Opa!

“Have you ever been to a Greek wedding?” he asked.

And suddenly I was not in a crowded restaurant, on the eve of December, struggling to find my Christmas Spirit.

I was in Wyoming, a family wedding. We were dancing in lines, kicking out our legs, throwing up our hands. Opa!

Standing in circles, and passing opened bottles of ouzo, drinking in swallows, puffing on cigars and cigarettes. Bright and noisy tents, with the music of our teenage years echoing in our ears and pulsing in our bodies, sharing drags of cigarettes and swigging beer from bottles. The cry rose up, we joined in, hoisting our bottles, waving our cigarettes, Opa!

Laughing, shouting, hooting and hollering with delight, our hearts full of joy and the luxury of satisfaction. The gate to Yellowstone, the feet of nature, stars all around, stars above, in our eyes and minds, out of us, unbidden, Opa!

Two families, two clans, coming together and each proud to have the other. We were young and smart and joyful, we all felt cool and we all fitted in and we shouted Opa!

It is years ago, I say, looking back from my early thirties to my later twenties. It is years, decades, eons really. I am not that woman, we are not those people. Carrie, radiant in short hair, grown in from chemo, brilliant as the mother of the bride, is gone and in the ground these last 3 years.

The summer is over, the stars are dim, and I have not tasted ouzo since.

But, yes. I have been to a Greek wedding.

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4 Responses to Opa!

  1. HereWeGoAJen says:

    I have never been to a Greek wedding, but I have been to very few weddings.

  2. JamieD says:

    It sounds like a Greek wedding it just what it should be – a celebration. I know it would fill the couple with joy to know you think back on the start of their marriage with such fondness.

  3. loribeth says:

    I've never been to a Greek wedding. But my (Italian) dh grew up in a very Greek part of Toronto & had lots of Greek buddies. He was an usher in at least two Greek weddings that I can think of (pre me).

  4. Martha says:

    This sounds like a fun wedding, I've never been to a Greek wedding, just lots of Greek festivals.
    Opa is Right!!!

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