It has been 48 hours since Katlin’s wedding. Already my memory is starting to waver, so I suppose I better get it all down before I forget anything:
6:30AM - I am awakened by the sound of harps and a gentle breeze on my cheeks from the wings of tiny bluebirds. I look out of my window and see a rare morning rainbow, God’s promise of a day like no other.
6:31AM – I startle myself awake from a horrible Disney nightmare, convinced that I am late for my Physics exam at the University of Richmond. It then dawns on me that this is July 12, 2014 and my little girl is getting married in exactly 11 hours….which is fine since I was going to flunk Physics anyway.
9:00AM – Arrive at Carmax for the third time in two days to pick up my daughter’s car. Carmax mechanics and technicians apparently graduated from the Helen Keller school of automobile repair since none of them could manage to hear the loud whining sound coming from the rear of the car the minute it reached 30 mph on the road. Suggested that next time they may want to consider taking cars for a test drive on the actual highway instead of their parking lot.
10:00AM – Arrive at Parkside Barbershop for the much celebrated and anticipated straight razor shave with all of the groomsmen. Was served a cold Yeungling draft upon arrival, which I consumed under the reasoning that it was 5 o’clock somewhere. Charm of the place began to wear off nearly 2 hours later when my name was called, the last on the list. Charm of the place totally vanishes when it dawns upon me mid-shave that I am alone at Parkside Barbershop with no ride home, since Jon had taken Kaitlin’s car, and Patrick had headed for home ten minutes ago with my car.
12:16PM – Get text from Pam directing me to drop by Martin’s and pick up “K-cups and a large case of bottled water. When I replied that I didn’t really feel comfortable buying women’s underwear especially bra’s, she informed me that “K-cups” were not in fact a bra size, but rather a brand of coffee used in our Keurig. Made mental note to help with grocery shopping more in the future to eliminate further such embarrassments.
2:09 PM – Caravan of cars leave house headed for Celebrations. Cadillac making frightening click-click-click noise. For a minute a vision of a blown engine on 288 flies into my head. To my eternal relief, all cars arrive on time and in good order. Women of the wedding party all disappear to the upstairs of the Manor House, while the men get comfortable downstairs in air-conditioned comfort, a good thing since it is hotter than homemade hell outside. It occurs to me as I ease back on a very comfortable sofa that I am at least off the hook for all of those things I promised God I would do if he gave us a beautifully cool day.
2:48PM – Fall sound asleep on ridiculously comfortable sofa and am abruptly awakened by a sharp poke on the knee by Toby, our intrepid “event coordinator,” who implores me to get dressed into my tuxedo and meet the photographer outside immediately. While I was asleep a flurry of pressurized activity is going on upstairs, with Kaitlin and Pam trying to get her wedding dress put on correctly amidst the buzz, clicks and blur of not one but TWO photographers capturing it all for posterity. Later, when Pam discovers that I was sleeping while she was going through Dante’s ninth level of hell, she is understandably perturbed.
3:00 thru 4:00PM – Spend most of this hour walking around in circles, barking out confusing orders to anyone who looked like an employee of Celebrations. Also, begin trying desperately to get guitar in tune. 40 year old classical is temperamental in this regards in the best of environments, but in tropical heat and humidity that would induce projectile vomiting in Lucifer himself, it is a hopeless endeavor.
4:30 PM – Am summoned to the upstairs of the Manor house, and told to wait at the door to the dressing room. Inside I hear the rapid fire of camera shutters. This is one of the “money shots” of the day…Dad seeing daughter in wedding dress for first time. No pressure. No pressure at all.
4:31 PM – Open door slowly and behold as radiant and stunning a vision as I have ever seen. My only daughter looks like some kind of princess, enchanting and sublime, happier than I have ever seen her. It’s hard to be sad, impossible to cry. Why would I? This is what every father worth his salt wants for his little girl.
……to be continued….