Tonight we went to a party at our neighbor’s house to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. On the invitation, they asked people to dress like the wedding party – to come as a bride or groom or mother-in-law.

This kind of thing absolutely drives me insane. You never know if other people are going to do it or not. What if you’re the only one who shows up in a bride’s dress?

I decided I’d put an old bridesmaid’s dress to see if I had the guts to wear it. I was fixing my hair when my husband said, “What are you doing dressed in THAT??!! Actually I thought I looked rather fetching. I was proud I could even get into it, but that was because it was cut on the bias which means you could stick a hippo in there.

I looked out my bedroom window when I started hearing the guests driving up to see if any were dressed in costume. The men were coming in suits and bow ties, but the women were just in regular party dresses. I changed out of my pretty, shimmering floor length dress and put on something more practical.

When we got to the party, there were a few people dressed in bridesmaids dresses, a few men in tuxes, a man dressed like a priest, and a guy in judges robes who turned out to be a real judge. He told me he was ready to officiate in the event the celebrants wanted to officially renew their vows.

I don’t know about these vow renewals. If you make it 25 years, you’d think you’ve invested enough time that you’ might as well go the distance. On the other hand, I went to one of these ceremonies that was actually in a church because the young couple had run off to get married. A priest said a Mass, and then we enjoyed a lovely reception. Seven or eight years later they were divorced, and both have remarried.

I suspect people renew their vows as an excuse to have a party. These neighbors have quite a few of them – Christmas, birthday, summer parties. Why not throw in a wedding vow renewal?

The highlight of the night was walking outside where all the teenagers were hanging out around the frog pond. You can hear those frogs a block away. They’re so loud you’d think there’re millions of big frogs in that pond. The kids had flashlights, and I saw one little frog doing the – you guessed it – frog kick across the water. He wasn’t much longer than a golf pencil. Cute little thing glistening in the spotlight of the kid’s flashlight beam. The frogs weren’t shy. They were just sitting on rocks or swimming. One of the girls crouched down and caught one. It was little, curled up in her cupped hand and looked dark purple in the black night.

Not that the party wasn’t a whole ton of fun, but I listen to those frogs every night from spring through summer and I’ve never seen one. They’re funny the way they will all get immediately quiet at one time, and a couple of minutes later they start their froggy chorus like they’ve got a conductor keeping them in sync.

All in all it was a great party with a whole lot of very good food and a two tiered cake that melted in your mouth. The couple said some very touching things to each other during an informal re-affirming of their commitment, and there was plenty of wine. If I can have all that, AND FROGS, I won’t turn my nose up at the vow renewals we’re bound to be invited to in the future, as long as they don’t make us come in costume. Did I mention how much I hate that?