Kenny remembers his big day
It was about 9 a.m., May 11, 2002 and I could hear my parents rustling about in our hotel room getting ready for the big day. My mother was trying to keep her voice down in an attempt not to disturb me. My father, not so much. I buried my head under the pillow to mute the noise and despite what was going to be one of the biggest days of my life, I still didn’t want to get up. My longtime buddies and I, who were staying down the hall, were up pretty late the previous night reminiscing. As I rolled over I felt a tug on my foot followed by a very familiar and stern voice, “Get up boy! You gotta go get married.”
Finally I rolled out of bed. I could smell the fresh coffee that my sister had brought. In a daze I stumbled into the bathroom and started brushing my teeth. As I put the brush in my mouth and went through the motions, it wasn’t long before I realized that in my muddled state of mind I had picked up my father’s Preparation-H instead of the toothpaste. It was nasty, like ground up street chalk mixed with milk.
I thought to myself, “This can’t be a good sign.”
We all got dressed and headed out to the parking lot. I was starting to feel a little nervous. My hands were sweaty and I had developed a little twitch in my knee. My always-observant sister had to comment on how puffy my eyes were because of my allergies and as usual, she had a solution. “You need to put some Preparation-H under your eyes,” she suggested.
“Why the hell would I do that when I’ve already brushed my teeth with it?”
We arrived at my soon-to-be mother in-law’s house and she began to introduce me to the rest of the family. It was awkward and I wasn’t sure what to say. I just smiled. Then I was introduced to that jackass who seems to be at every wedding, the guy who says, “It’s all downhill from here, kiddo!”
Whatever, I thought, Just nod and smile. I noticed a barrel of Yuengling behind a table of hors d’oeuvres that was starting to look very appealing.
Finally it was time to get things rolling and I was led to the front of the podium and the groomsmen lined up to the left of me. We exchanged smiles as the music started. Coming from the other side of the house was my best man accompanying the only maid of honor, my wife’s sister, towards the white carpet. It seemed to take forever. Then came the little people: Allie, my niece and flower girl, had a pretty little cream-colored dress with perfect little bows tied to her long, brown hair. Corey, Carla’s little nephew and ring bearer, stood beside her with a tuxedo that barely fit. As they both began walking, Allie kept tripping over her dress and her clumsiness made the situation that much more adorable.
The music started and a man on the back deck began to sing “Ave Maria,” joined by a woman on a keyboard. During the rehearsal the previous day he sounded more like a mortally-wounded hound dog, but luckily his voice must have cleared up because he sounded pretty good.
Then she appeared: my angel from heaven. As soon as I saw her, my eyes started filling up with tears that I – with all my might – tried choking back. I could hardly swallow, but I wasn’t about to let all these people see me cry. It didn’t matter anyway because everyone had their eyes fixed on the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. Her dress was the same cream color as Allie’s except she was glowing inside it. Her hair was as beautiful as it was long, and the bouquet of flowers she held didn’t stand a chance next to the charm of that perfect being that was calmly walking towards me. For a moment every thought in my head disappeared and I couldn’t hear a thing. My concentration was broken for a minute by the sound of sniffles in the audience, but my eyes were soon fixed again on my angel.
The music stopped and finally our hands locked; we both smiled at each other. Her thumb was nervously rubbing the top of my hand and I forgot how nervous I was. The vows went by very quickly and at one point Carla was so choked up she was practically inaudible. I didn’t care; I knew what she was trying to say. I heard sniffling in the crowd again and couldn’t help but take a peek. Of all people, it was my tough older sister whose face was covered in tears. We exchanged rings and then, finally, the words I had been waiting for all day, “You may now kiss the bride.”
Phew! Now I could have that beer.
Well it’s almost five years later and I have to say we still have a lot of the same flair we had when we first met. Although we’ve grown a lot on each other I don’t foresee our relationship going “downhill” any time soon. She is still the sweetest and most gorgeous person she was when we first met and always will be. As for me, I have taken my marriage as a growing experience and have matured quite bit because of it. Not only have I calmed down and stopped getting into trouble, I take my responsibilities and goals a lot more seriously now that I have someone in my life that I want to take care of. I guess our next step will be children. That can’t be that bad, can it?
To comment on this column, email Kenny Lindsay at firstname.lastname@example.org.