Early June in Oklahoma. Hot. The evening light slants through the stain glass windows and heats up the church. Guests arrive. The mothers are seated. The wedding memories start.
Actually, wedding memories started the night before. There had been the rehearsal and its dinner. Wade, being best man, crashed out for the weekend with me at the garage apartment where I had been living.
A knock came at the door. I opened it and in popped Beth, Kim, and Jim. They were of the ‘wedding party’ and had taken in the new Star Wars movie (Return of the Jedi) after the rehearsal dinner. Beth and Kim were caught in laughter. Beth’s story was Jim trying to sneak candy into the theater.
“And he put it on his head like this.” She slapped her head. “Then on went his hat.”
Of course it was funny. We were all happy, ready to enjoy life as it happened.
As with any wedding, it’s not just the ceremony itself but the activities around it. Friends coming in, hanging out, having fun.
Ceremony is important to culture. I use wedding ceremonies in Stories 2 and 6 as backdrops. But it is the wedding memories made that motivate the characters, the actions circling around ceremony that push along the plot.
A wedding is the present being made over into memories.
The first bridesmaid – Kim it was – stepped-step-together down the aisle frustratingly slow, or so it seemed to me. My sister Jill picked her own pace and almost overtook her, looking up just in time not to run into Kim, who kept her smile but told with her eyes that she was waiting for a collision.
At the reception, I threw the garter straight to Wade. He still didn’t catch it.
As Dona and I ran to the car, the guests pelted us with bird seed. A seed flew into my ear and didn’t come out for two weeks. Weddings can be semi-violent.
At our honeymoon hotel – well, really it was motel – a girl was selling tamales door to door.
Okay… That was odd, even for the 80’s.
One night, the drapes fell down. Don’t get ideas. We were still dressed.
Other memories: I had a sick day because of sunburn. Dona and I walked into Mexico, but trying to get back into Texas, I couldn’t understand the border guard.
Truth told, the whole trip I couldn’t understand anyone south of Austin.
Darn bird seed.
On the way back to Oklahoma, we stopped in San Antonio to see that new Star Wars movie in an eight screen multiplex of all things. Unheard of! Twin screens, yes. Four, maybe. But more? Eight was garish… at least in the early 80’s.
And we had such a fun beginning on that journey together.