I’m not quite sure exactly when it began, but my family has a tradition. It’s not enough for them to just sprinkle confetti on the happy couple on their wedding day as they leave the ceremony. No, no, no – they like to go that one step further and hide confetti in the most unusual (and often inconvenient) places in the newlywed’s home for them to find on return from their honeymoon.
They often have easy access as it’s natural to leave house keys to your trusted kin for matters such as feeding pets and watering plants while on holiday.
For example, Mum recalls discovering confetti inside their pillowcases when they went to wash their bed sheets for the first time as a married couple. My sister was married over a decade ago and is still finding confetti inside old mugs that have been relegated to the back corners of the cupboard for years. It’s the prank that keeps on giving.
Certain members of my family have even been known to chase a bride and groom along the corridors of Melbourne Airport showering them with fistfuls of confetti only to be warned by security to cease and desist immediately.
Below is merely a snapshot of the places my husband and I found confetti on our first night home from our honeymoon. Although that stuff is a pain to pick up, I had to admire the thought and effort that went into some of the hiding spots. That night was like a fun treasure hunt around our little unit, laughing and photographing our discoveries along the way.
Two months after this night, we were separated. That’s shorter than Kim Kardashian’s 72 day marriage! I was heartbroken, lonely and trying to ‘find myself’ as a newly single woman only weeks after what had been the happiest day of my life.
What I did find over the following weeks and months was more confetti. More and more and more bloody confetti.
I found it in folded up winter sheets that I hadn’t needed for months, inside books that had been sitting on my shelf waiting to be read, inside rolled up jumpers in my drawers, the list goes on.
When I found it now however, it wasn’t with the same sense of fun as that first night. Now it reminded me of what I had lost. These little coloured pieces of paper that you’d normally associate with victory and celebration, only brought on a feeling of grief for what might have been.
On one particularly gloomy morning, I had to take my car for a service and I was grumpy and resentful as I knew it would be expensive. I was tired, cold and of course it was raining on a day I had to catch public transport. I really was throwing a gigantic pity party but I was the only one invited.
I told the mechanic what was wrong with the car and begrudgingly handed over my keys then started to trudge out the doorway into the rain. As I opened my umbrella, I was stopped in my tracks as a shower of bright confetti fell over me! Those cheeky devils were clever, I’ll give them that.
After an awkward explanation to the mechanic, baffled by what he just witnessed, and picking the tiny discs up off his workshop floor, I left with a huge smile on my face that stayed with me most of the day. In that one moment, it all turned around.
I giggled to myself as I anticipated my family’s reaction to this story, undoubtedly proud that their ingenuity and forethought had finally paid off. I imagined them all those months ago, thinking of this moment when they concocted their plan.
Most of all, I was overcome with a profound sense of love and belonging. I didn’t feel alone anymore. The confetti was no longer a reminder of the painful loss I had endured, it had become a reminder of all of the members of my cheeky, fun, caring, devoted family who love me implicitly and who included me in this tradition.
That’s the confetti effect. It’s seeing the positive in something negative, it’s celebrating the simple joys in life, and it’s the act of sprinkling a little joy into someone’s day.