A few years ago, I went to a friend’s wedding. I arrived at the chapel early. I sat in the front pew while the piano played.
It was the best seat in the house. I wanted to see my buddy’s expression when he stumbled over the words “I do.”
The chapel was adorned with white flowers and greenery. The woman seated beside me was the elderly aunt of the bride.
“My name’s Irma,” she said, presenting her white-gloved hand. “How do you know the groom?”
“We grew up fishing together,” I said.
She looked at me like I had cockroaches crawling out of my eye sockets. “Really? I thought he hated fishing.”
That’s when I had a feeling something was wrong.
And I was correct. When the young groom took the altar, I realized I’d never seen him before in my life.
I started having chest pains. I was at the right church on the wrong weekend.
Soon, the pianist played the familiar chords of
matrimony and the congregation stood. I was going to sneak out the back, but I was too late. The rear doors swung open.
The bride walked the aisle, wearing a gown that was elegant enough to break your heart.
Beside me, Aunt Irma was becoming emotional. “Doesn’t she look just radiant?”
“Does she ever,” I said. “I hardly even recognized her.”
We took our seats. The minister asked who gave the bride away. A white-haired man said, “Her mama and I!”
But when the old man sat alone in his pew, I began to wonder where the mama of the bride was. I almost asked Aunt Irma about it, but I didn’t want to pry.
Anyway, it was a beautiful ceremony. The bride and groom recited vows they’d written themselves.
The groom read a sonnet so eloquent it made most…