He hated to shave. In general. And today specifically. He had just that right amount of stubble.
But, the wedding was starting in two hours. If he showed up late and/or without shaving, she would kick his butt.
As he applied the shaving cream, he remembered the day they met. It was at the DMV two years earlier…
He had taken his number and was waiting in line. He hated waiting. He hated lines.
A female voice interrupted his hating.
“What are you in for?”
He was in his own world and ignored.
He turned and saw her smiling.
“Yeah, what are you here for?”
“Getting my driver’s license renewed.”
“Getting a new picture?” She asked.
“In that shirt?”
He looked down at himself and back at her.
She started giggling.
“I’m kidding,” she said. “You look fine.”
He turned back to see what number they were serving.
It was finally his turn.
As he filled out his forms, he had to take a quick peek at what she was doing. Which, oddly enough, was taking a peek at him.
She smiled again.
He found her smile annoyingly enjoyable.
“Hey…” he whispered.
“You want my spleen?” he asked.
“Yeah, you know, should something happen to me. God forbid.”
“Ohhhhh,” she replied. “I dunno–“
“It’s a perfectly good spleen. It works hard at… breaking down fats and…”
“You have absolutely no idea what a spleen does, do you?” she asked.
“Not as such, no.”
“Listen, I’m all set on the spleen front, but let’s talk bladder.”
“Yeah?” he asked.
“I have a little girl bladder. You look like you’d be well-endowed bladder-wise–“
“I don’t like to brag…” he half-whispered smugly.
“It would really help me on road trips and at beach parties.”
“You know what? You got it.” he said.
He finished handling his business. She handled hers. They met in the parking lot on the way out.
“That wasn’t too painful,” she offered.
“Didn’t you have to go through the full cavity search?” he asked.
“Not here. But, I went to the post office to mail a package this morning…”
He smiled. She smiled. They connected.
“Well, I’m late for work,” he said.
He couldn’t believe that he had said it.
Neither could she.
“Have a good day,” he said – again shocking himself.
“Take care of my bladder!” she said as she started towards her car.
He got to his car and sat inside. He had been involved with more dropped balls than Dick Clark, but this may have been his worst.
He banged his head on his steering wheel.
He continued shaving. He grinned a little at the memory.
He considered leaving a goatee. Briefly.
She would HATE that. And he realllllly did not like to see her upset. It seemed like he had always been trying hard to keep her happy…
He was still thinking about “the girl from the DMV” when he arrived at the party that night. A party that he didn’t want to attend. A party that was being thrown by his cousin’s boss’ brother-in-law.
He considered going home, ordering a pizza and watching college basketball.
He strongly considered it.
But, he had promised. So, he grudgingly entered the house.
And it was pretty much what he expected. Rich people discussing tax shelters, new cars and the apparent nationwide dearth of “good help.”
He had already decided that if he heard anyone mention “the market” he was going to bail.
He wandered around aimlessly until he found a table full of food. Of course, he couldn’t recognize and wouldn’t voluntarily try most of the selection available.
He accidentally started eavesdropping on a group of women — dripping with jewelry and rampant bitchitude — cattily insulting another woman who stood no more than six feet away with her back turned to them. He was immediately annoyed.
He became completely enraged when the mocking of her clothes — specifcally a gold dress — was obviously being heard by the woman. She seemed to recoil at the mention of the phrase “prom dress.”
He walked up next to the cackling harpies and loudly said, “Ladies, could one of you introduce me to the vision in the gold dress? She’s gorgeous.”
The harpies shut up immediately. Then gold dress turned around and it was…
“Hi,” she said, obviously surprised.
“Hey. You wanna get ou–“
“Yes!” she replied.
And he took her arm and they went out on the patio. And that’s where they stayed. For hours.
About two hours into their chat — which didn’t have a single lull — he asked her, “Have you always been funny?”
“Not really,” she replied. “I think it kicked in when I was like fourteen.”
“So, you had a ‘Are you there, God? It’s me Margaret Cho’ moment?”
She giggled. Then she kissed him full on the mouth.
He pulled on his fancy big boy clothes and ran out to his car.
The drive to the church was a blur. He zig and zagged around traffic. He arrived at the church door with fifteen minutes to spare.
He could not stop his mind from wandering. His favourite parts of their time together popped into his head. Dancing in the rain. Ice skating. Her first karaoke attempt.
He felt like the luckiest man in the world to know her.
The organ music started and brought him back from memory lane.
He looked up and he saw her at the end of the aisle.
He had heard about “beautiful brides” before. But, now he got it.
The dress was perfect.
The hair was perfect.
Every step she took she got a bit closer and even more beautiful.
Her eyes met his. She gave him the biggest smile. Her nose scrunched up like it always did when she was excited.
A whispered “Wow” escaped his lips.
She was so beautiful. Inside and out.
His eyes got a little… itchy.
She was about five feet away from him, and her beauty almost made him need to turn away.
No bride has ever looked this beautiful before, he was certain.
And then she continued past him, and into the waiting arms of her husband-to-be.
“Well, this sucks,” he barely whispered to himself.