21/04/2011 § Leave a comment
It seemed inevitable that she would say yes when I popped The Question. Really, I wasn’t surprised that she did, out there on the veranda after I pulled the ring out of my jacket on that cool September night. I don’t think she expected to me ask her then, or in that way. But then, I’m not one to go down on one knee for a girl.
Anyway, she agreed and immediately started making plans. I was content to fly out to Vegas, get married in one of those roadside Elvis chapels that I’d always heard about, and just be done with it. But she wanted a big day, plus her family had to be there, and she was always a bit of an attention whore anyway.
It’s not like I cared, either. I was considerably more focused on the wedding night rather than the wedding day. I just planned on standing there and smiling through the ceremony, then heading to the hotel room to make sweet, sweet consummation. Dress styles and colors were of no interest to me. I didn’t even care if the wedding cake was chocolate or vanilla.
We set a date, in June. An outdoor wedding in a park. So romantic, or so I’m told.
So I waited, watching her plan out the minutest of details. This was going to be her day. A day for her to be the center of attention, perfect and resplendent in her beautiful white gown, surrounded by her smiling bridesmaids and my handsome groomsmen.
So time passed, with her being engrossed in the details of planning the perfect day. (Let’s pray it doesn’t rain!) We go out as always. We spend time together, like before. And something feels different, better.
And then one day, we have a rehearsal. I’d almost forgotten this day was coming, so I’m surprised when she tells me I need to go pick up my tuxedo. Anyway, we rehearse, followed by a private dinner for us, our parents, and the wedding party. She’s all smiles and I’m all smiles. Everyone’s all smiles because everything is so happy now. We’re finally going to be making a life together.
The next day dawns beautiful and bright. I instinctively check the weather report. Nine months of prayer does that to a guy. And it’s all good for today, says Al Roker. Houston, we are a go.
Around ten o’clock, I leave for the park, having changed into my tux. Brandon, my best man, asks me if I’m nervous. I’m not but say I am. I don’t want him to think I’m weird. We get in the car, and he drives down to the park where we’ve never been before. We get lost, briefly, but sort ourselves out eventually. That’s why we left early.
We get there no and get out, ready to wait. Bridesmaids are bustling around now, freaking out over important nothings, crying, shrieking, and just generally being pains-in-the-neck. It’s not the end of the world if a streamer is out of place, I think to myself. Try telling them that.
Now the pastor calls me to the altar that’s been set up just for this joyous occasion. That’s my cue to stand, smile, and wait. I do that patiently for some time, and then the music starts. Vivaldi or Pachelbel I think.
Finally, Emily comes walking down the aisle with Bruce. One down three to go. Two down. Three down. Four down. That’s her, with her father, walking down the aisle. She’s so beautiful, so pure in that white dress. She should wear it every day.
She stops before me and the pastor says something. I don’t know what he says, because I’m to transfixed by her beauty to listen to him.
“Do you, Martin Blacksford, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?” “I do.” “And do you, Emily Harris, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?” She pauses, looks up at me, tears now in her eyes. “I can’t,” she says, “I’m so sorry Martin.”
As she runs back down the aisle, I begin to laugh at the absurdity of it all.