Monday, 20 August 2007

Full English, Betrayal and Tears

Over a full English veggie breakfast of fried eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, veggie sausages, tea and toast we discussed the weekend’s events. Dan has bacon sometimes, but not today.
“It’s been hectic, but fun,” Kathryn said.
“We’ve more or less got everything sorted now, haven’t we?” I asked.
Kathryn’s phone bleeped.
“Oh no!” she said. “I’ve just got a text from Jenny. Elvis Bandini is married.”
“The rat,” I said. “How did she find out?”
“She Googled him, and his profile said he lived at home with his wife Sam.”
“Perhaps Sam’s a man,” Dan said.
“That’s even worse,” I said laughing. “You could tell he was a ladies’ man. He couldn’t keep his hands off any woman who came within groping distance.”
Jenny’s love rat news seemed to be the start of a downward spiral in everyone’s mood.

“I’ve got to sort out the Order of Service today, before I leave,” Kathryn sighed, looking tired. “For the hymns, Andrew wants Jerusalem and I want I Watch the Sunrise. We need the words for those as the congregation is supposed to sing them. The soloist will sing Ava Maria and Panis Angelicus.”

From looking through the numerous Order of Service leaflets, Kathryn chose one of the most popular wedding Readings, St Paul to the Corinthians 12:31-31:8 which Jenny, prey of the adulterous Elvis, is going to read. Kathryn’s friend Sue chose a poem by Maya Angelou, Touched by an Angel for the second reading. I’d started work on a draft Order of Service a while ago, but after looking at the examples from Mrs. Parks, Kathryn wanted something entirely different.

We had an appointment with Father Michael at 12.00pm, and we went over the Order of Service with his help and advice about Readings and hymns, and what came before what. He confirmed the rehearsal would take place at 6.30pm on the evening before the wedding.

When we got back Kathryn seated herself at the computer determined to get the Order of Service done and out of the way. This wasn’t as easy as she’d imagined. Laying it out so that page one corresponded with page five on the printout was difficult. I offered help, but couldn’t answer the questions she was asking, quick enough. Feeling her stress levels rising I kept out of the way. Three hours later, the centre pages were done.
“For the cover, I want cream embossed card, and you can stick on a tiny red rose. Very simple and classic.” This was for me and Dan to organise.

“I don’t know how I’m going to carry this dress back without it creasing it to hell,” Kathryn said, packing up her belongings.
I’d just got out of the shower. Scrunching up a small section of the hemline in my hand to check, I said. “I don't think that material will crease.”
“Yes it does. You’ve just creased up my hen party dress,” Kathryn shouted. “Look! Your hands are wet. You’ve ruined my dress!”
“I haven’t, it’s only a small section,” I said, ducking back into the bathroom for cover. Taking a deep breath, I emerged a few minutes later to find her over by the window, holding up the dress, examining it with a pained expression and deep frown lines on her brow. “Just look at what you’ve done,” she said accusingly.
There was too much tension in the air. I burst into tears.“I don’t know why you’re treating me like this, Kathryn,” I said in between sobs. All I’ve done all weekend is try to help you.” Realising how upset I was she immediately apologised. We hugged and made up. “I’m sorry,” she said. “It’s not just the wedding planning, which is exciting, but stressful. It’s Aaron being away in a dangerous situation in Afghanistan just before the wedding, and the uncertainty with Jon's release. It’s all too much. You have helped me, and I’m grateful. I’ve had a great weekend. We’ve packed in so much. That's the problem when I'm only home every month or so."

“We’ve been on a high all weekend, but it’s down hill today," I said. A nightmare over the Order of Service, a creased hen dress, and Elvis turns out to be a love rat.”Our laughter broke the tension and we hugged again.
"My friend Bobby and her mum didn't speak for two months before her wedding."
"That's drastic. Why?"
"Because her mum had invited all her friends to the wedding without even telling Bobby."
"We haven't done too bad then, with only five and a half weeks to go."

Dan and I drove her to the station to catch the 9.45pm train back to London. She won’t be home again until the Wednesday before the wedding. But I’ll see her next week for the hen party.

Copyright © 2007 Barbara Attwood

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