Trina Machacek: Rice or bubbles?


Trina machacek

Wedding season is any season. Winter weddings are all warm and from my perspective a bit stoic. In a winter coat, a woolen dress and a somewhat fashionable suit. Summer weddings are light and flowing. With cotton dresses and suits of, well really in my neck suits of white cotton shirts, jeans and boots. You know, a summer outfit.
Regardless of the time of year, there are some things that are common at weddings. Well, they were standard. Like throwing rice.
Now, before we start the rice launch event because of the new reason not to launch the rice, let me talk a little about this wedding tradition. When I got married, I loved the rice toss. From making small packets of rice wrapped in plastic and covered with a net and tied with a ribbon in the colors of the wedding, to being bombarded when leaving the church. It was fun and I wouldn’t deny that to the newlyweds.
Before I wrote this little do-dah, of course I Googled Rice Throwing and Exploding Birds and everything that is touted by non-rice throwers. It looks like Ann Landers really spread this misinformation around 1988. So after doing some research, it seems okay to throw rice on the bride and groom. Birds can eat rice and not fly away to explode. Throw it to your heart.
Or not. It’s totally up to the wedding planner and the happy couple. OK the bride, and of course the mother of the bride. Corn! Yes a rice filled with “but”. Be aware, be very aware, that there will always be someone to try and rain down on your decision. Which might just cook your rice and make it harder to toss – birds may like cooked rice, however. Who knows?
When rice became taboo, other things became acceptable. One was bubbles. Didn’t know you could go to a store and buy these cute little individual bubble making devices to hand out to wedding guests.
When the new couple emerges from the church in your mind, can you catch a glimpse of family and friends with these little plastic bubble factory things blowing air all over the couple’s face? Spit and spit doing their best to cover the couple with bubbles? I’m not sure I want all that soapy air to blow my face. The bubbles are pretty cool though.
The chance that bubbles actually hit the new Mr. and Mrs.? Like one in a zillion. Not like the rice that they will pluck from their hair and their car for days and days. My vote, in case you haven’t guessed it yet, is for rice.
Since I was in Google launches, I also checked out another thing I did as a kid. In Reno, where I grew up, there is a wonderful little man-made lake called Virginia Lake. It was built in the 1930s and is a lovely place to sit, hang out or do other activities. As a child, we were taken there to feed the ducks. Bread. Yes put me in duck jail, we fed the ducks bread. Today, it is frowned upon.
I feel so sorry for the ducks that apparently I drove down a garden path lined with bread. But I don’t regret for a single minute the memory of having seen my mother keep the ends of the loaves of bread to take with us on these outings. I now believe that she needed this time out of the house with three little munchkins as a new wife and mother in the 60s as much as I loved going.
I wonder if she ever thought of feeding ducks and swans rice? It could have been some very interesting events with ducks and swans full of bread and rice exploding on the little lake and she picking up her offspring and speeding up in our green 1955 Ford Station Wagon with wood on the sides. Very interesting indeed.
Rice. Bubbles. Bread. Oh, I got one more. Come on it’s me! This one, I have to admit I stopped doing it. Add red food coloring to the sugar mixture I’m making for the summer hummingbirds. Not because of some “reports” that the redness is bad for little guys. Not the least. I quit because I ran out of red food coloring a long time ago.
The little hummers didn’t seem to care. So I just let my sloth stop making a big mess in my kitchen with red all over it.
If we use our hearts with our heads, we will make good decisions. Of that, I’m sure.
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book, “They Call Me Weener,” is available on or by e-mailing [email protected] for a signed copy.

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