Bridal Gown

by Benedicto Ismael Camargo Dutra

Mrs. Nena's friends always came to visit her as they could tell she really wanted them to feel welcome when they arrived. Along with the cake and the special coffee she offered them, they all absorbed the wisdom in her words. That afternoon, the subject was about marriage and family.

"Remember, the family is a very important matter," Nena remarked. "The home is a sanctuary; it is where the woman should fully develop the blossoming of her skills. There is something magical about a woman's right attitude inside the home, for only she can create an atmosphere of serenity that will physically and psychologically benefit those who are the closest to her first. Furthermore, it may reach out far beyond to the point of even favoring world peace. This means that, the more peace and harmony become a reality in people's homes, the less one will hear about crimes and violence in the world. Women have the ability to bring heaven as well as hell inside their homes."

Then, one of the women who were present asked:

"But does this only apply to women? Aren't the men responsible as well?"

"Of course they are, my dear. They must not act with despotism, or show they do not care and disrespect the order of the house. Whenever possible, they should cooperate with domestic chores and assist their wives in everything they can. One should not make their spouse's professional life difficult, either."

"Since the topic is marriage, let's go on. The bridal gown represents seduction; it is like a conquest to most women, but also a symbol of great responsibility. Marriage is not just about ’having fun’ as some may think. When the woman begins to embrace the idea of protecting and keeping the harmony related to everything in her home, the man will also change his behavior since he will realize the valuable and indispensable "touch" provided by the presence of the woman who acts in that way. And there is one more very important thing that I want to tell you: When love or friendship ties are what bring a couple together, life together becomes much more appreciated because, with their friendship, they can help each other in order to face their difficulties together, find strength in one another and grow righteously. It is so good to know that there is somebody in your life who accepts you for who you are, with your qualities and flaws - someone who makes you trust yourself and believes you are actually capable of overcoming your difficulties. This is what the perfect couple is all about. It is teamwork in activity and at its best."

A young man, whose eyes shone with those words, blurted out:

"But that would simply be Paradise."

"That's right, my young friend. Unfortunately, however, people haven't been able to adequately prepare themselves for life and they walk into marriage as if they were going to a picnic. Most couples never ask one another what they think marriage life is like. Dazzled with the idea of getting married, each one thinks it is the other one who has to adapt. They fail to communicate clearly and sincerely and, from the very beginning, a wall of mutual misunderstanding grows higher and higher and, before long, a barrier is built between the two. In the course of time, the dazzle fades away but their marriage does not have a chance to develop and mature. All of a sudden, one spouse starts to think the other one is getting in that person’s way and soon everything begins to collapse. Thus, they waste an awesome opportunity of achieving happiness side by side, and, before long, both begin to live as if there were an enemy inside their own home."

Nena stopped talking as if trying to remind herself of something. "Oh, yes, I remember now. There is a song that says, "Love is the saddest thing when it dies.

Then, the young man said: "This is a verse from one of Jobim's Song. As a matter of fact, in the film "Fale com Ela" (Talk to Her) by Almodóvar, after watching a beautiful wedding ceremony, the character Marco mentions this song that talks about the sadness separations can cause."

And Nena went on: "What I mean is that - Love does not "die out" because love is something that belongs to the human spirit. And today, this word is way too often taken for granted, and in many cases, love may have never "died" within a relationship for never had this relationship provided strong grounds for "real love" to be rooted. Instead, selfishness and various forms of passion are what prevail. Many times, when the way of thinking of the couple continuously grows in different directions, they end up asking for divorce because they were not able to appreciate the values their relationship had to offer. It is very sad when a couple splits. They grow apart simply because the couple did not take their relationship as seriously as they should have. It means that one or both forgot that they were to aim at spiritual growth together and seek for peace and harmony within themselves, with each other, and also with Creation.

"This is true," said a blond girl sitting by the window.

"The other day I went to the theater and saw a musical about the life of the singer, Isaurinha Garcia, which was written by her grandson. I realized the dramatic aspects of marriage disagreements that already went on at that time. And they were translated into songs that she sang like this one here: "It has been a year and a half since our home fell apart…", and another one - "From talk to talk, what you really want is to break us apart …"

"That’s interesting! And, did you like the show?" asked a young man.

The blond girl answered: "You bet I did! The show was very well set up, entertaining and quite touching. At the end, Rosamaria Murtinho said "the warmth of today's audience has split us in two." But I liked it, mostly because it values our culture, our music, despite the fact that many people would have preferred less impact when they faced the singer’s death.

Nena got up as a sign that the meeting was coming to the end, and then she said: "My friends, this is the harsh reality in which couples today are living. There are many disputes and quarrels but little understanding. They rarely care about improving their relationship by making ends meet. They would much rather give an excuse for their behavior in order to show that both are right instead. Even so it is never too late to say - "When love or friendship ties are what bring a couple together, life as a couple becomes much more appreciated. Think about it and… be happy.