum and smelling salts to discuss our next topic, The Wedding:

The Right Time To Marry.

Summer and Fall are the times usually selected. There are reasons that are indicated from the teachings of Nature that would point to springtime as the more commendable. This is the period generally selected by the lower animals as the time for mating which may be a significant suggestion to the human family (Millicent, do you remember seeing those randy little robins this afternoon? Try to keep that in mind as a suggestion of things to come, as it were..that people, as in nature…Millicent? Oh she’s fainted dead away again). An additional reason is if a child is born within the first year, the child will have attained sufficient age to resist the disorders of teething before the approach of the second summer. (Uhm, okay) .

The Right Time of the Month To Marry.
There are certain times in every woman’s month that alone would indicate an unpropitious time for the consummation of such social relations. It would be quite embarrassing for a sensitive maiden who normally does not even appear in society under certain circumstances to enter matrimony at this particular period. (Ohhhh period…. Why didn’t you just say it?)
Hence she should select a day about midway between the times of her periodical sickness and allow 12 days to intervene between her entire recovery from her sickness and the day of her wedding. (Why, you ask??) This would bring her safely into Nature’s period of sterility that she need not suffer the embarrassment consequent to early pregnancy. This is usually followed by a few days of premature birth which in a gossiping and uncharitable community might reflect unjustly on her character. (Elvira, we must count the days again. The wedding was on June 21. Do you count the 21st or the 22nd as the first opportunity for you-know-what? Elvira? Oh stop fainting and count)
The Wedding Planner
Too many brides are concerned with how the wedding will be considered by others and are forgetful of the drain that is being made on their own nervous resources. It is advisable to consult with the bridegroom regarding the particular arrangements. For obvious reasons; his judgment is better than hers (How ‘bout we have it at Inky’s Sports Bar. We’ll get a couple a barrels of Bud, throw in some wings and some curly fries with that cheesey sauce. Besides, them waitresses are HOT!) While she is liable to think of others he thinks only of her. ( Besides, the Bucks are playin’ and Inky’s got them giant TV screens) Men, as a rule, are simpler in their tastes than women. (I don’t have to wear no tie to this shindig, do I)
Whether the ceremony is held in the church or the bride’s home, the conditions are about the same. There will necessarily be considerable excitement of the nervous constitution of the bride. The thought of the great change, the severance of tender ties, and the venture into new and untried conditions – these alone are sufficient to excite her nerves to a high pitch.

You go back out there and get those self sticking stamps right this instant.

Not all guests will be thoughtful of the nerves of the bride. The novelty of being the central figure in the day’s events, the vigilance necessary to preclude annoying blunders, etc. (is that ETcetera or Excetera?) will add to the drain on her vital powers. It must not be forgotten that nervous exaltation, however delightful is exhausting. It will inevitably followed by a season of depression as great and prolonged as was the antecedent excitement. It is therefore important that the wedding and reception be as simple and brief as social ettiquet will allow. The change from maidenhood to wifehood (You’re going to do WHAT? With WHAT???) is of sufficient magnitude to demand, for it’s safe and happy accomplishment, (OH NO YOU”RE NOT) the most favorable conditions attainable (Don’t you take one more step Stanley or I shall scream). Not a few women there are whose failing health dates from marriage. Many of these women do not know yet, precisely that it was not the marriage which laid the foundation for a shattered system, but the unnecessary and imprudent conduct of the festivities. (This is where the phrase “I have a headache” comes in handy)
(We are going to ask Dr. West to stop right here and return later for part II of this very important discussion. He natters on in his book for another 23 pages on the subject of the wedding preparations, ceremony and reception! It’s important that you hear every single word, and I am quite sure that he has put you in a high state of excitement already. You probably feel the need to lie down and apply a cold compress for the rest of the day. )


Karla @ Ramblin' Roads said...

A high state of excitement, indeed! Yes, it's probably best that you give us this careful instruction in small doses. Otherwise our delicate sensibilities probably would not be able to deal with the trauma.

Bwa-ha-ha! Thanks for sharing! I love it!

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

I'm laughing so hard I'm speechless (yeah, better write that down!)!! And I have a headache. [roflol] :o) ♥ ∞

Linda said...

I am with Sparky., I need the Windex now. lol..sorry..my "humor" is off key, lately. I find the little things have made me laugh so often now. LOLOL

MuseSwings said...

Yes, I thought small doses of Dr. West and large doses on laudanum will keep us from getting ourselves in a state of the vapours.

Call Me Cate said...

I love reading this stuff but I think I'm about to have a "periodic sickness" by punching this guy in the face.

Barely Domestic Mama said...

Periodic sickness and the embarrassment consequent to early pregnancy had me cracking up. Geez. Amen to this - Not all guests will be thoughtful of the nerves of the bride. Thanks to Xanax for making my wedding day a peaceful day. :)

Bella@That damn expat said...

Dr West huh? Well I'm loving it!

Devoted said...

LOL! Now I know why I got married at lunch on a Friday afternoon, had a little too much bubbly and fell fast asleep...Thank God, it's lasted 20 years so far...and I had never even heard of the good Dr. West! Can't wait for the rest!

Debby said...

Well, see now, if the bride had a huge wedding, followed by a rowdy reception, she would have suffered a complete nervous collapse before the honeymoon, and the...er...change from maidenhood to wifehood would not have been nearly as traumatic. Apparently the good Dr. never thought of that one. The caption beneath your ubiquitous picture could then read "Away with you all! The wedding reception is over! My beloved is ready to leave on the honeymoon."

Julie said...

Oh my, I have a young friend getting married in a couple of days. Too bad I won't see her beforehand to share this enlightening info with her.

Bibi said...

Oh, Dear MuseSwings,

I am forwarding your link to my daughter, who just got engaged and we're planning a September wedding....oh.

Jeanne said...

Perhaps this is why, following my initial nuptials, I went into a decline....

MuseSwings said...

I have his other dissertations on my side bar inluding Don't Give Your New Bride the Vapours. A must read for engaged couples about to embark on their new lives. Dr. West took the day off to see the sights, but will return later today with part II. Stay tuned.

Marie Reed said...

23 pages! I think that I'l go put an iceberg on my head!

SILVER said...

Can't wait for Part II ;)

Betsy said...

Oh so funny!