I can feel the blood rushing up into my face as I stand to make a toast for my sisters reception.
I feel itchy and conspicuous in the lavender taffeta getup I am forced to wear as a brides maid. The dress reminds me of the Grimace, the purple creature who tagged along with Ronald McDonald. Its skirt is huge, I have to hold the thing down just to get past all the attendees to make my way to the microphone.
No I dont have a speech planned, I am going to wing it. My three month old son sits on my husbands lap and starts to cry again. I had completely forgotten I needed to prepare a speech that is, until today.
My sister, Cindy and her husband, Carl, or Mr. And Mrs. Wilson, I start, after that, my mind draws a blank, are two people who were meant to be together, for all eternity.. I wince at that as giggles erupt from the guests, realizing too late it sounds more like a death sentence than a marriage congratulation.
As the giggles make their way through the audience I lean down low, toss back the rest of my champagne, grab another full glass sitting near me and wait. One one thousand, two one thousand, ahhh Im not much for drinking, but this is medicinal.
I continue, smiling now, I decide to go for it My dear sister and I have been waiting for our wedding days since we were little girls, we would steal our mothers bridal veil and tromp down the hallway in her high heel shoes. We performed a wedding for our dogs, Pierre and Fifi, so they would not be together in sin. We married our neighbor boy, myself one week and Cindy the next. We had a wedding for our goldfish.
Carl is the Ken to Cindy as Barbie.
More snickers made their way through the audience.
Today is a dream realized, a dream that Cindy could only dream of as a child the redundancy of that statement was not lost on me, even after speed downing a champagne. I took a look at the full glass in my hand, saddened by the fact that I had to save this one to toast with.
Seizing an opportunity that was not apparent previously I slowly backed the superfluous amount of taffeta my skirt was composed of into the small flame of the precious little lavender pillar table candle.
I hope that this dream will flourish and become, I continued, raising my glass high as my skirt burst into flame. Cries erupted and several guests rushed to douse me in any available liquid.
I added my champagne, smothered out the cinders off my dress with my hands, and rushed off the stage, my taffeta now melted into an abstract form whose close relative would no doubt someday be presented as art at the Met.
Nicely done! My husband winked at me as I made my way to the ladies room. He knows how much I hate giving speeches, its a draw between that and attending fancy weddings.