Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Lazy Blogging

I came across this on my computer last night and figured, what the hell...might as well toss it up on my blog. It's a short piece I wrote for a an ezine (is that they're called?? an on-line magazine?) that was (sniff) rejected. Not sure what I'd ever do with, here for your reading pleasure, a memory of my friend Nancy's wedding day. (The formatting's a bit wonky, but oh well.)


Knocking back endless bottles of champagne with the bride-to-be until 6 a.m. the night before the nuptials is not a smart move.

Trust me on this.

Unfortunately, I didn’t figure it out until the wedding coordinator gave me the cue to start my trek down the aisle. At that precise moment, every nerve ending in my body snapped to attention. Every Cheerio I’d forced down at breakfast threatened to reverse course and make a return appearance.

Not a good feeling when two hundred guests swiveled around to fasten two hundred pairs of eyes on…oh, God…me.

To say my smile wobbled is to imply my lips even formed one. To say my bouquet shook like a 4.5 on the Richter Scale, is to downgrade earthquakes everywhere. I searched out familiar faces, hopeful that eye contact with old friends would put me at ease.

Um, no. The church was one big blur.

Somehow, I made it to the assigned spot at the altar. At least I wasn't the center of attention any longer.

Which made it easier to focus on the panic attack setting in.

. In…out…in…out…

Yeah, right. Like that helped.

I became aware of the bride standing to my right. She appeared calm, cool, and collected−obviously unaware of the potential disaster to her left.

Rather than follow along with the ceremony, I held a fierce internal debate. Here’s how the pros and cons shook out:

A. I could simply excuse myself.
Okay, let me point out a major drawback to Plan A. To wit: I’d have to actually open my mouth and cause words−words that made sense−to issue therefrom. Not a slam dunk at this point, which brings us to:

B. I could take a chance on staying vertical. So what if I gambled and lost−forever branding myself as the bridesmaid who fainted dead away at her best friend’s wedding.

I had to try.

For the longest half-hour of my life, I teetered on the brink of consciousness, ignoring visions of my crumpled body on the altar steps surrounded by concerned guests.

At last, the magic words: “I now pronounce you man and wife.”

Like the veil lifted back from the bride, my anxiety evaporated.

But you can bet I was first in line for the bar at the reception.

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