Act I: The Wedding Plans

Thursday, October 20, 2005

She’ll love it. She loves the ring I bought—seriously discounted, the rock from the pawnshop and the band, a second-hand tiffany setting, from an estate sale, all put together by a jeweler friend for almost nothing, all details I’ve lovingly shared with her. She clearly loves me. And she loves my wedding plans. Or does she? Why is she looking at me in that way?

“You don’t like it?” I decide to ask her, no reason to drag this out. A flash of worry almost overcomes me before I realize how good the plan is, how nice it looks printed on the overlarge color printer at Kinko’s, all for $1.32 a page with the coupon. I displayed it on a borrowed wooden easel and used an old metal antenna as the pointer. I thought about using a laser pointer for more control, but I felt the old-style pointer would feel more personal at a time like this. I swallow—my mouth a bit dry after the forty-five presentation.

Her look is either extreme pleasure or maybe the all-you-can-eat-shrimp buffet at lunch is trying to swim its way back to sea. “What’s not to like?” she finally responds. I search her face for the meaning behind the words before realizing how foolish I’m being. It was too much for her and it overcame her, of course. I have to be careful next time. Darla was never one for surprises, especially of the type I repeatedly manage.

“Then it’s settled! This is going to be the most perfect wedding ever.” I begin jotting down additional notes on the wedding plans, ideas that had come to me as I explained each colored page to her. Wedding planning is terribly difficult. There are so many details to manage! Darla is very lucky that she has someone like me who revels in the detail work without losing sight of the goals.

“Honey, can we talk?” She places her hand on my shoulder and I grab her cold fingers and give them a squeeze.

And then it hits me. She feels left out! She wants to be part of the planning, and here I’ve done almost eight percent of the work already. How could I have been such a fool? I turn around to face her and drop off the chair onto my knees. “Oh, Darla, I am so sorry. I know this is so much for you, and I know what you’re thinking. You want to be part of this. You want to help me with the planning. How could I have been so blind to this? This is your wedding as well, and you must have been dreaming of this day since you were a little girl, playing the princess at the end of ‘Cinderella.’ Please, if you can find it in your heart to forgive me,” I leave the sentence unfinished and kiss her fingers. She blushes and pulls her hand free.

“Oh…oh, you know me too well, darling.”

“Then don’t leave. Stay, we’ll plan this together.”

“I have to make a call. We’ll talk about this later, at dinner.”

(to be continued...maybe)