It’s crowded, overwhelming.
People are everywhere. Some look at me, some don’t. I look at both no one and everyone at the same time.
This isn’t my thing. Crowds, heels, dresses, sobriety. Where’s the bar? How far can it be? How long does it take to get a drink? Just one drink? Or I guess two drinks, but they’re the same. How long does it take to pour two glasses of the same drink?
Wine doesn’t bubble. Wine doesn’t fizz. You don’t have to wait for the bubbles to go down to get a full glass. No, if I was interested in that delay, I would have asked for beer, or champagne. But I asked for wine. Where’s my wine? Wine pours smoothly. Five seconds. It takes five seconds to pour a glass of wine.
Why do people do this?
Why do we come to these things?
Why do people have weddings?
We’re not doing this. No way in hell I’m doing this.
Call the courthouse. Tell no one. Gameplan set.
I repeat… why do people do this?
And then, why do they invite everyone they know?
Why does everyone they know look at everyone else they know?
Stop looking at me. Look at you. Look at your date. Look at the freaken bride. Where the heck is the freaken bride? Why am I at her party… Sober… while she is somewhere, probably not sober, taking pictures with a sunset.
Do I leave? Do I stay? Do I go to the bathroom? No. I just went to the bathroom. I can’t go back to the bathroom. The same group of girls… well groomed… freshly powdered… definitely looking to mingle… is standing right outside the bathroom. They’ll know. They saw me go in. They saw me come out. They looked at me both times.
Don’t. Look. At. Me.
They’ll think I have problems. Well, I do, but they’ll think I have different problems, nasty problems. Bathroom problems. Nope, bathroom is not an option. I wasted that one.
Note to self, save bathroom as an option next time. Don’t go “just in case” right after the ceremony. You want the case, live for the case, need the case. Store that option. Don’t cash in until you’re either about to explode or standing by yourself adamantly avoiding eye-contact with people that you kind of know, but pride yourself on that fact that you actually know nothing significant about them.
That reminds me, the guy to the left was in my marketing class. Look down. Avoid eye contact. Oof, that was a close one.
I look back up. I know that voice, love that voice. I find him.
He stands just a little taller than the rest. Partly from natural height, mostly from natural confidence. He’s smiling. He knows. He can see it on my face. He can see the worry, stress, anxiety beaming out of the crevices of my big brown eyes.
So, he comes closer, hands me the wine, and kisses the top of my head.
He slips his free arm around my shoulder to make sure everyone knows.
I breathe. I sip the wine. He pulls me a little closer, holds me a little tighter, and my shoulders relax.
My Fiancé. His fiancé.
It’s crowded. 220. That’s how many RSVP’d.
Do I know 220 people? Do I like 220 people? Do 220 people know and like me? Fascinating.
How many people can fit in the room at the courthouse? Three? Five? Ten?
Why was that idea vetoed again?
They’re all sitting in rows, 220 people in rows. How many rows does that make? Dude, I don’t know. Too many rows. Too many people in these rows. Too many stages of life clashing.
High school friends, standing next to college friends, standing next to in-laws.
Family friends, sitting next to work friends, sitting next to in-laws.
That’s a lot of in-laws. I go from yesterday having zero in-laws, to today, in like ten minutes, having a whole family of them.
Fascinating. Weddings are fascinating.
And all of them, all of the in-laws, all of the friends, all of the people that, um… hello, have I met that person? Anyways, they’re all sitting in their nice little rows… and oh, yeah, waiting to look at… me.
Don’t look at me.
Look at the Bri–
— Well crap.
And I’m supposed to do what now? Walk in between these rows. Walk past all of these people, as they look at me. They look at me, and it’s not even rude. I can’t be offended, because I invited them here. And one of the things that tradition says happens on this day, is they all have permission to look at me. They’re actually expected to look at me. That’s why we buy the dress and do the hair. What twisted system is this? Why did I agree to it?
“Hello, groom…. This is bride. We messed up. But it’s fine. I have a plan. Bring the preacher and marriage certificate and meet me in the dark alley in ten minutes. Tell no one….
…also, if it’s not too far out of your way, could you fix me a plate on the way out. My bridal suite is right above the smoker, and the smell of the pulled pork is honestly the only reason you don’t have a runaway bride story yet.”
Shoot… his phone is off. Who the heck turns their phone off right before they get married?
No, lady. I’m not ready. Don’t play the song. I repeat… DO NOT PLAY THE…well shoot.
The barn doors slide open. Nice touch. It would be really cool if I wasn’t the thing that they revealed.
Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. Look down. They’re all looking up, but you don’t have to know that if you just keep looking down.
Stairs… made it.
Long walk to the rows of people… Made it.
I find him.
He smiles. I smile. We lock.
My eyes on him. His eyes on me. I hold it. I hold him, and I walk, run. There is no song that I am interested in walking in beat to. I hear nothing. I see him. I move, glide, make way to him.
Mine, he’s mine.
“My bride,” he says, as I get nearer.
Suddenly, everyone is behind me. They’re looking. They look at me. They look at him. They look at us. But it doesn’t matter.
He is here.
I am here.
Hand-in-hand, we’re making promises that we already started living long before this day.
My groom. His bride.
It’s bright. I can’t quite see it yet, but it sounds loud, crowded.
Um.. hello, God…
I know I was the one talking, and you were the one listening, but I really thought we came to an understanding. And this does not sound like the quiet spa-like experience that I requested. I just heard a trumpet… yeah, I’m definitely in the wrong place.
If you recall, in one of our little heart to hearts, I detailed out that on earth we came up with this system of introverts and extroverts, and I remember very clearly explaining to you that what you wrote about in the Bible, the place with excited worship and feasts and stuff, that sounds very “extrovert-heaven.” But the easy fix is to make a quiet, retreat-like experience for the introverts, you know with books, and fuzzy blankets, and kitty cats that want to snuggle.
So… if it’s okay, I’m going to just turn around, and go have a chat with that gatekeeper. I’m sure that we can fix this little misunderstanding real fast. Then, I promise not to bother you anymore. You can go back to caring for the whole entire universe, and I will be on my merry little way into eternity… a quiet one.
Hmm… funny, new problem. You know this new body you gave me? No, no, no, I promise I really like it. I’ve been meaning to slim out that tummy on my earthly body, and you really did much more for me that yoga ever could. But you see, new problem…. my legs, they won’t let me turn around.
Oh, I’m supposed to be here?
Oh, there’s not an introvert heaven?
Oh, you heard my request, but you think I’ll like it here?
So, what’s that? You want me to look up? I didn’t know I was looking down. But I hear… yeah, I hear a lot of people, and something tells me that they are… Yupp, they’re looking at me.
They’re all looking at me.
Don’t. Look. At…
But wait. I know her.
I missed her.
I haven’t seen him since… and then he… and I didn’t…
And Oh gosh. Him.
I love him. I missed him. I longed for him. Needed him.
And that means…
I find him, and I breathe.
I find him, and I relax.
I find him, and before I know it, I’m running, sprinting, flying to him. His arms. His chest. His body, so perfect. So healed. So much better than when I last saw it.
His Love. My Love. My everything.