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The Ruined Wedding

I had this dream the other night and I was in it as the observer.  So I'll narrate it for you.

I was walking towards a gazebo overlooking the ocean.  It was a beautiful morning. Spring seemed to be everywhere:  the sky was clear, the air perfumed by the ocean, the temperature a perfect "island mild."  A couple of joggers and bicyclists passed by. I saw their determined Olympic like gazes as they ran and peddled towards their self imposed finish lines. Everyone seemed to be in an optimistic mood which was brought on by the pleasant weather.  Strangely, I too was in good morning spirits even though I was a self professed night owl. This morning was a slice of spring heaven.

There were some sounds coming from the left part of the beach. I moved closer and saw the set up for a wedding. The cynical side of me reared its head as I thought... how original - a beach wedding.  But I decided to observe this spectacle anyway mostly out of a sense of curiosity but also for a diversion to my overly routinized life.

I typically wasn't a fan of weddings.  They all seemed the same:  sappy speeches, overly revealing dresses, pompous ministers, hysterical parents, disobedient flower girls, cameras flashing, drunken college buddies, strange uncles, obnoxiously loud music, and lots of forced conversation with extended family and people you don't know.

Ah, but this was different.  I could simply watch it and not have to engage.  That's exactly what I did. I observed everything from my little perch atop the pier. First came a white limousine and out came the groomsmen like a penguin march all in the same stale tuxedos.  After the 6 groomsmen came the the groom who had a three piece fitted tuxedo which was colored charcoal gray. He had a tie instead of a bow tie.  He looked elegant, like a model in a magazine. His hair was trimmed short and combed to the side like a throwback actor from the 1930's. I liked his look.

A bit later I heard some clapping in the distance.  I saw a white Bentley circling around the parking lot near the pier which was obviously the bride's car.  Out came a steady stream of bride's maids with their matching, burgundy colored dresses.  Surprisingly the dresses weren't as ill fitting as I imagined except for the one unfortunate woman who had to keep adjusting her bra every time she moved.  Then came the bride. She wore no hair dress and her hair was neatly combed upwards with some hairs cascading down.  Her dress was immaculate white, but had no frills. The dress was simply designed, not having too many patterns;  very tasteful. The bride walked gracefully without hesitation in her steps..all the while hiking up her dress so as not to trip.

My vantage point was perfect I kept marveling to myself. I was able to watch ( and formulate opinions about) all the guests as they made their way down the stairs.  I waited for about an half an hour until the unimaginable happened...

There were gasps and exclamations of surprise. Heads were turning, bridesmaids were getting up and moving around quickly. At first I thought that maybe someone had collapsed or fainted.  The crowd was in a mild frenzy looking around with no singular focus. Oh I got it. Where was the bride?  She had exited the limo but where was she now?

Now I really appreciated my perch. This was movie worthy - well at least reality TV worthy.  I liked the drama that was unfolding.  Now I had to witness the conclusion of this matrimonial saga.

I turned around and saw the bride crying which was evidenced by her make up running down her eyes. Thankfully she was out of the view of the guests but so close to me I could actually hear her. She said something to the effect that the she couldn't go through with this. She refused to be consoled by one of her bridesmaids. Then the  groom hesitatingly approached.  His reaction was strange: he seemed stoic as if he was relieved on some level that the wedding might not happen. He just looked at her with pity but didn't try to fix it.

There was no beach wedding that day.  I remained there through all of it.  I stayed until every last guest exited the scene with their shocked yet sullen faces. A few were even crying.  How did it happen I wondered?  At what point did the pain of going through with it outweigh the outrageousness of calling it off. This was a very sad day for this couple and what kind of person am I to have enjoyed it?


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