“Advice Given to Me Before My Wedding” by Jeannine Hall Gailey

Jeannine Hall Gailey


Better to be the lover than the beloved, you’ll have passion.
Better to be the beloved, a sure thing, a lifetime of that.

He is more beautiful but you,
you have more power. Which is to say,

you are just like your brother. Lift your eyes
and people do what you say. Who knows why.

Men are like breakfast cereal. You have to pick one.
Fish in the sea, a dime a dozen. They are singing for you, now.

Keep your own bank account. Keep working.
Give him a blow job, and he’ll volunteer to take out the trash.

You are mine, says the beloved, and I am yours.
Whither you go I will go. Honey and milk are under her tongue.

Cancer and Taurus, very compatible.
You’re the hard-charger, he’s the homemaker.

Don’t stop wearing lipstick. Don’t put on any weight.
Don’t buy the dress too soon. If you go on the pill, your breasts will swell.

One day you might regret. You might do better.
You could do worse. One man’s as good as another.

Wear my old pearls. Here’s the blue, a handkerchief embroidered with tears.
If you won’t wear heels, you’ll look short in the pictures.

If you don’t wear a veil, people will say you’re not a virgin.
Good luck, glad tidings, a teddie, a toaster. So long, farewell.

from Rattle #29, Summer 2008


Jeannine Hall Gailey: “I recommend ignoring all advice you get before your wedding.” (web)

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