Monday, July 11, 2005

Here Comes the Bride (right on time)

My husband and I were supposed to attend a wedding on Saturday. It was supposed to be only a thirty minute drive from we live. We were supposed to be waaaay early, since the ceremony started at 11:00 a.m. and we left our house at 9:45 a.m.

Well. Any of you from the DC area know that we are FOOLS to have thought that we could take a reasonable travel time estimate, tack on 45 minutes, and arrive early. Pathetic, pathetic fools.

We were still on the Interstate at 11:00. We were still miles from our destination. Because my husband is a smart man and more relaxed than I am, I tried to follow his lead and chant to myself, “We can’t control the traffic! Getting upset will not help us get there any faster!”

And? I have to say I did fairly well. I would be cheerfully singing along with the radio, tapping my toes against the windshield, totally ignoring my watch, and maybe once or twice at the most I had a teensy, weensy outburst. But only for really, truly good reasons. Like all the people who had to slow down to see a car that had pulled off the road and had its hazard lights flashing (and since we weren’t going more than 25 mph anyways, this meant that they were pretty much STOPPING their cars on the INTERSTATE).

Whee! Look at the pretty flashing lights! We’d better go EVEN SLOWER so we can mentally record every detail of this scene! You know, because someone in that Camry could end up on America’s Most Wanted! Or maybe we’re just effing nosy!

Sheesh.

So we were clinging to the hope that even though the invitation said 11:00, they were really planning to start at 11:15. You know, because of late losers like us.

We got to the historic town and found a parking space at 11:30. Then we hiked 3 blocks uphill, in 3 ½ inch heels (mine, not his), and finally arrived panting at the church. My husband wanted to go right in. I, on the other hand, worried that the doors opened directly into the chapel and envisioned us bursting in and interrupting the ceremony and offending everyone with our labored breathing and sweaty faces. I made him look through the keyholes to see if there was a vestibule. Does the keyhole thing really work? I have no idea, but I have to say that having a Nancy Drew moment pleased me immensely.

After sleuthing we determined that there was indeed a vestibule. As we were opening the doors and walking in, the chapel doors across the hall flew open and the bride and groom came floating out on the sound of organ music and 100 people clapping and cheering. So what did we do? Clapped. Smiled hugely. And turned right back around and walked out with all the other guests like we had been there all along.

Then, of course, we had to tell at least 50 people at the reception how awful the traffic was, and how we left AN HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES EARLY, to no avail, just so people wouldn’t think we’d only shown up for the open bar.

So if you ever get invited to a DC wedding? I recommend that you multiply the estimated travel time by at least a double digit number. And if you still get there late and happen to miss the cocktail hour, don’t worry--- we’ll buy you a drink when we get there, as soon as we’re done sketching the passengers in that broken-down Camry.

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