I attended a wedding this weekend, and every reason why I wouldn’t attend a wedding came rushing in on me like a rabid linebacker trying to get to the supper table and tossing met bodies to the floor. Just thinking about it now, my face is red and I’m really bothered because of all the people, yet it’s just me. It’s just me sitting here. The television is on and my dog is nearby. It’s divine, really – but then I think about why I am writing.
It want to say it started in the parking lot as we approached the church; that’s where it usually starts, but it actually started in the car on the way to the church. I notice my dripping wet palms and attempt a pitiful joke as we pass the House of Triple XXX For Goat Poachers, or whatever that big dark place was. Then, I just blurt it right out: “I almost had a very sick stomach today. Like sick and nauseous and yeah. I came very close to being close to death today. Yeah.”
My unthinking mother returns with, “Almost? What does that mean? How do you almost come close to death on a future date, but know that info…” – and I had to jump in, lest I allow a diatribe that could land just about anywhere on a Milton-Bradley Monopoly board. “I thought about cheesing out. I didn’t want to go to a wedding. I mean, the Richardsons are nice people and I like them, I just…” – and mother interrupts to say she’s surprised I actually didn’t get sick today. Little sister jumps in to agree against me, as usual. They think they know me, or something.
So we find the church and park. They’re all walking ahead of me as I’m considered the jackass of the family (slow, old and grumpy). My sister’s boyfriend takes her hand and reaches for mine with the other one. I am shocked, taken aback, and bewildered. I am also trying with all my might to close myself off to others as much as possible. How dare he be extra nice to me on this awful occasion? I so hope I didn’t embarrass him. He’s so sweet, sometimes.
We enter the church and others are milling around, waiting to be seated. Not a single soul speaks to me. Yes! Nobody looks at me. Yes! Nobody cares. We are eventually seated and then relocated to the bride’s side.
The church is beautiful. The choir pews and some decorative items have been removed and replaced with lit candles. Great! It’s beautiful in here. The sound system is kicking, but the music is not anything I would ever intentionally listen to.
Then the thoughts and feelings start assaulting me. The sadness. The beauty. Growth. Change. I start to spill, but instead I imagine a dinosaur lumbering through the city I was in. This dinosaur would be my friend for the day. I wonder what else is safe to focus on. Ah, there’s a kid two rows up and he looks like a troublemaker. I bet he rubs his nose on the back of that pew and gets scolded. Oh yeah, I bet he’s just awful. I hope so, anyway.
The bridal march begins and the bride is stunning, but her hair is awfully dark. Who did that to her? I’d chase ‘em down and kick ‘em right square in the nose. Roar!
My first of three almost-a-panic-attack(s) start now, so I look around for an easy escape and I know I cannot easily make one without upsetting an entire community – well, that lady beside me, that guy beside me, and those ladies in front of me. The spaces between the pews are taut. Good thing nothing itched as I sat down. Today is supposed to be about the bride, not me. I squirm. I close my eyes. I focus on my breathing. I focus on that dinosaur. I wonder if that kid is gonna make some noise.
The wedding ends and I dash for the double doors. The ride home is one spent without an emotional expenditure of any sort. Interspersed with any ol’ stupid and insignificant thing are my wedding feelings. It’s just too much.