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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Second time around

Photo Courtesy Of Eren Gknar/Special To The Town Crier Eren Gknar and her boyfriend, Peter Robertson, enjoy a beach vacation in Florida last year.

 

For a brief time last year, I found myself in the bridal industry niche for women planning their second weddings, a group Miss Manners calls “older” brides. It’s unclear when one falls into that “older” bride group, but on its last cover, the now-defunct Bride Again magazine featured a woman who couldn’t have been more than 35.

I’ve been around longer than that, but until I headed for the altar, I just thought I was “wiser.”

Because the divorce rate is now approximately 50 percent, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, one would think that encore brides would have a real presence. However, most of them must be getting married quietly or in a chapel in Reno.

When I first tied the knot many moons ago, getting married was highly unfashionable. We did it anyway, in a large outdoor party at someone’s house where guests danced the night away to music from a friend’s rock ’n’ roll band. My mother was not amused. She had probably hoped that I would “act my age.”

Times have changed since the 1970s, so I decided to consult Miss Manners, aka Judith Martin, and other bridal experts. Most brides think the second wedding is the only one that counts, according to Martin, so they often decide to do it right, with an “event.”

From Miss Manners, I learned that the older bride wears a suit and hat and holds an appropriately subdued afternoon ceremony with punch and cake.

Like many baby boomers, however, I was not used to acting my age to that extent. I was used to celebrating milestones in a big way. Well, as big as limited finances would allow, considering we were nearing retirement age with the ensuing prospect of fixed incomes.

Several obstacles soon presented themselves. There was the color of my gown – and yes, I was determined to wear one, not a frothy, frilly number, but something that alluded to my experience, in a veiled way.

After my future mother-in-law congratulated me on landing the grand prize – her smart and talented son – she surprised me by saying, “Of course, you can’t wear white.” There aren’t too many black bridal gowns on the market, and actually, I had rather envisioned myself in white.

This idea that you cannot wear white is apparently commonplace but nonetheless misguided. Martin explains on page 409 of her “Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior” (W.W. Norton & Company, 2005) that the white-equals-innocence concept started with Queen Victoria.

However, Martin takes offense, stating pithily that the idea that white packaging advertises untouched goods always strikes her as “vulgar as it is unlikely.” Wish I had thought of that.

Because the bride makes a grand entrance, I did need to consider how to package myself. I called Priscilla of Boston on Santana Row and asked Summer about dresses for older brides.

There’s no separate section, but the store stocks dresses that are “a little more conservative, that cover up more, if that’s what you mean.” She noted that these encore bride dresses were “plainer, for second weddings.”

It’s true that encore brides have different couture needs. I spend time at the gym, but not that much time, so camouflage ranks high on my list of sartorial requirements. Baring my arms, shoulders or even my neck for professional photographs makes me blanch, not blush. So I thought we could drop by Priscilla’s to look at the dresses.

Next, we had to book a venue to nail down a date. We decided on marrying in a winery, a suitably Northern California idea that would underscore our sophistication, or so we thought.

I booked several appointments with winery social directors to get the grand tour. This is when I began to feel, well, foolish, not unlike the older man who chases after women half his age.

The appointments before and after mine seemed to be taken by gaggles of giggling teenagers, though they couldn’t have been that young. They had to have reached the age of majority.

A quizzical look would appear in the über-polished wedding event director’s eyes.

“Is this for you?” he or she would say in a tactful tone.

If you look at the magazines lined up at the local Borders bookstore, you will see dozens of bridal magazines, most featuring young blond women in strapless sweetheart gowns. None of them appears to have weathered a few years.

I asked the public relations director at a recent Santa Clara bridal fair if there were any magazines or booths for the mature bride, and she said, no, though there was one for grooms.

They just have to wear tuxedos, so why do they need their own magazines?

Eren Göknar is a freelance writer. E-mail her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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