Ma il destino è cinico e baro, diceva l'Elio dalla cattedra di matematica delle superiori, e ora non siamo più le tre ragazze in gita premio a Barcellona grazie all'avvento delle linee aeree a basso costo.
Da una settimana siamo tre signore sposate.
Io ho dato quattro anni fa, E. quattro mesi dopo la sottoscritta e R. lunedì scorso.
In attesa che R. torni dal suo caraibico viaggio di nozze, godiamoci la festa con un anfitrione d'eccezione: qualche citazione da un meraviglioso articolo di Dorothy Parker.
HERE COMES THE GROOM
It's a woman's world. When a guest returns from a wedding, the first thing that is asked is, "How did the bride look?" No one ever rushes to meet the returning guest, panting in tones hoarse with suspense, "The groom, the groom- what of him?" [...]
The newspapers battle to get the bride's photograph; [...] but no paper devotes even so much as a typographical error to the description of the groom's costume. [...] The groom si just about as important a figure at a wedding as the Czar is in Russia at present.
In all this sad world there is no sadder sight than that of the groom standing at the altar, more married against than marrying. He is mercifully allowed to turn his self-conscious back to the wedding guests, who regard him with the same glitter in their eyes with which the spectators at a bullfight look on the bull.
"What on earth did she see in him?"
"I can't understand Ethel, -with alla the beaux she had, too."
"It must be his money."
"I suppose she thought that she'd better marry young. She's the type that fades early."
"Well, you'll see. This will last just about six months."
EVEN THE WAR GROOM
They haven't the slightest respect for a uniform; they won't even have mercy on a war groom. He can hear their refreshing little whispers about, "Well, I suppose they'll let anything into the army, these days, just to encourage recruiting." After he has lived through the siege of a wedding ceremony, it's no wonder the groom murmurs to himself, "War was never like this." [...]
THE WORST PART OF MARRIAGE For the worst is yet to come. After he is thoroughly married, [...] after he has managed to get down the aisle, clinging desperately to his brand-new wife, -then comes the climax of the atrocities. He must stand beside the bride, a target for congratulations. [...] Any student of abnormal psychology would be deeply interested in studying the groom at the wedding reception. The far-away look in his eyes, the rigid smile, the hectic flush, the way he fervently grasps the hand of the approaching guests and exclaims "Thank you" in tones of heartful gratitude before the guest has the chance to utter a word - all these would afford a complete course of study to any conscentious student.[...]
Perhaps, some day, something will be done to alleviate all the horrible suffering of grooms. There is always some noble soul who rises to fill a crying need, and some day, in the dim Utopian future, there will be born a mighty genius, a benefactor to all humanity, who will invent a bridegroomless wedding.
"Here comes the groom" (Arriva lo sposo!) è apparso su Vogue il 15 giugno 1917, ed è ancora incredibilmente attuale.
Trovate il racconto anche su The Portable Dorothy Parker (a cura di Marion Meade, Penguin, 2006).
Se il vostro inglese lo permette, ve lo consiglio caldamente.
Altrimenti, andate a cercarvi la raccolta di racconti Uomini che non ho sposato (a cura di Ileana Pittoni, La Tartaruga Edizioni, Milano 1995).