Wedding Day (Or The Curse of the ’Zilla)
By Lea Sheryn
I woke up with a sense of immense relief. Today is my wedding day. Sighing I threw my blankets aside and basked in the glorious sunshine beaming in from the window above me. I was waking up as Lena Pershing; I was going to my marriage bed tonight as Mrs. Major Roderick Cheltenham III. Oh wonderful morning; oh wondrous day!
Standing tall and proud at the altar of love everlasting, my groom stands resplendent in his uniform with his groomsmen beside him. How handsome he is when he smiles. My party advances toward him and take their places. Lastly I stand by his side, fully of joy in the long awaited moment. Rod smiles his strong and beautiful smile but I’m just in time to see the glimmer of a tear moisten his eye as we turn together to face the priest.
It had been one year since Rod and I announced our engagement to the family. Both of us had beamed with pleasure when we proclaimed our love for each other and our strong desire to become man and wife. Surely happiness had surrounded us. The future was ours to make as we wished and oh how we wished. All the cherished hopes and dreams were going to be ours…to have and to hold…for an entire lifetime. We were in love and that love shone from our faces, beamed from our eyes and proclaimed itself in the song of our hearts.
Who would have thought it would have taken solid year to untangle the muddled mess that announcement created. Truly we thought our plans would have been simple to accomplish. After all, Rod and I had put them together with such intricate care prior to making the family announcement. All we had to do was lay them out one step at a time. Nothing could have been easier. But nothing is ever that easy. There is always something lurking in the background to create difficulties.
Why do people have to cause awkward situations out of a thing of beauty? I wondered in reflection. We have all heard of Bridezillas but what about the family-zillas who think it’s their right to become over involved in the planning stages of a couple’s Big Day? There is always someone to create scandal, gossip and rumors that lead to heartache and misery. And, boy, did we have it in plenty!
Where did the rumor come from that said Rod and I weren’t going to have a big wedding? Weaving our plans in our minds, there were many exciting hours when we shared our dreams of the biggest event we were ever going to plan in our lives. All we had to do was put them in place. Simple, right? Well, not so fast…
While my mother was happily stitching together lovely white taffeta and lace for the one of a kind wedding dress of my dreams, the Family-zilla was fast at work, systematically countermanding every thought, every idea, every plan. No sooner had Rod and I made an accomplishment that brought us one step closer to the fulfillment of our hopes and desires than another rumor or piece of gossip took us another step back. As you probably know, lies are like thistledown, once they begin to spread, it’s impossible to call them back.
“It can’t continue,” I cried into Rod’s shoulder when the mixed up maze of frustration became too difficult to suppress. Action must be taken and taken fast otherwise all would be lost in confusion. “Why don’t we just runaway?” I begged out of desperation when all the roads were blocked. Surely if we were legally married by law, no one could hinder us from advancing our plan to stand at the altar. It had to work! My mind was working overtime to find a solution! Perhaps it would have worked but Rod received an assignment that placed him out of the country. All plans came to a sudden and abrupt halt.
Suddenly, out of the blue, the ’zilla noticed that Rod had yet put a ring on my finger. To be honest, his assignment had come up so fast the engagement diamond had been forgotten. He and I had a good long discussion about it with the conclusion that we should wait until his return to make a properly romantic presentation. Oh how much I wanted to be face to face with the man I loved when he slipped that beautiful ring on my finger; oh how much I longed to fling my arms around his neck and kiss him with a show of complete and total love. But no, that plan simply wasn’t good enough. My darling’s ear was captured by conflicting information that convinced him I had to have the ring immediately. So it came in the mail…
That’s when the crying started. I couldn’t help it; it was too much. The ring in the FedEx box was the beginning of the end. What was supposed to be the start of a beautiful life was reduced to a game of push me/pull you with Rod stuck in the middle. It was impossible. Every plan had to be placed on hold until a firm grip was taken to end the horror that had ended our happiness.
The months were ticking by with no wedding day in sight. All of a sudden the solution struck me. The only thing to do was to stop communicating the wedding plans with the person who was spreading the misinformation and rearranging all the plans. It was the only possible way to solve the complicated situation. With Rod still away on assignment, I quickly dashed off a message explaining everything in detail. It had to work!! After all desperate times called for desperate measures!
Silently the plans we had so carefully set out at the beginning of our engagement were set into place. It was a relief to finally have to ability to get things done without interference and without worry. Work, work, work, that’s all I did for six months. My sole focus was to make sure everything was done correctly for Rod. Poor man, he had been through so much�“he deserved a relief from all the confusion. He was not to worry about a thing; I had it all under control.
But…it wasn’t to be. While I had a clear path, Rod was beset with a continuation of the rumors and misinformation. He hadn’t realized the solution. He had reached the end of his rope. Upon his return, he called the whole thing off! For him, it was impossible.
Diligence and hard work pay off in the end. It took a miracle but today is my wedding day. The gown that spent so many long months wrapped in plastic in the closet flows evenly from my shoulders to the tips of my toes. My mother’s veil�“my “something old”�“softly covers my face. My slightly trembling hands hold a cascade of daffodils and white ribbons. The six bridesmaids lined up ahead of me are dressed in yellow with bouquets of white roses. And the church is awash in bright ribbons tied in bows at the end of each pew�“all yellow.
With our faces awash with tears, we finally come face to face in front of the priest. It seems to take an eternity for Rod to lift the veil. He is in my arms and I am in his as we embrace and kiss for the first time as a married couple. Clinging to him as though I would never let go, my voice whispers in his ear: “Around her neck, she wore a yellow ribbon…” It was my surprise for him. That old song was a special one that only he and I understood. It was the reason the church was awash in bright, happy, cheery yellow. Dear Rod, he had no idea I was going to do it!!
No one knew why our faces were tear streaked as we turned to rush outdoors where the arch of swords awaited us. Only the two of us understood the completeness of our joy and the relief we felt once it was all over. The ’zilla was vanquished; we were finally face to face with our own private happily ever after.