In 1990, I married my fiancée of five years, in a Catholic ceremony. I did it with the full knowledge that I was in love with another man. I take full responsibility for the role I played, however, it still makes for good reading.
The wedding had not gone off without a hitch, no pun intended. I had an ex who had threatened to “crash” my wedding: I took care of this little inconvenience by hiring a security guard, who was given a picture of the man in question. As the limousine containing my mother, my father and myself pulled up to the church? I see said security guard frisking a friend of mine, who happened to have red hair, but looked absolutely nothing like the red head who had planned to embarrass me at my nuptials. As my father and I sat in the back, knocking back the champagne at warp speed, my friend Dan approached the stretch.
“Michele, they won’t let me in.”
After my father and I pulled our laughing carcasses off of the floor, I had a quick meet and greet with Mr. Robotto. I had asked that he not come dressed like a cop, which he did. I had asked that he come to me before throwing anyone out, which he completely ignored. Needless to say he was fired, and my nemesis never made it to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
I had asked my maid of honor to search the church for the man I was truly in love with, as he was my husband’s employee, and had been invited. I knew, with certainty, that one look at that man and I would make The Graduate look like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. A mix of high anxiety and no sleep the evening before, I was a whirling dervish of angst and punchiness. I don’t remember walking down the aisle with my father, but I DO remember this scene:
My girlfriend Gina had been given the assignment of reading scripture. And as she began to quote Corinthians, she stumbled on a word. To the normal person, this would have gone unnoticed; to an exhausted and heartbroken bride to be? The funniest thing I had ever heard. When I laugh, well, it’s with my whole body-and I am not quiet about it, no, not at all. I laughed so hard that the priest began to become unhinged, and as hard as I tried…and then, the icing on the cupcake of the service: hearing my father and best friend laugh with me, I was gone. I collapsed at the altar, thus ensuring the crowd that this would be a day that would live in infamy.
It wasn’t until the ex and I pulled away from the cozy bed and breakfast; our friends and family waving us on, headed towards Martha’s Vineyard, that this song played. And as I sat, numbed and tortured by a forbidden want, hot tears of recognition trickled down to the post card I had been writing:
HAVING A WISH, TIME YOU WERE HERE…
I mailed it from Nantucket.
To Dwain, with love… (to be continued)