Revenge of the Nerd Ch. 79byrpsuch©
I slept in late on Sunday. The less time I was awake, the less time I would have to worry.
My bridesmaids gathered at my house by 11:00. I had ordered in staff to do hair, nails, makeup and whatever else might be necessary to make everybody look as good as they possibly could.
I psyched myself up to project the impression that everything was just fine. I even persuaded myself to believe it until I received proof to the contrary.
Beautification was accompanied by a brunch buffet. I rejected Sabrina's suggestion that we hire strippers.
Either no one had heard about the blowup Friday night or everyone was able to successfully pretend they knew nothing because the atmosphere was festive and anticipatory. I began to believe it myself, which made it easy for me to play my role.
Sandy was having a great time listening to all the stories and the good-natured denigration of men. With her hair and makeup done she looked captivating. She was going to have no end of men chasing after her if they could accept that she was much smarter than they were.
I asked my seamstress to come at 1:00 just in case any of the girls had last-minute problems with their gowns. When I tried mine on she said, "Oh, my goodness," with alarm.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"I think you may actually have lost an ounce or two."
"Nobody likes a smartass," I said. But I smiled at her.
At 2:30 it was time to take it to the hotel. We wanted to start the final preparations at 3:00 so there would be enough time to make sure all the logistics were properly in place. We had a wedding scheduled to start at 5:00.
By 4:00 there was still no sign of Jeff. I can't deny I was starting to worry. The wedding was scheduled to start in an hour.
Of course, there really was at least an hour and a half before we would start. Even if the invitation said, "5:00 P.M. promptly," you were pretty safe showing up a half an hour late. Promptly meant or maybe thirty minutes after that in Jewish People's Time, though every now and then somebody would be rude enough to start an event at the stated time. I don't know the parameters of the leeway, but there was a similar concept of CPT.
I've heard that other religions and ethnic groups start their events on time, but I had never actually been to one so, as far as I'm concerned, those allegations are just baseless speculation.
I was sure I had told Jeff we wanted to take pictures before the ceremony. Maybe I hadn't. Every now and then I dream something I planned to do or say. I convinced myself I had actually done it, but that didn't make it so.
What other reason could there be for Jeff showing up so late? Traffic? Car trouble?
At 4:35 my father stopped by.
"Where the hell is he? I told you he was not right. Still think he's coming?"
My dad was being as supportive as he always had.
"Would you please get out of here? I'm nervous enough as it is."
I was amazed at how pleasant I sounded. I had shown impressive control. I wanted to end the sentence with "asshole" and much more venom than I had shown Friday night.
If this wedding did not happen it would be my father's fault. I would never tell him that. It wasn't that I didn't want to hurt his feelings. I didn't want him to be proud and satisfied with that accomplishment.
I walked over to Sandy, trying to look casual.
"Is he coming?" I'm sure I was starting to betray some doubt and fear.
"Of course, he's coming," she said. "Either way he'll be here. Jeff just doesn't have it in him to not show up."
"What do you mean either way?"
"I don't know anything. I'm just saying Jeff will be here."
I sighed and looked at my watch. It was 4:36. I was sure my father had left at least ten minutes ago.
"Sorry," I said to Sandy.
I casually walked over to Jen.
"Have you seen Rich?"
"No. And I think that's unusual. But, every once in a while something different happens and it doesn't mean anything."
Great. Now I'm reassured.
I glanced at my watch. It was still 4:36. Was this thing working?
The photographer came in. He wanted to start taking some pictures.
"Where is the groom?" he asked.
"He's not ready yet," I said. I didn't know if he was not ready yet to take pictures or to get married.
The photographer proceeded to take pictures of the female half of the wedding party. That included some of the bride.
He seemed to be doing a thorough job, but when I looked at my watch it was only 4:41. I was sure somebody had tampered with my watch. I casually glanced at Jen's watch. It showed 4:41.
I heard a small commotion by the door to the suite. Jeff stood there wearing denim jeans, white socks, black sneakers and a purple wife beater.
He walked over to me and said, "Ashley, we need to talk."