It was early morning, April 4…
Let me stop right there. You see, I am an ardent music lover. And I particularly like the band U2. From that first line alone I should have known to stop this wedding in its tracks. One of U2’s most loved songs is called “Pride (In the Name of Love)”. The last verse begins:
“Early morning, April 4
A shot rings out in the Memphis sky…”
That line was about the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Every time that date rolls by on the calendar, I shudder. But it wasn’t just about the date. Oh, no. Stick with me.
First of all, the bride’s dress was late. My sister in-law-to-be was charged with bringing the dress to the ceremony. She was a half-hour late. Let me clarify that. She was not “a half-hour later than she should have been”. She did not arrive until half an hour after the ceremony was slated to begin. I kept giving the very expensive piano player the “keep it rolling” signal while guests and relatives twitched and squirmed in their seats.
Speaking of guests, many of those people should not have even been there. I know, you probably think I am just hating on ex in-laws in hindsight, but I am not even talking about them. These were old roommates, hangers-on, church “friends”, even outright enemies. They came to eat. Some of them told me so.
The board of fare was impressive enough, and expensive enough. The food was great, really. Except… the wedding cake. It tasted like smoke. My now-ex-wife had an old friend who supposedly did wonderful birthday cakes. We bought her all new ingredients to ensure freshness. But she had a wood stove in her house. I don’t really know how this sort of thing happens, but the cake tasted like an ashtray.
Then there was the runner – you know, that thing they have a couple of kids pull out for the bride to walk down the aisle on? These kids did not get briefed on how to do this until the piano player was (finally) doing “Here Comes the (Dress)”. Sister in-law (a different one) chose this time to step forward and tell the kids how to trail out the runner. There were confused looks all around. I waved her off and nixed the runner on the fly. I paid for that game-time decision for nine years. Then I finally stopped paying for it.
But, not done yet. After the very awkward ceremony, in which my ex-bride’s preacher uncle implied far too roundly that he hoped we were both still virgins(!), we went out for pictures beside a large old tree.
And it snowed.
As I said before, that marriage suffered a fate worse than its own wedding. The second time around was much better. Ain’t they, though? We invited no one. Just the two of us, a witness and a hippie preacher in the woods. The honeymoon cabin was a stone’s throw away.
I highly recommend it.