“What’s exciting?” asks Dad.
On February 8th, Lynn and I are getting married. We’ve been together for seven years and have decided not to wait any longer. It’s a private family ceremony, a weekend event that my sister is flying in for from Japan.
“Oh right. You’re getting ready for all that nonsense,” says Dad, “What else is exciting?”
Where Mum is all about my wedding and me, Dad never really cares about things that don’t involve him directly. A factor in why he’s so terribly difficult to impress.
“Isn’t your daughter beautiful?” said a kind woman at church the day I spoke at Uncle Mike’s funeral.
“I have four beautiful daughters!” replied Dad, referring to Kristin and Barbara’s two girls.
“Well,” she said disconcerted, “but isn’t she talented?”
“I have four talented daughters!” he replied, as though singling me out for a compliment would be some kind of betrayal to the others, even in their absence.
“Is your mother going to be there?” he asks, “She’ll have to fly fast on her broom to get here on time.”
“She’s back from Mexico,” I say, “She’ll be walking me down the aisle with you.”
“Unless I’ve got three dogs on leashes, I won’t do it!” he replies.
I tell him I’m wearing a black dress for the ceremony.
“You are getting married in the church, right?” he asks with his chin down looking up at me.
“Yes, Dad,” I say, “Not in the graveyard.”
“So who’s invited?” he asks.
“Just immediate family,” I reply.
“I may have invited some people,” he says, “Word gets around. I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole congregation’s there.”
“What happens if I say no?” he asks.
“You already said yes,” I say.
“I’ll drop dead two days before the wedding,” he says.
“You bloody well better not!” I say.
“Well, Rita and I have decided to get married the next day at St. Elizabeth’s,” he says.
“I thought it was going to be at St. Mary’s?” I say.
“We changed our minds,” he says.
At my late-to-wed age, I’m not bothered about the wedding going according to any preconceived expectations of a childhood Disney fantasy. The black cocktail dress over the puffy white gown is an economic choice with a promising frequent use practicality, but I admit vulnerability to Bridezilla’s disappointment in one way.
“Why can’t we all just love each other?” Mum used to cry out in her British accent when we were kids and not getting along.
My pre-wedding anxiety isn’t about flowers and cake, but rather a fear of someone I love getting hurt, sick, dead or melting down into a family crisis of drama. My wedding dream is a weekend of laughter, joy and love with the people I care most about in the world.
I pray it comes true and that even if it doesn’t, that I will cherish the moments, no matter how they unfold. This ceremony is a lifelong commitment to Lynn, his family and my own. With rings, vows and songs, promising to accept all the good and the bad that goes with it, we are coming together to form a new family, a family of our own.