The Calm Before The Storm
Today is the day to put the final touches on ceremony arrangements. So I’m making a list and checking it twice. First and foremost my bride to be and I need to get our hair and nails done. So we make a beeline for the beauty store but just as our destination becomes visible, the sky opens and a storm on a hot, 90 degree day hurdles baseball sized hail towards us and within seconds the fog (steam from ice meeting hot air) becomes so dense there is no visibility. Michaela and I switched seats and I slowly and blindly drove us out of the street and into someones driveway. The water quickly rose and the windows began to shatter so we covered our heads and closed our eyes until the storm passed, the dark clouds vanished, and the sun came back out as if nothing happened. The only signs were the widespread damage to vehicles, homes, and businesses and so much hail on the ground that it looked like snow.
The Dinner Party
I’m tired, it’s hot and my hair isn’t cooperating today but nothing can bring me down. I’m too excited because not only am I going on vacation next week but I’m going to return a married woman! So rather than fuss with my hair I go with a colorful hair wrap. Just as I begin to wonder how my better half is doing, she appears. I can feel the anxiety permeating the air as Michaela begins to tell me that her mother needs gas money in order to attend our engagement party tonight. As annoying as that is, I’m not going to let that get me down either. While Michaela heads over to her mother’s house I go to the restaurant early to ensure none of the party guests are left unattended and of course, as usual my friend Vincent is the first to arrive. He and I take a seat and begin to enjoy drinks as everyone else trickles in. While waiting for food we converse and take photos. My mother takes a few stabs at my dad but he nonchalantly brushes her off and gladly pays for food and hopes that buys him a moment of silence. Then suddenly my beautiful bride’s smile starts to fade. So I excuse myself and inquire about what has happened, but her and my future mother-in-law are tight lipped and simply say, “we’ll talk about it later.” As the dinner party goes on, my cousin Brandy presents us with a card and gift and asks about our wedding and honeymoon plans. Then, Vincent pays for our food and drinks. To my surprise no one else presents us with a gift or even offers a toast. Later that evening at the house I’m informed that my mother took it upon herself to say that I would be marrying Vincent if I wasn’t gay. Now I’m angry, embarrassed, ashamed, and confused all at the same time. Why would she say that? Why would anyone say that at an engagement party? Vincent and I have always just been friends.
The next day at work I call my mother and she vehemently denies uttering the words, until I press her, but refuses to apologize. She is adamant that no one knows what they’re supposed to do or say at a ‘gay engagement party.’ We argue until I can’t take anymore and I begin to cry. A co-worker offers me a hug and I go back to work. Later on in the day I make arrangements for my dog, Buddha to stay with Michaela’s best friend because I have no intention of leaving him with my mother at this point. However, this leads to more screaming and crying then admittance of pain and longing for Buddha’s company. Now I feel guilty and the only way I see to alleviate this is to let her watch her grand-dog. As I begin to warn my mother that Buddha has become a handful and has to be watched closer, he darts out her front door and into the street. Buddha is a few seconds from being crushed by a Toyota Corolla when I scream so loud it terrifies the driver and they slam on their breaks. Then Buddha runs away even further and my mother chases after him and screaming, “oh lord you’ll never forgive me if anything happens to him.” In a pleasant and even tone I say, “Buddha go home,” because if you give him a command in a stern voice he ignores it and my mother watches in amazement as he immediately obeys the command and runs back into the house.
Despite being notified that our car is beyond repair and the emotional roller coaster leading up to this day, I am calm. I relish in the fact that this wonderful woman said yes when I proposed and I am thankful for her poise and even temperament. We begin our day touring the stratosphere hotel and its amenities. We are so swept away in our own little world, but we snap out of it when we pass a clock and realize we only have one hour for hair, makeup, and travel to the chapel. We dash into our room and begin our beauty routine as the news of the BP oil spill plays in the background. Forty minutes later we locate our RTC passes and make a run for the bus. As we enter, all conversations come to a halt and several people start to inquire where we were headed and congratulate us. We are warmly met in the foyer of the chapel, and shown to our dressing rooms where we take one last look at ourselves before the photo shoot begins. Oddly enough, our photographer resembles Wolverine (Hugh Grant) and this is somehow comforting. A few minutes later he leads us to a hallway where we hear music and the double-doors swing open. In this moment, an unfamiliar feeling of nervousness washes over me and I take a deep breath to let it settle in before we walk down the aisle hand in hand and emerge joined together forever.
Photo Credit:Mon Bel Ami
On May 23, 2015 we entered our 5th year of marriage; look for the ‘Anniversary Adventures’ post coming soon!
All this taught me…
“People cant drive you crazy if you don’t give them the keys.”