( Twenty minutes before you are about to get married you find your Mother and your fiancé kissing passionately )
It is just two hours before the wedding. Grace, the bride, is not suffering the usual pre-ceremony jitters, she just seems bored and almost annoyed. Grace is trying to explain to her maid of honor and also best friend, Laura, why she isn’t super happy or excited on this very special day.
“Yes, I know.” Grace says with exasperation in her voice, “but it feels anticlimactic!”
Laughing, her best friend Laura responds with a very telling comment, “Grace you are the only girl I know who had two marriage proposals a week apart, both nice guys, and both apparently crazy about you, and you still find ways to be dissatisfied!”
Grace lays stretched out on the bed in her dressing room and tries to find the words that may make Laura understand but she herself doesn’t really understand.
“It is simple really, I never expected anyone to want me, so marriage was not in my playbook, just work and travel and play. Nothing glamorous or exciting, just a pleasant extension of my life, my childhood.” Grace is smiling and trying not to laugh at how ridiculous this sounds. But it is the truth. This is all the truth!
“I still cannot conceive of cooking for someone or washing his socks! So why am I getting married? I'm really not too sure, but it is just time, time to settle down I guess, one by one most of my friends have gotten married so it must be time for me too. Add to that, I was so surprised to be asked, flattered really, so I just decided to flip a coin and accept one of them.” Grace says all of this as though it is perfectly normal. Of course it isn’t!
Grace sits up now so she can face Laura, she is trying to decide if she should add the rest of the story. It didn’t seem bizarre when she decided but she knows it will sound bizarre if she tells it to others, but Laura isn’t just others, she is Grace’s best friend.
Grace tries to hold Laura’s gaze and find some trust in the eye contact. “OK. Here it is, I’ll try to explain but you must promise not to laugh and never to repeat this to anyone, especially Mark, and most importantly, please please don’t think I’m crazy, I’m just me!”
I was dating Greg when I met Mark.
Greg worked weekends but he was very attentive during the week. We managed to have dinner out one evening a week and twice a week he would come to my office and take me to lunch. It was very cool, he parked down in the street and stood next to his convertible and watched for me to come out of the office. My co workers would all get excited as he is a bit of eye candy, dark curly hair and a muscular build, and they are sure he is the ultimate Romeo. He was fun and really quite good looking, a great dancer and he treated me so well. You are probably wondering why the wedding announcements didn’t have his name on them! Well, it is very simple and logical but let me tell you about Mark. I want you to understand, I really do!
I was out with friends when I met Mark, you must remember, you were there, we were feeling fine, dancing and enjoying the music and then there was Mark. He is the polar opposite of Greg, Mark is blonde, thin, and quietly shy. No bravado or look at me kind of personality. Since Greg and I were just dating with no real commitment, I saw nothing wrong with dating Mark too, on weekends! This went on for six months, enjoying both as they were very different and as I said, I never expected either of them or anyone on God’s green earth to ask me to marry them. In fact…..I just never thought that far ahead, I was having fun but in truth, neither of them created “fireworks”! But you know me, I’m logical and pragmatic. I have no expectations, no Cinderella wishes….they all lived happily ever after, just didn’t apply to me.
While all of this was going on, both guys fit in well with my friends, or so I thought, we all had nice times and I guess I just expected things to go on this way indefinitely. And then at dinner one evening, Greg asked me to marry him. I first thought it was a joke, just fooling around, then I realized he was serious. I was reeling from the shock as it had never entered my mind, married? Me? Probably Not! But I asked for time to think about it, to think of the practical things that should be considered, things we had never discussed, you know, like kids and money! This had just been for funs!
Within a week, Mark also proposed! I was mind boggled! Totally beyond amazed!
They were both unaware of the other’s proposal. Now I began comparing them, something I had never done before. They were different, but both fun and trustworthy and seemed nice. And then in an off hand conversation, I overheard one of my friends saying Greg should try out for a part in The Godfather as he had mastered the street sound of dees, does, dat and dem...for these, those, that and them. He sounded like mafia. Oh my gosh, he did! And then I started imagining trying to correct his speech, and then it got worse, I started imagining telling our kids, “DON’T TALK LIKE YOUR DAD!” That was it ...decision made. Greg was out, Mark was in…
Laura is laughing so hard! “OK now tell me the real reason!”
“I told you you wouldn’t understand! When something starts to annoy me it just intensifies until I think I’ll lose my mind!”, Graces says with obvious frustration.
“Did it really matter anyway?” “I liked them both, I think both would have been OK husbands, for sure better husbands than I would be a good wife.”
“So here we are, an hour to go and I’m tired of the whole extravaganza!” “Why do folks make such a fuss!” You must see why I find this like an anti climax! Fuss, fuss, fuss and for what? To share an apartment and start a family after a few years?” “I am looking forward to the three weeks in Florida, hmm? I wonder what a honeymoon with Greg would have been like, where would he have chosen to go?”
In truth Laura is astounded! She can’t believe the level of ?? She can’t even find a word for these outrageous thoughts, reasons and conclusions! Well it’s too late now! The show must go on! People are beginning to arrive and the church is filling up. She slips out the door to check that the music is set and the little sweet flower girl is still willing.
As Laura leaves the room, Grace decides to check on her Godfather who will be giving her away and to see what her Mother is up to. Her Mother has been a bundle of nerves, her only child getting married. Grace thinks she started to sip the wine a little to soon so she is just going to check on her.
As Grace enters the dressing room used by her Mother, she can’t believe her eyes!!
There before her, her Mother and Mark, her intended , involved in and seeming enjoying, a passionate kiss!!
“Holy Crap!” Grace mutters half aloud and half under her breath as she backs unseen from the room! She leans against the wall and gives a little laugh! Yikes!
“Now what?” “Well this will never do!” “Never ever do!”
Somehow, and she is very uncertain how, but somehow there must be an explanation! Words are flying around in her mind, her usual logical self cannot put a whole sentence together. She can’t imagine a reason for this kiss, this very passionate kiss!
“What to do?”
“What to do?”
She hurries back to her dressing room, strips off the white lace wedding gown, places it back on the dressmakers form, pulls on her cutoffs and sandals, a hoodie, her cell in the pouch, a couple credit cards and a bit of cash! And she is out of there like a shot!
As she disappears from sight of any at the church, for the very first time she asks herself!
“Do I really care?”
“Fireworks, yes, next time I’ll wait for fireworks! If they never happen?”
She shrugs and keeps walking! Almost to her home now she thinks sadly,
I’m going to miss that beach in Florida!