A Beautiful Bride

by Ghani Kunto

“A woman is most beautiful on her wedding day,” the makeup artist began.  As she whipped out her catalogue, she continued, “Let me show you how beautiful we can make you.”

The makeup artist began her sales pitch by quoting a belief that many women in Indonesia still held close to their hearts.  Mothers would insist their daughters to not leave the house in the days leading up to the wedding, as beauty is something you can collect in increments and show off at a moment’s notice during D-Day.  Bride-to-be’s would undergo a multitude of beauty treatments to enhance their splendor.  All would take extra care around her, for fear of diminishing her carefully crafted looks.

I say humbug to all that.

While my wife looked beautiful during our wedding day, she looks even more beautiful now.  Her beauty shines when she holds our child in her arms.  Her smile is the brightest when her hair’s still messy in the morning.  Her scent is best when mixed with the smell of home cooked meals.

After a 16-hour work day, I’ll come home to find her already asleep.  I’d kiss her cheek, and she’d scrunch her face, then she’d wake up with a happy-to-see-you-again grin.  That midnight grin warms the heart more than any nostalgic fire a wedding picture can lit.

If it’s true that a woman’s most beautiful during her wedding day, then the whole wedding is kind of a sham, isn’t it?  She’s beautiful during the wedding, and then, speaking relatively, it’s all downhill from there.

Nah, I don’t think it’s true.

Look at my wife.

As together we age, I know she grows even more beautiful every passing day.