Chapter Twenty–The Bridal Vortex
While we were distracted with things like booking marriage commissioners, banquet rooms, and finding wedding attire, there was a storm brewing outside of our little bridal bubble. People were happy for us. People wanted to celebrate. People were by and large were either unaware, or uneasy and distrusting of our non-shower/non-social idea of the “Games Night”. People started planning stuff—unsupervised.
Personally, I was a little nervous. I had had a glimpse of Palucid’s groomzilla, and I didn’t really want to fuel that fire by going soft on some of our pre-established stands on pre-wedding frivolity. I also discovered, a little to my chagrin, that the thought of being the centre of everyone’s attention very unsettling. I think the unsettling part, for me at least, was the whole concept of “everyone”.
Essentially, Palucid and I have a few different, totally self-contained social circles. Our family (extended relatives and family friends included), my colleagues (Palucid is the one ‘partner’ included as ‘staff’ amongst my colleagues due to his talents as an electrician.), and our circle of friends (which is a diverse and varied milieu in its own right). Two out of three of these circles had, shall we say, a rogue element about them.
In my work place, things started to feel…different. I would walk into the staff room and be greeted by one colleague making a hasty retreat, while the other announcing that she was just sitting there—eating her lunch—honest. My gentle entrance into any room would either instantly quiet raucous laughter, or inspire nervous and awkward giggling. Two things were becoming uncomfortably obvious: 1) I work with some pretty bad liars; and 2) I was dreading the May staff meeting.
Additionally, amongst my parent’s friends was one couple. They, more than anyone else I ever knew, actively celebrated all things positive. Many of these celebrations were well documented by photographs. This couple felt quite strongly that something more than a “Games Night” was required and they started to plot and plan an event near the end of May. My mom was sworn to secrecy. Compared to my mother, my co-workers handled secrets like seasoned officers with the CIA. There was no refuge from the awkward moments.
The month of May has traditionally been the month where I seem to exist solely for the purpose of giving people gifts. In addition to Mother’s Day, there were also a few family birthdays throughout the whole month. For a solid decade, there was also usually at least one bridal shower, baby shower, and social tucked tightly in between birthdays. This particular May seemed eerily quiet. It was hard to believe I only had Mother’s Day and a couple of birthdays to worry about. As it happens, it was just the calm before the Bridal Vortex.
Our Games Night was scheduled for a day oft celebrated by Star Wars Geeks worldwide: May the Fourth (Be With You). The Thursday prior to this weekend was the monthly staff meeting at work, and it was also the day I had booked to do the preliminary viewing of my crystal bouquet. It was around this same time my mom finally broke the news: our beloved family friend was planning some kind of luncheon for me the last Sunday of the month—whether I liked it or not (so I better like it, because she didn’t raise me to be an ungrateful brat).
That Thursday I nearly begged my students to stay late—I really was dreading the staff meeting. Normally I am not a huge fan of staff meetings—I am one of those teachers who would rather be teaching. However, I really do appreciate my colleagues, and spending an hour once a month with them is not really a hardship. Nevertheless, I was dreading the whole awkward tension as everyone gathered in bizarre silence lest they be the one to “blow” the big surprise/ambush. I think my students were in on it somehow. When I concluded my class with, “Anyone have any questions? Anyone? Really? No One? C’mon! I never make THAT much sense—come back—ask me a question—please! Wait…” all the students packed up their books and rushed to the door (of all the days to finally perfect a lesson plan!)
The staff meeting was short and sweet, and nowhere near close to a source for the anxiety I had indulged in. I was even encouraged to leave early so as not to miss my bouquet appointment. Phew! The Bridal Vortex could be a gentle mistress when she felt like it. This was also the case when it came to party themes and our Games Night—on May the Fourth Be With You day.
Fortunately for most people invited to this event, the women involved in planning this event were not Star Wars geeks so the party was devoid of any kind of intergalactic theme. While I did have a small hand in the orchestrating of this event, I was predominantly “hands off’. This could explain why the whole event sort of seemed to sneak up on me.
While there was a logical and rational Linda who seemed very aware of the party and any necessary logistical planning, there was also another part of me who seemed to wake up on Saturday morning utterly freaked out that there was a Games Night happening that evening. I don’t remember much about that morning, but I do remember being a basket case. I was bat-shit crazy in that “poor Palucid” kind of way.
“Poor Palucid” had a soccer practise that morning, oh—and he had a “small job” to do just before supper time that day as well. Somehow, I just could not find these two bits of news soothing. What was he thinking? Since when does he work on a Saturday? Soccer practise? Why? My abandonment issues seemed to be exhumed for this fortuitous occasion. My lower lip trembled, my heart raced, and I could feel a big ol’ ugly cry coming on.