News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Liz Ciancone

May 17, 2011

MS. TAKES: Being a little delinquent can be good for a lady

TERRE HAUTE — The other morning after exercise, we rewarded ourselves with a trip to the coffee room.

As usual, the ladies gathered at one table, while the men picked another. Then Mary dashed in, fresh from a garage sale thrill. She turned to me and said, “I thought about you last night.”

“Really!” I said, pleased.

“I was watching TV and Lady Gaga was on,” Mary continued, “She was wearing a bikini and boots and kept lifting her leg onto the stool.”

Whoa! “And this reminded you of ME?”

Well, it turns out Mary thought Lady Gaga was acting like a delinquent and remembered from an earlier discussion of our various weddings that I mentioned my Best Friend and I were married in a all-faith chapel of what we used to call a “reform school.”

Mary walked over to where the Knights of the Round Table were holding forth and asked my BF if that was really true. He assured her that it was and added that he had to get me paroled so I could go on the honeymoon. Now THAT part isn’t true.

There is a reasonable explanation for this and it seemed logical at the time. I was working as librarian at the Illinois State Training School for Girls. My parents had moved to Missouri where I knew no one and, since I was not joining my BF’s church, we could not be married there. It seemed like a good idea to have a few friends on hand and my boss came to the rescue by offering use of the chapel.

The art teacher and her classes decorated the chapel and my new library where the reception took place. A few of my students who had moved on to life “on the outside” were able to come. Our families were there as were friends from college and our co-workers at both the girls’ school and the boy’s training school where my BF worked.

The girls still having time to serve spent extra time in sewing class and threw a shower for me with aprons, hot pads and tea towels they made themselves.

We hired a caterer — it was the first time I had heard of finger sandwiches — and since the reception took place on state property, we could not serve booze, which saved us a bundle.

All in all it was a very nice occasion and the marriage has lasted 50 years and counting.

But Lady Gaga?!

Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star education reporter. Her personal column has appeared on this page for more than 20 years. Send e-mail to opinion@tribstar.com.

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