I’m not the type to go in for big weddings - usually everyone benefits but the bride and bridegroom, but this one Saturday, known as the Mielke-Hein event, was an interfaith ceremony. It made a person feel good all over, a sign of maturity.
The weather was still behaving itself as we left the church in that long funeral-like procession out to our little old niece’s childhood ranch. Her folks had a lake with trees and “gobs and gobs” of lawn to make everyone happy, plus a free lunch and a wedding cake which you could eat, or take home for a souvenir, or feed it to Roberta’s ducks. Putting on an affair of this kind costs scads of dough and lots of time, but tickled Roberta as her dreams came true.
A flock of relatives had expensive cameras at the wedding to take pictures with, but somehow that didn’t look right. So for approximately $300 a guy was hired to stand and look official-like while clicking lots of pictures from every angle possible.
Maybe it’s all worth it, if it fulfills the bride’s dream. After all it’s her show and one shouldn’t attend, except for respect and good wishes. In defense of the rest of us that choose other ways of getting started with our mates, there is no concrete evidence that couples going through this kind of silver-plated ritual ever live out any smoother lives.
Our preparation for marriage, many years ago, took only from midnight ’til noon the next day. Digest version:
After taking Sugar home from a Grange dance...
Sugar: “Don’t walk me to the house tonight, the folks may hear us.”
Both: “Smack, smack.” The next 21 seconds, silence.
Then Sugar: “Gee, I’m locked out!”
Then me: “Golly!”
Sugar: “What am I going to do?”
Me: “Well, let's go over to my house and think things over for a spell.”
Later, entering my pad...
Sugar: “Now what?”
Me: “Shall we elope?”
Sugar: “I don’t care, I love you.”
Me, (thinking to myself): "This is scary. Suppose Sugar turns out not to be a Sugar?"
Sugar, (also thinking to herself): "How do I know he isn’t full of more things than just peanuts?"
Me: “Do you know anything about sex?”
Sugar: “A little, sometimes the conductor throws off a True Story Magazine, when the train goes by the house.”
Me: "I have an outdated sex book, but it’s kinda for the birds.”
Next day at Coeur d’Alene, a brother and sister standing on the sidewalk next to a marriage mill...
Brother speaking: “Hi! We can be your witness for 50 cents apiece.”
Brother speaking: “We will take you to Uncle Barton.”
Entering a small room...
Me: “I wonder if that wobbly old guy over in the corner will be the one that will marry us?”
Sugar: “Not so loud, he may hear you.”
Wobbly Old Guy: “I’ll be there in a minute. Have your license ready because I close at noon on Saturdays.”
Uncle Barton went through the marriage vows so fast I had to be told that I owed him $2.50.