PART ONE – THE WEDDING
The bride and groom woke up at 7. The two alarm clocks didn’t go off at the exact same moment because hers was digital but his wasn’t. The bride had been awake since 6 so she was glad when her clock finally went off. When the groom heard his own clock buzz, he moaned something about 8 hours and reached over to push snooze. Another 4 minutes to 8 hours. The bride went downstairs to make a pot of tea. Back in bed, the groom was waiting. What! No cookie? No cracker? No jam? The bride didn’t have time for breakfast in bed, today. She was getting married at 9:15. So she gulped down her tea but he sipped slowly. At 7:30 the bride was still in bed, ready to jump out the minute the groom would release her. She didn’t have much patience for love-making today. When she couldn’t stand it another second she said, “You know I want to make this bed and I can’t because you’re still in it and why do you always have to ruin my wedding day?” So the groom got out of the bed and the bride made it.
In the bathroom, the bride washed her face and drew eye-liner on her eyelids. Then she put a few bobby pins in her hair. In the bedroom, the groom was turning his socks from the insides to the out and after putting them on, he stood in front of the mirror to make sure all was well. The bride and groom both sprayed on perfume.
“I just hope it’s not cold out there,” said the bride stepping into her slippers. Last night, as they were trying on their wedding clothes, the bride realized that she had no shoes. No wedding shoes. She didn’t know what to do, so she stood in front of the closet and thought. “Oh!” she said, “I think I’ll try these on.” The bride took her bedroom slippers out of the closet and stepped into them. She had bought these slippers two years ago when they had matched her environment. But she had changed environments and it was clear that these slippers simply did not match. At midnight, however, on the eve of her wedding, the black plastic slippers with golden bows looked perfect on the feet of our bride. “I just hope it’s not cold out there.”
When the bride and groom were dressed, they went downstairs for breakfast. Luckily that bride had prepared it all the night before so all they had to do now was pour it.
After breakfast, they cleared the table. The bride admitted that, yes, they could have slept another 10 minutes. But really, how could she have known? So they sat on chairs and waited patiently.
The bell rang on time.
“They’re here! Let’s go. Hurry!”
The bride ran upstairs to get her bouquet. It was kept in cold water in a cold room just like the bouquet lady said.
The bride and the groom kissed in the elevator and then met their wedding party for the short walk to City Hall. It was early and the city was still closed. The best man took pictures of the bride with her bouquet and of the groom with his bride. He took pictures of City Hall, of the Maid of Honor, of the mother of the groom, and of an unknown lady with a bun and a shopping bag who was passing by.
Everyone was there at City Hall except for two brothers and two girlfriends. And since one of those girlfriends was the official witness, it was impossible to begin the ceremony without her. The bride and groom stayed calm and eventually the foursome arrived, HOWEVER, one brother and one girlfriend arrived drunk, and wouldn’t you know it, that girlfriend was the witness.
The bride and groom made their way up the City Hall staircase, their guests following behind them. They came to the wedding room and were seated at the municipal wedding table. The groom’s witness sat next to the groom and the bride’s drunken witness sat next to the bride.
The justice of the peace was a white-haired lady, dressed in a mature but cheerful beige skirt and nice silent shoes. She spoke of love and desire, of decision-making and responsibility, of honor and hope. Tears filled everyone’s eyes especially the eyes of the bride and groom. The white-haired lady commented that she had not seen such an emotional wedding since 1945. Before long the bride and groom were declared husband and wife and everyone started wiping his and her eyes and kissing each other and saying congratulations. But they had to move quickly because the parking meters were running out and there was another bride and groom waiting on the staircase.
Our bride and groom got into a car but first the bride took out her lipstick and wrote JUST MARRIED on the back window of the car. She wanted to have cans and things tied to the bumper but unfortunately all their cans had been recycled.
“Do I have to throw this bouquet?” the bride asked the groom. “I love it so much!”
The groom’s mother is called Nell. Nell had been so happy when the bride asked her if the Wedding Coffee could be served at her house. “Very fine! Very fine!” she kept saying over and over again. So here was Nell, shining and sparkling and serving the coffee at the wedding of her first son.
After the Wedding Coffee, the bride and groom and their 18 guests drove out to the little inn along side the dike where a long table was set for lunch for twenty.
The bride whispered to the groom, “I’m so nervous. I hate being a host.”
“Me, too,” the groom said squeezing her hand under the table.”
“I can’t wait until it’s over.”
“Neither can I.”
When the meal was over, some guests moved to the smoking section and while those guests smoked, the others went for a walk along the dike. The bride remembered when she used to smoke at weddings. Now, it was nothing but nature so she pointed her slippers east and started walking. The bride walked with her girlfriends and the groom walked with his brothers. Nell walked with her sister after both women changed from high-heels to Reebox.
The owner of the inn had promised a perfect wedding cake and the bride, somewhat of an expert in terms of cake, waited anxiously. A perfect wedding cake! What a thought!
There were two wedding cakes. And atop one was the requisite plastic bride and groom.
“Oh Oh,” said the bride, “I’ve always wanted to have one of those.”
“It’s all yours,” said the owner of the inn.
As the sun was setting into tomorrow, the groom sat down with the owner of the inn to make accounts. Then he and his bride drove into town, to the tourist information center, to ask if they had any suggestions for a honeymoon. The woman who served them was a professional and in no time at all the bride and groom, now husband and wife, were driving to the site of their honeymoon.
And what a night for a honeymoon. Outside, it was raining, windy, and cold. Inside, it was warm, cozy, and safe. In the dining room, candles were flickering on tables and napkins were folded like fans. Rain dripped down windows. Someone howled.
The bride and groom were so happy. They sat back in their chairs and read the choices from the priceless menu. During dinner the bride and groom looked at each other with special eyes.
And after dinner, the groom blew out the candle and waltzed his wife out of the dining room.
PART TWO – THE FOOD
Into white bowls the bride and groom poured flakes. They poured oat flakes, wheat flakes, barley flakes, rice flakes. They poured oat bran and wheat bran. They poured sunflower seeds and sesame. They poured raisins – small black and fat yellow. They poured nuts from the almond tree, the walnut tree, the hazel tree, and the cashew. They peeled the banana. They cut it in half and sliced it to smithereens. The bride’s milk was skimmed and the groom’s milk was buttered. And they poured that too before adding the spoon full of honey.
Nell baked an apple tart. It was high like a cake and criss-crossed like a pie. Nell also baked an apricot tart, also high and also criss-crossed. The apricot tart brought back happy memories to Nell’s 4 boys, so the groom, of course, asked for apricot. But the bride decided on a thin slice of each and asked if it was possible. Her girlfriend, who was cutting the cake, said that it was possible. And then she proved it. The two tarts were delicious! And they were more delicious after Nell walked around with a bowl of thick and fresh whipped cream. Blopp.
“What is that little dish filled with pastel colored crystal candies?” asked the bride.
“Those are Bride Sweets,” answered Nell.
The bride chose a yellow one and popped it into her mouth. All of a sudden some liquid, yellow flavored, burst out of the crystal and the crystal broke up into a hundred tiny pieces. The bride thought that something had gone terribly wrong so she ran into the bathroom to see just what it was. She thought that all her teeth had fallen out. Or maybe she ate a glass thimble by mistake. Nell had things like that. What if she ate the oven thermometer? It could be any number of things. But all the bride could spit out were some little yellow crystals, miniatures of the one she began with, and some diluted lemon juice. Later on, when she got back into the car with the groom she asked, “Did you see that bowl of candies? Do you know what they are?” “Bride Sweets,” he replied.
All of this was on the table in the inn along the side of the dike:
parsley (for color)
“Oh, my,” said the bride when she saw it.
“Oh, my,” said the groom.
The bride and groom were standing in a circle of cherries surrounded by tangerines. Around the tangerines was a circle of alternating pears and peaches followed by a row of kiwi and melon, also alternating. This veritable garden of fruit was laying on crushed almonds and those almonds were holding together the highest pile of whipped cream this bride has ever seen. Not surprisingly, the cake is called Whipped Cream Wedding Cake and the groom said that this was the best one he had ever seen. The bride, of course, asked where the chocolate was and frowned when the owner said there wasn’t any. Still, she ceremoniously cut the first piece and spooned it into her husband’s mouth. He followed suit thirty seconds later. The groom’s brother took over and divided up the two cakes. The room fell silent and the only sound to be heard was the sound of lips.
A Light Snack
In the car driving north, the bride opened up a small bag she had prepared at home. She handed one peanut and jelly sandwich to the groom, she took out one for herself, and she left the remaining one in case of an emergency.
The Candle-Light Dinner
The waitress put a little pickled fish on a little dish and gave one to the bride and one to the groom. It was just a little tidbit, some bait. Yes, they were ready to order. For the beverage, they ordered a beer and a glass of soda water with a twist.
For the main course, the bride and groom ordered a sea sampler. While they were waiting, the groom ordered a bottle of wine and then he winked at the bride who blushed. The waitress came with the wine and the waiter came with the food on a big platter, steaming and smoking, and poaching before their eyes. On the platter was a little piece of everything, floating.
Examples of the samples are: bass, bluefish, butterfish, cod, flounder, grouper, halibut, herring, mackerel, mullet, salmon, snapper, swordfish, tuna and trout. Some were pink, some were blue, some were yellow, but most were white. Every fish tasted different.
Along with the fish came: potatoes, beans, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, and some kind of croquette.
Next, the bride and groom read the dessert menu. Yes, please. They’ll have one pot of coffee and one order of this with two spoons. They waited. The white profiteroles came on a white plate. Two balls of white ice-cream sandwiched between two halves of a cream puff cake and sitting on a floor of chocolate sauce. This was the chocolate the bride had been waiting for and she wondered why she didn’t ask for a whole order for herself. The bride took up her spoon and the groom took up his. They looked at each other with special eyes and put their spoons to work, careful not to drip the chocolate sauce on their wedding clothes. They ate slowly.
After dinner, the groom had a cognac and the bride watched him drink it. They sat back in their seats and again looked at each other with special eyes.
“That was a delicious meal,” said the groom offering his hand.
“It certainly was,” said the bride accepting it.
Wedding of March 10, 1992