Sunday, February 11, 2007

No, I will not read at your wedding

The summer after college graduation, two of my friends, J and B, got married. In fact, J is responsible for introducing me to The Husband. And I apologize for the lame-o pseudonyms, but I have had a long day of trying to get my teething baby to settle down and eat (Eat! Just eat! If you’re hungry, eat! Here it is! Stop turning your head to yell at me, and eat! STOP TURNING YOUR HEAD!), and I’m tired. J and B, if you’re reading this and can think of good pseudonyms for yourselves, I will accept suggestions.

J asked The Husband to be the man of honor, and she asked me to do a reading. Naturally, I was honored and agreed. So when the day before the wedding rolled around, The Husband and I were ready. The rehearsal went smoothly, and I did very well with my reading. I even heard J’s young cousin, the other reader, being reassured by her mother who said, “Well, she’s been to college, so she’s had a lot of practice. You did fine too.”

At the rehearsal dinner, we talked about the choice of readings. My reading was from 1 Corinthians, also known as “Love is patient, love is kind.” It’s a popular choice for weddings. “We just picked the readings out of the booklet they give you at the church,” J said. “I almost didn’t care as long as we didn’t use the ‘Wives, be submissive to your husbands’ reading.”

After the party broke up, we all headed home with an agreement to meet up at J’s house at 11:30 the next morning, an hour before the wedding was to start. Being the responsible friend that I am, I took my reading home with me so that I could practice it one more time before the wedding. I was very tired that night, but I made sure to set my alarm for 8:30, which would give me a good two hours to get ready before I had to leave.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I awoke the next morning to the sound of my mother calling, “Mo? Don’t you have to leave?” It was 12:00. I was supposed to be at the church in twenty minutes. The church which was forty-five minutes away. I was in bed, and I was supposed to be dressed and ready for a wedding in 30 minutes, 45 minutes away. It seems I had experienced an a.m./p.m. problem with my alarm clock, and The Husband had called my house when I was a half hour late, found out I was still in bed, and said, “Get her up!

I gave a strangled cry and leapt out of bed. Through superhuman effort, I was in the car en route to the wedding ten minutes later. Unfortunately, despite J and B delaying the wedding as long as possible, I arrived at the church just after the readings finished. I got to see them exchange vows, but I missed everything else. Even more unfortunately, because I had the only copy of the reading they wanted, the priest picked the first one he came across as a replacement. Can you guess which one it was? Yes, it was, “Wives, be submissive to your husbands.”

Happily, J and B found it in their hearts to forgive me, probably due to a combination of freshly-wedded bliss and the sight of my tear-filled eyes as I apologized.

When my brother and sister-in-law asked me to do a reading at their wedding six years later, I of course agreed once again. I figured that I was safe because this time my family definitely knew what time the wedding started, and there was no way I could oversleep. Once again I took the copy of the reading home with me to practice after the rehearsal. Ever responsible, I looked it over in the living room one last time before we left, switched my belongings to my fancy purse and headed off to the church.

That’s right. I accidentally left the copy of the reading on the couch. “No problem,” I thought. “I’ll just ask the wedding coordinator for another copy.” Well guess what? Every single copy of the booklet of wedding-appropriate readings they had at the church had that page torn out. And do you think she could find a bible? You would think so, given that we were at a church, but she couldn’t find one anywhere. I think she ended up borrowing one from the rectory or something. Meanwhile, I was hanging around the back of the church until about one minute before the wedding, becoming increasingly panicked that I would be responsible for ruining a second wedding.

She found a bible just in the nick of time, and I’m pretty sure that Sister-In-Law never found out about this. Until now, because she reads this blog. Hi, Sister-In-Law! I almost ruined your wedding! Sorry!

But it’s not my fault. I am clearly cursed. So, no. No, I will not do a reading at your wedding.


maggie said...

That is a terrible story. I would have died of guilt. And to think I've only SNICKERED during a reading in a wedding... at least I was THERE. And eat, Jack!

Arwen said...

If you ask me to do a reading at your wedding, I will come to the rehearsal and perform beautifully (not bragging; I'm just an experienced lector). Then I will go into labor that night, forcing you to scramble the next morning to find another reader.

At least, that's what has happened every time so far that I've been asked to read. Granted, it's only once, but I think it's a pretty bad track record.

Teething? Oh no no no no no.

Anonymous said...

I would like to be called Prof. J. Brian would like to be called Mr. Dr. Prof. J. :)

sis-in-law said...

You know, it's been 3 years since the wedding and 3 months since this post... am thinking it is time to release the guilt.

I never knew and was so totally overwhelmed that day that you could have read "Oh, The Places You'll Go" and I wouldn't have noticed.

No really, I didn't hear a single thing anyone said the entire day... so no worries.

(Although I would have been a little miffed if you had read the Being Submissive to Your Husbands thing - that I might have heard)