I’m cheating on this one. The photo reminded me of a story I had written a while back prior to joining the blogging group. It’s been just sitting around waiting for something to happen, or nothing to happen. If you reflect back to my previous writers block post, this was a word vomit piece that I wrote while stuck on my manuscript outline.
This one is kind of long so if you’re on the toilet reading this on your cell phone you might need multiple trips.
Here are the other ladies as well for some good stories and stuffs.
Kellie St. James
Megan was in tears laughing this weekend when I told her I found wasps, hornets, and bees confusing. I admit, I thought bumble bees were yellow jackets when I was a kid because they look like they’re wearing little fuzzy yellow coats. Flawless logic in my opinion. I’ve only been stung once in my life. It was last year when a nest was underneath the trash bin lid. I moved it up from the curve, slammed down the bin, and aggravated the occupants. Rule of thumb, I mostly stay away from things that sting. Don’t give a rats what category it falls under. The nastiest ones are the ground bees. Those bastards made a nest under the shed and would swarm my dog when he went outside to go to the bathroom. Luckily the house was a rental and the landlord dealt with it. You can’t just spray those kind. You have to dig up the nest and destroy it. Then later it gets eaten by a raccoon. True story.
The conversation we were having wasn’t really about flamboyantly dressed insects. Megan was fishing for information due to a happy little occurrence of my ex-boyfriend standing up in her wedding which I was kindly invited to. As an usher of course. Let’s not make it awkward or anything. The chance of there being a scene is unlikely. I don’t drink so there will be no drunken confessions of, “but I thought you loved me, was she worth it?” and I know he still drives my house periodically to check the progress of my lawn. If he had a suitable replacement to occupy his time he wouldn’t be concerned about my sprinklers going off at five in the morning. Why else would be driving by so early? It’s not as if he is making sure no one is staying overnight at my house. No, of course not. He just must be concerned my grass roots are getting adequate amount of moisture.
Okay, Megan doesn’t know about his compulsive horticultural tendencies. Nor do I intend to inform her this minute detail in the event it can be construed to a handsome-groomsmen-crazy-stalker dilemma manifested by an overly stressed bride. What am I kidding? It is a handsome-groomsmen-crazy-stalker dilemma but Megan doesn’t need to know. I’m confident nothing will happen at the wedding. Well, I’m confident I won’t be causing a scene at the wedding. And by “scene” I mean involving a former love. However, If there is karaoke we’re all doomed and the inevitable scene will be my fault.
“I know you feel stung by what he did and I think he is a little hurt by the breakup too,” was the way Megan worded it.
“Stung?” How cliche I thought, “We’re fine. Remedied our relationship to a civil friendship with a little baking soda and water paste.”
Megan only responded with a glare and I felt obliged to be honest, “We’re on nonspeaking terms. Not because I’m angry. Our relationship has run it’s course and there are a lot of emotions involved on both sides. I just feel it’s best we keep our space to help us both get use to our new situation. But, I do not have issue being at the same event he is. We’ll be fine. All jokes aside. I promise it will be fine.”
It appears as though Megan has planted a seed and it has grown into an internal Sequia of anxiety. I know it was an innocent concern with a smidge of selfishness more than friendliness. But, now I can’t stop thinking about the wedding myself. My job is simple: show up, hand out programs, go to the reception, put my gift on a table, and leave after cake. I am not bringing a date nor did Megan’s invitation include a “plus one” perk if I had someone in mind. But what if he brought a date? In my mind he is one who is hurt and can’t let go. But, I’m the one who left the relationship defeated and broken beyond words. I don’t know if I can handle seeing him happy, in a tux, illuminated by the sun light shining through stain glass windows onto the alter with a beautiful woman in the front row smiling and taking pictures of him while I’m the cheap store bought dress holding a stack of printed sheets from Kinkos at the door. All this nonsense made me sleepless and my thoughts wander to dark places when it isn’t occupied.
Finally one morning I decided to get up early and see if he drives by. He didn’t. At least I have that going for me.
By the time the wedding day arrives I have concluded getting my nails done was a bad decision because I’ve spent the last fifteen minutes trying to figure out how to operate my false nails and pick up the the change I’ve dropped on the kitchen floor. Megan told me the wedding colors were kelly and eggplant. That’s about the time I learned “kelly” is a shade of green. I give kudos to the bridal store marketing department for their color palette naming convention. I decided to go with a simple organic cotton sundress in cool slate with a gradated springtime periwinkle pattern toward the hemline. I didn’t get my dress at a bridal boutique but I can make up my own marketing scheme to make my dress sound fancier than the one time use outfit that it is. I also decided to pair my ensemble with the tallest black heels I could find. For the simple reason of being around unwanted company I might was well look somewhat intimidating with a few inches of tallness. I was excluded from the wedding party, given a menial job, and dateless. At least I could look bigger and frighten bear if one comes around.
The church is one of those churches that most likely gives to themselves more than they give to the poor. It’s a modern building. No steeples and the stain glass windows depict crosses, hearts, doves, and lambs. Missing from the church are pictures of decorated prophets, veiled woman, and a suffering Jesus maimed and bloodied. The congregation comes to fill their obligation to being christian by attending church, praying for the less fortunate, confessing their sins during a small moment of silence, then pouring a few bucks a week into the offering that will later be used as a tax credit. From there board and or committee members will then decide where the money goes and happily build the most magnificent building on this side of the city during the middle of a recession. Though I understand why Megan choose this church. It was a sight to see and void of the nasty part of tradition. Tax exempt corporation, maybe, but a happy place none the less.
The guests weren’t to arrive for about another hour. The bride and her bridesmaids were getting ready in a nearby hotel. The groom and the groomsmen were getting ready elsewhere and I never asked where. The entrance to the church were two oversized wood doors and by the effort it took to move one of them, I’d easy assume they were solid wood. Two older woman were decorating by setting flower arrangements around the altar and at the end of each pew. The last pew near the entrance had a box sitting on the cushion. Inside was a freshly printed programs on kelly green stock and eggplant purple ink. I’m unsure if the printer forgot to fold them or if it was intended for me to fold. Megan never mentioned it. But it was clear they needed to be finished so I made myself comfortable on the pew and began to fold each program one at time. The woman handing the final touches either didn’t notice me or were told I would be there early. Either way they paid no attention to me and kept about their business. By the time I was halfway done folding a small orchestra had arrived. I watched them ask one of the ladies a few questions and she showed them where they would be performing. One of the violinist was fairly attractive but so was the blonde cellist with a the nice ass he kept talking to. I thought it best to keep my head down and focus on my work. But I did enjoy listening to them warm up.
Before I was done folding the programs guests started to arrive. Many people mingled exchanging pleasantries with what I assumed were extended family members or friends. I never thought to ask Megan if I was the only person to be handing out programs.
“Oh my God, I’m dumb!” escaped my mouth and was received negatively by a severe looking woman in a sequined jacket. I had just remembered I was handing out programs and if I wanted to know who the other ushers, greeters, whatever this job was listed as, are I can just look at the pile of papers I had in my hand. After a few glances the list it finally sank in what kind of situation I was about to face.
“Goddammit! Son of a…”
“Ma’am!” The woman in the sequined jacket was standing a few inches from my face with a glare intense enough to make a small dog piddle.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I learned bad habits in public school. Program?”
“You would do well keeping your curses to yourself and present yourself in a womanly fashion.” She then tugged the program from my hand and made her way toward the front of the church.
Within a few minutes the commotion went from hushed church gossip to a family event. People began yelling, swearing, and I saw one man pull a flask out of his jacket and pass it around to a few bystanders. I wasn’t sure if this was Megan’s side of the family or not but I did wish I knew them better. The noise started to drown out my thoughts and the constant flow of people into the sanctuary was a welcome distraction. Not a moment longer and I noticed I was getting low on programs and most of the seats were full. The only people lingering in the entrance looked to be immediate family members based on the corsages the mothers were wearing.
Then there he was. Standing in front of me holding on to an elder woman’s hand as she gushed about how handsome he looked in his tuxedo. Which he really did look amazing but as cute as he was it only added to the mixed emotions of surprise, anxiety, and anger. Megan prepared me to be here and to see him. But in my mind I would only be seeing him from a distance. Not face to face as he ushered family members to their seats.
“Would you like a program?” He asked the woman who I now recognized must be the groom’s grandmother. He took one from my hand with a smile directed to me and continued on. I don’t know if he knew I was going to be handing out programs but he didn’t seem to mind. And for a moment his smile made me feel as if I didn’t mind being here with him either. I watched him settle his guest and return for the mother of the groom. This time he didn’t look at me but only smiled as she took him by the arm as soft music began to play. Megan came around the corner with her bridesmaids, lining up carefully in an attempt to hide the bride from view as long as possible. When he returned for the last time he quickly took the arm of the first maid standing and focused only on the aisle, waiting for the music to cue them to enter.
Confident there will be no more people coming in until after the bridal party makes their way to the altar, I slipped into the last pew and waited. I wish I could say they were beautiful. But it was all typical. Megan’s dress was white and strapless. The girls all had the same body type and their hair done up in curls. The men were a little more mixed and it was clear which ones had help of a girlfriend to remind them to get a haircut or to shave their three day old beard. The groom didn’t blush as Megan had but he smiled widely and seemed at ease. A few stragglers snuck in when the pastor started to welcome the attendants for this glorious, happy day in the eyes of the Lord. The service started with a prayer and two church workers closed the sanctuary door. I then noticed on the other side of the door, in the back windowed off section, was an elderly woman in a motorized chair and a young mother holding an infant. I pushed a program to the window separating us and mouthed, “Want one?” Which they both answered with a smile and a shake of the head, no.
I couldn’t help but look at him. He was standing at the end of the line of groomsman with his hands folded politely in front of him. His face had been clean shaved and his hair trimmed since I’ve last saw him which had been some months ago. He looked happy and well which I suppose is better than miserable and questionable. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for causing him to hit rock bottom but there was something unsettling about seeing him that I couldn’t quite place. He had an almost smugness about him and it made me uncomfortable. And being uncomfortable is not something an individual of my personality is use to feeling.
My mind had wandered off for a while and before I knew it they were lighting a unity candle while a girl who vaguely looked familiar came up to sing a song. The wedding party was allowed to sit in the first row while this part of the ceremony took place. I tried to watch but my eyes continued to look towards him. All of a sudden I felt like a stalker. He kept turning around and smiling at the row behind him. This made me more aware of how alone I was. Sitting in the pew by myself, I was still several rows away from the nearest person and I didn’t recognize anyone even remotely near me. My eyes were drawn to him again with perfect and regrettable timing. There was a woman in the row behind him he was talking to. She was a woman I knew. When she leaned in and touched his arm it sent shivers down mine. My blood rushed to my face and my chest tightened. I struggled to breath and gain my composure. I should have been prepared, I should have known this would one day happen. But I expected it at a different time and a different woman.
This was the point where I made myself known. I stood up and headed straight for the door. I started feeling like I was suffocating and was in desperate need for air. If I could have gotten out of the sanctuary I would have had a chance of surviving. But I didn’t. I fell. Tripping over my own heels, I hit against the door with so much force the thud resonated off of the tall walls and sounded throughout the entire church. The following silence was stunning and no one came to my rescue to offer a helping hand. I managed to get myself up as quickly as possible and soon realized my foot had slipped out of one of my heels. In a split second decision I kicked off the second shoe and unintentionally booted it all the way up to the front of the church a few feet short of the altar. I didn’t stay to hear the reactions but I think I caught someone out of the corner of my eye through up his hands in a football goal formation.
I overreacted. This I’m sure of. But where to go from here, I didn’t know. My car wasn’t far and I knew I didn’t want to drive home. Once I reached my vehicle after cutting through a few backyards, I fumbled with my keys and caught a glimpse of someone in my rearview I didn’t recognize and pretty sure at this point I wouldn’t ever get to know. Calling someone came to mind but a person to call did not. A friend or a family member would always be there for me. It’s part of an unwritten contract, “I’ll always be there in a time of need.” But I had just made a scene during my friends wedding and that seemed to be a crime punishable by death.
I could just imagine my mom, “How was the wedding?”
“Oh, my ex was there with the girl he cheated on me with which gave me a panic attack and whilst trying to escape I broke the Hindenburg record going down and with just as much flame and carnage.”
Mom would then try to comfort me at first, conclude I acted inappropriately, and spend the rest of the evening planning out how I would apologize and make up for the situation I caused. We may have gone through this routine before. I admit nothing. I’ve always been a perfect child who never made a scene. If my mom says that’s untrue it’s because she is lying. Note, with that previous statement I may be acting inappropriately and I apologize.
What does an asshat girl dressed up with no where to go, go? Well, she goes out for the night. Let’s make an adventure. What more could possibly happen?