Revenge of the Nerd Ch. 47byrpsuch©
In the weeks leading up to going back to school I saw Jeff on weekends and a few nights a week.
I went out to dinner with Jen a number of times, but she was limited by seeing Rich ever more often. I was going to have to spend more time with him to see what drew them to each other.
Jeff and I established a new routine by going bowling Sunday mornings. There were no leagues and many potential customers were in church so lanes were available at a discount, though that was irrelevant to us.
Jeff kept saying we should invite Ebenezer and Joanne bowling with us. I didn't take him seriously.
At one point he said it would be effective if we made the offer with the correct wording in front of friends or business associates of my parents. It would put Dad on the defensive again, while appearing to be a sincere attempt to bring us all closer.
Nobody would be fooled, but it would be difficult to turn us down.
The strangest situation surrounded my wedding.
I discussed plans with my Mother. We talked about family. We talked about my Father's business contacts and some of the things we could do to accommodate that many of them.
She mentioned all the various pre-wedding events she thought would be appropriate.
I considered eloping.
What we did not talk about were my ideas for my fairy tale. I realized the reason was I hadn't thought about it.
There is a process women follow to plan for the "most important day of my life." It starts in childhood, but does not reach the detail level until we become aware it is a possibility. After all, you don't even know who he is going to be.
You've been dating him for a while and at some point you realize he will make an acceptable husband, maybe even better.
He hasn't even considered the possibility yet.
But you start to evaluate your friends. Whom do you need in the wedding party? How many can you pick?
Are his friends good choices to be in the wedding? Maybe you should encourage him to find better quality friends.
The relationship moves forward. One day he wakes up and realizes this has been going on so long you must have started to consider marriage.
He is instantly frightened. One day you're going to expect him to step up and make a decision. He has to be sure by that time, so he starts looking at you more critically. He doesn't just look critically, he becomes critical. He finds fault where before he found charm.
This phase is unmistakable, and it's time for you to start solidifying your fantasies.
Are you ravishing enough to stand on your own, or do you need to dress your bridesmaids in something outlandish to assure you survive the comparison?
Of course, that's not usually conscious. But it's what you do.
What can you afford to spend on flowers, invitations, the band, the photographer, the videographer, the biographer, the venue, the menu; how much pomp and circumstance can you muster to show that on the most important day of your life, you are the queen of the world?
You can tentatively choose colors, but there's plenty of time to change your mind before it becomes official.
All his attempts to find you unworthy have failed. Now he has to take the time necessary to muster his courage and make the official commitment.
He isn't as critical; you're going to be his so he doesn't want anything to be wrong with you. He may even overlook your faults altogether.
You can see it coming. Now you can start working on a budget. And you can always go beyond the budget. Certainly, Daddy will respond to the desperate needs of his little girl, the one who has had him wrapped around her finger since before she started school. If you must have that photographer, you will have him.
I had missed all that.
I was enjoying myself so much and neurotically worrying so much if I was good enough, I hadn't taken a moment to think about the wedding.
Many of the choices others are routinely granted had been taken from me by my Father's needs.
Some of the thrill of self indulgence had been taken from me by Jeff. He didn't care how much I overindulged myself as long as that would allow him to live with me as his wife. What a killjoy.
For sure Jen and Sandy would be bridesmaids.
I was pretty sure I would be assigned some economically correct bridesmaids from my Father's world and probably some from the family.
It was getting more difficult to think about this as my day, the most important day in my life.
Jeff wanted to talk about the ring. I thought that was settled. I loved the ring. I assured him I loved the ring.
"That's great," said Jeff. "You can keep it and it's your ring. You could also get another and switch off with your mood."
"But," I started to object.
"Before Dad came up with the idea and down with the ring, I already knew what I'd like to get you, if it's okay with you. I'd like us, you to sit down with Harri and design your own, with her help. She's a fabulous artist and I think you guys could come up with something unique, astonishing.
I let it sink in. The idea was astonishing.
Jeff mistook my wonder for reluctance.
"You don't have to do it. It was just an idea that seemed, well … I won't be disappointed in the least if you decide against it."
"Oh, no. I love the idea. I was just enjoying it."
We told Sam and Harri by phone of our plan, such as it was. They showed the kind of excitement I wish I could have gotten from my parents.
They told Jeff he was lucky.
They told me I was lucky.
They said they were lucky.
They wished us good luck.
Jeff told me he would drive to school in his new car so we could each have the use of a vehicle just in case.
I was disappointed. I loved the rides with him.
But it was practical and I would see him for long stretches every day.
At least that was what I thought.