One Little House scene that still plays out a little raggedly on reread is the “haste to the wedding.” Every time I read it I don’t quite buy the reasoning behind a quickie wedding. But that’s just an aside; the part I linger over as the wedding is planned is Ma’s reluctance to get on board. Laura suggests her new black cashmere, to which Ma responds, “Married in black, you’ll wish yourself back.”
To placate her Laura helpfully names a few items she’ll wear along with the cashmere, punctuating the list “cheerfully” with another saying: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.”
“I don’t suppose there’s any truth in these old sayings,” Ma says. Actually, author Laura writes that Ma “consented,” but I’m going to out on a limb and say I think it’s the first and only time in the entire series we see Ma back down in what amounts to thinly veiled exasperation. There’s our new Laura, asserting her independence.
I think of this because today, cleaning out the bathroom cabinets, I ran across some rhinestone barrettes I’d borrowed from a longtime friend for my own wedding. Whoops. My wedding was tiny, just my husband and me, the officiant, the officiant’s daughter, and a photographer, and I wore an ice blue bridesmaid’s dress. The silver strappy sandals I’d bought for my tenth high-school reunion the previous year were on my feet, and I vividly remember wondering if my “something new” could be the same as my “something blue.” The poke bonnet was old, and had a blue lining, right?