STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

About a Girl: Chapter One

Joined: 11/3/2010
Posts: 206
Twenty Years Earlier

THEY MARRY IN THE LAW offices of James M. Hoffman & Sons.

My mother is twenty-three, slim and glowing. She wears a dark Tahari suit with barely perceptible silver pinstripes. A dipping V-neck reveals her pale pink undershirt. She loves this suit. So businesslike yet so feminine. Especially when paired with black heels and tasteful lipstick. She feels very modern, getting married in a suit in a lawyer’s office of all places.

Everything about her glows with impetuous youth. Her lustrous hair, her clear skin, her laughing eyes. She is pregnant with Layla, but she doesn’t know it yet. No one could ever picture this amaranthine creature aging or fading. It would be sacrilege, like allowing the finest sterling silver to tarnish, the highest quality wine to turn to vinegar, the pages of an original edition classic to tear and the type to blur.

My father casts a less striking figure. He wears a very old, very wrinkled tweed suit that hasn’t seen an iron – much less the Laundromat – since the day he bought it. His tie is horrendous: a swirling brown pattern that looks like matted animal fur. He’s nearly eleven years my mother’s senior, and his age shows in the premature salt-and-pepper streaks seasoning his hair, the gentle parenthetical lines emphasizing his thin lips, the telltale softness around his eyes and neck where in a few years the skin will detach itself and hang in gentle bags.

He wanted the whole affair, the white wedding. White lace, white icing, white satin rose petals. Heavy cardstock invitations, written in black calligraphy and sent out six months in advance. A traditional wedding gown with train and veil, silk and lace, seed pearls and ruffles. A twelve-tier white chocolate liqueur cake with marzipan flowers and iced fleur-de-lis. A Rolls Royce Phantom limousine with a Verdana script “Just Married” sign secured to the fender.

But my mother is adamant. They will simply get married and be done with it all. No needless foofaraw and fanfare. At any other instance, being that this is probably the most important day of his life, my father might have argued the point. But I think he understands. Maybe more than my mother truly understands herself. He considers factors she doesn’t, like the fact that my mother at age twenty-three has not spoken to her parents in a little over eight years.

She will have no one to help with the little buttons on the back of her dress, the ones she can’t reach on her own without dislocating her shoulders or elbows. No one to yell at the hairdresser in a display of riotous maternal affection to make sure her curls are absolutely perfect. No one sitting in the front row, gloved hands clasped tightly in lap, beaming at her son-in-law-to-be. No one to hold her hand and walk her down the aisle. No one to whisper one last time in her ear, stroke the soft hairs at the nape of her neck. No one to cry as he gives his little girl away for the last time.

But that is my own assumption. Whatever my father’s hidden reasoning, he capitulates all too easily, as he does on nearly every occasion when he and Mother come to a head.

So instead of the vaulted ceiling of a cathedral, or the quaint elegance of a small town chapel, or even the blue brilliance of a clear summer sky, my parents sign their wedding papers beneath the flickering fluorescent lights in the law offices of James M. Hoffman & Sons. My mother throws her pen down when she is done scrawling her name in loose, detached letters. My father sets his gently on the desk’s smooth steel surface with a slight clink.

They walk out onto the cracked sidewalk together. Kiss in front of the five o’clock traffic at the intersection on Laclede and Taylor. Drive across town and check in for the night at the Hilton.

My mother later regrets not having her white wedding. And, as with everything, she blames her regrets on my father for giving in too easily.

To be continued . . .
Rate this:
Comment by nikitasaha12

Joined: 10/8/2011
Posts: 33
hey nice!!! :)
Posted: Saturday, November 26, 2011 2:59:48 PM
Rate this:

About StageofLife.comAbout Us: is a free blogging and writing community for high school students that allows teens the opportunity to share their personal stories and essays in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Check out our national Teen Trend Reports, and make sure to explore the writing contests for high school students, inspirational videos for teens, statistics about students, quotes about high school, and other resources about High School here on  Register to start your free writing profile, share an essay about your life, and help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a teacher - review our Language Arts Teaching Resources.

Writing Contest Archive - Students

Writing Contests and Teen Trend Reports Student Writing Contests

Below you will find all of the monthly writing contests and teen trend reports from the last five years hosted by  Our dedication to digital literacy efforts have reached over 1,000,000 students and teachers in the last half decade, received mention on, and features in the news.  Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month. is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with you as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

2016 Writing Contests

Writing Contest for High School Students

2015 Writing Contests

2014 Writing Contests

 2013 Writing Contests

2012 Writing Contests

2011 Writing Contests

 2010 Writing Contests

Stage of Life Mission Statement

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy